My Life is Mostly a Disaster: Perspectives of a Multihazard First Responder

Natural hazards are an unavoidable part of everyday life. In many cases, it’s the proverbial “it’s not if, but when” they might occur. Whether a wildfire threatens a local community or an earthquake devastates an entire region, the moment a hazard becomes a disaster there is a vital need for those impacted to have access to critical information. But where do you find timely, credible information? Well, the details of what has happened come from researchers and investigators, while the information people receive is shared by public information officers. Today’s speaker is both.

Steven Sobieszczyk is a scientist and spokesperson with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). While “Sobie” spent most of his career researching landslide hazards, sediment transport, and flooding, he now focuses on science communication and public information. Steve is a multihazard first responder and has spoken extensively about everything from earthquakes in Puerto Rico and eruptions in Hawaii to wildfires and floods across the U.S.

Join us for what should be a captivating evening of stories and insights into what it’s like to live a life where each day is one disaster after another. Special focus on the:

  • Granite Pass Wildfire Complex
  • Vicksburg Cemetery Landslide
  • M6.4 Puerto Rico Earthquake
  • 2022 Mauna Loa Eruption

Steven Sobieszczyk has spent 23 years with the USGS. Currently, he serves as media lead for natural hazards at the bureau. Between 2005 and 2010, Steve earned degrees in landslide engineering geology, hydrology, and geographic information systems (GIS) from Portland State University. Besides his research, Sobie’s passion is to help others communicate better, regardless of their background or interests. Never satisfied, Steve has developed broad expertise, including being a professor, author, videographer, and artist. He is a co-founder of the Association of Science Communicators (ASC) and spends part of the year as an incident first responder for wildfires and other natural disasters.

  • Event Date

    Wednesday, May 8, 2024

  • Start Time

    7:00 pm Pacific

  • End Time

    8:30 pm Pacific

  • Tickets


    General Admission: $20

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    Ticket fine print

    We at Science on Tap are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn. If the ticket price is a hardship for you, please write to us and we're happy to provide reduced-price tickets to those who request them.

  • Venue

    Kiggins Theatre