SBC Museum February Dome Talk — NY Times Science Writer Henry Fountain on The Great Quake

By on February 6, 2018

Anyone but the newest California resident knows about earthquakes – earthquake preparedness kits, Stop-Drop-Cover drills, the Great American Shakeout – but few, if any of us, remember the estimated magnitude 9.2 Alaska earthquake. The Good Friday 1964 earthquake is regarded as the supposed second largest earthquake ever recorded; supposed because the closest seismometer was destroyed during the quake.

The upcoming San Bernardino County (SBC) Museum February Dome Talk will present a look at the 1964 Alaska earthquake featuring New York Times science writer Henry Fountain, author of The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed our Understanding of the Planet. The Thursday, Feb. 22 presentation and discussion is the second of the SBC Museum’s 2018 Dome Talks.

“The County Museum is always interested in bringing new information to the public about earthquake science, especially as it pertains to our location on the Pacific Rim ‘ring of fire,’” said Melissa Russo, museum director. “Lessons learned from the Alaska quake pertain today, and we’re happy to bring this to our Dome Talks audience through this esteemed science authority, Henry Fountain.”

Fountain’s book, The Great Quake, is a tale about the almost unimaginable brute force of nature, what was prior to 1964 a then-theoretical cause of earth movements: plate tectonics. He combines history and science to bring the quake and its aftermath to vivid life.  The Los Angeles Times reviews it as “Interleaving snapshots of a lost world, the primal power of nature and high science, The Great Quake is an outstanding work of nonfiction.” Fountain has covered science subjects for the New York Times for two decades covering climate change, earthquakes, hurricanes, mudslides, nuclear accidents and other natural and human-caused disasters.

The 2018 Dome Talks is the second year the SBC Museum has hosted this informative series featuring s leading authors and thought leaders discussing topics relevant to the past, present, and future of the region and affecting lives of Californians. Additional information and tickets may be purchased at the Museum’s welcome desk, by calling the Museum at (909) 798-8608 or on-line at:

Advance ticket purchases are recommended because Dome Talks’ seating is limited. Individual tickets for Dome Talks are $25 per evening; Museum members can purchase individual tickets for $18. Dome Talks start at 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments provided by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Talks begin promptly at 7 p.m. with book sales and signing following.

Upcoming Dome Talks speakers are Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods, March 8; Beverly Gray, Seduced by Mrs. Robinson, April 26; Cheech Marin, Cheech is Not My Real Name, May 16; and Chip Colwell, Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits, June 21. No discounts apply for the March 8 presentation.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane in Redlands. Parking is free. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.