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University to raise funds for Tsunami Earthquake Appeal

The University of Aberdeen is next week holding a day to remember the Tsunami tragedy- a day for the community to come together, attend a very special lecture, and raise funds in aid of the Tsunami Earthquake Appeal.

Professor Albert Rodger, Head of the College of Physical Sciences will introduce Professor Dawson as the guest speaker and a warm welcome will be given by Easter Smart, Chaplain to the University.

Professor Dawson, who has recently been appointed as Senior Research Fellow within the Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management and is an international expert in coastal processes, will give a 45-minute presentation on tsunamis.

He explained: “The Indian Ocean tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 has raised awareness of the destructive capacity of tsunamis. This lecture is intended to provide an introduction to the science of tsunamis.

“The risk posed by tsunamis exists around all the world’s oceans and not just in the Indian and Pacific Ocean. I hope to describe the various mechanisms by which tsunamis are generated and also to show examples of large tsunamis that have taken place in history and prehistory.”

Professor Dawson has served on the International Tsunami Commission as the UK representative for many years and has written numerous papers. He has also participated in the only two European-funded tsunami projects throughout the 1990s.

Professor Rodger will host a Q&A with the audience and Professor Dawson before closing the event.

Envelopes marked ‘Tsunami earthquake appeal’ will be on all seats within the King’s College Centre, and we hope to raise a significant amount of funding for the appeal from those attending by asking them to donate their lunch money.

Professor Rodger added: “Wednesday, February 9th is an appropriate day for the University community to focus on the Tsunami and to better understand such a phenomenom. It also gives us a chance to do something together to help those that have suffered.”

Easter Smart explained: “February 9th also happens to be Ash Wednesday. Although the first day of Lent, the themes of Ash Wednesday are ancient and reverberate through nearly all cultures and faiths. Ash Wednesday, as the name suggests, is a day when we are called to engage with the painful things life brings. It was a day when people marked themselves with ashes and fasted. It was a day to atone for wrongdoings, a day to show compassion for those whose lives have been crippled by injustice, pain, debt or loss.

Here are four things that the University community can do together on February 9th:

· Attend the lunchtime lecture being given by Professor Dawson in the King’s College Centre.

· Fast over lunchtime to show solidarity with those who have little.

· Donate your lunch money to the Tsunami earthquake appeal.

(Envelopes will be provided in the King’s College Centre and the Student Association will have collection points around the King’s College and Forresterhill Campuses throughout the day).

· Write your prayers, hopes, feelings in a book, which will be located in the James Mackay Hall all week.

Everyone is welcome to attend. To book your place at this special, one-off lecture, please contact: Fiona Reid, Communications Office, on: (01224) 273726, email:, or book online at

PHOTO/FILMING OPPORTUNITY: You are invited to send a reporter and/or photographer to the ‘Tsunami’ lecture by Professor Alastair Dawson, on Wednesday, February 9, in the King’s College Centre, King’s College, at 12.30pm.

Professor Alastair Dawson, Senior Research Fellow within the Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management, at the University of Aberdeen, is also available for media interviews in advance of next Wednesday’s lecture. Please contact Angela Ferguson, Communications Office, on: (01224) 272960, to arrange.

Background information on Professor Alastair Dawson:

Professor Dawson has achieved at BSc (Hons) Geography at the University of Aberdeen and went on to gain a MSc Geography at the Louisiana State University, USA before completing a PhD in Geography at the University of Edinburgh.

He has led a varied career, and most recently held senior positions at Coventry University for almost 20 years. During the last 10 years of his career, he held various Departmental teaching responsibilities.

Issued by the Communications Office, External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel:(01224) 272013.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 3rd of February 2005

Ref: 1578tsunami
Contact: Angela Ferguson

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