Educated and technologically-literate citizens and decision makers provide the backbone needed for resilient communities. Understanding fundamental science and engineering concepts is a prerequisite for processing information and making sound decisions, particularly in response to accidents or events that can have disastrous effects on societies. We continue to face the fascinating challenges of better “seeing” the world around us and better understanding what is “normal” in our world.
The Institute for Resilient Communities is engaging with schoolteachers and the public through outreach activities such as teacher workshops and the Berkeley Radwatch program. For example, radiation sensor networks are being established in collaboration with schools to illustrate naturally occurring background radiation and associated temporal and spatial variations. Research projects are performed with these data sets to more quantitatively describe the observations and uncertainties associated with them. Berkeley Radwatch provides a forum for dialogue among experts, educators, students, and the public.