NOAA 2002-147
Contact: Jana Goldman
NOAA News Releases 2002
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


A professor of geology who has studied the impacts of tsunamis on the northern coast of California has been named the first recipient of an award named in honor of the manager of the U.S. Tsunami Warning Program. The new award was created by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, of which NOAA is the lead federal agency, to recognize individuals or groups who help build tsunami resistant U.S. communities. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

Lori Dengler, a professor at Humboldt State University's Department of Geology in Arcata, Calif., received the award today during the annual meeting of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program in Seattle. The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program is a state/ federal partnership created to reduce the impacts of tsunamis to U.S. coastal areas by coordinating the state efforts of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington with the federal efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the United States Geological Service (USGS).

“Professor Lori Dengler’s work in the field of tsunamis is innovative and unique,” said Eddie N. Bernard, director of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, and chairman of the national tsunami program steering committee. ”Ever since she became involved with the program, Professor Dengler has made major contributions in a variety of areas. Through her efforts to raise awareness and educate people about tsunamis, she has helped save lives. I am very pleased that she was selected as the first recipient of the Hagemeyer Award.”

The Richard H. Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award was named for Richard "Dick" Hagemeyer, who was internationally recognized for his leadership in developing the United States Tsunami Warning Program.

Hagemeyer joined the National Weather Service in 1950 and from 1982 to his death in 2001 he managed the U.S. Tsunami Program and was the United States representative to the International Coordinating Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific. He was a member of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) from its inception and his staunch support for tsunami mitigation was a major force in the development and success of the program.

Dengler was nominated by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services of the State of California.

In the nominating document, Dengler is described as “a leader in tsunami hazard mitigation through her involvement in the Redwood Coast Working Group, community education activities in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, through her contributions to the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation program, and her participation in the activities promoting and supporting mitigation in coastal counties of California. Her contribution spans all the areas of consideration in the Hagemeyer Award.”

Dengler has made contributions in tsunami awareness and education in a variety of areas, including the publication of On Shaking Ground, which provides information about tsunami hazards and mitigation for the general public. She has raised funds for community activities centered around tsunami education and mitigation and wrote the national Strategic Implement Plan for Tsunami Mitigation Projects which provided the framework for a national plan as well as activities in five states.

Dengler was also cited for her “presentations on historic tsunami and the current tsunami threat to the west coast of the United States (that) have energized the programs of California and have been an essential element in supporting local planning in the state.”

Individuals or groups concerned with tsunami mitigation are eligible for the Richard H. Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award. Each year the award will recognize the project or program that most exemplifies building tsunami-resistant U.S. coastal communities.

Individuals and programs can be nominated in any or all of the following categories: improving tsunami education; providing tools and training for construction, land use planning, and/or emergency planning and response in tsunami inundation zones; creating and strengthening links within and among coastal communities and states to support long-term tsunami mitigation; improving the tsunami mitigation science infrastructure; and encouraging local innovation and sponsorship of tsunami mitigation programs.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

To learn more about NOAA, please visit:

Learn more about tsunamis at:

To view photo of Lori Dengler see the following link. Please note this is a large file.