Thursday, March 6, 2014

Diplomacy and the 'sales pitch'

For any of this to work out, we need permission and endorsement to proceed from the highest level possible.  Hélio, Eugenio and I were granted a time window to meet with the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Alfredo Pires.  I scrambled to put together a slideshow to introduce our project, identify what we will do when in Timor Leste, and (most importantly for IPG) display the potential for long-term development of knowledge.  I spent most of my time learning about the societal impacts that seismic monitoring can provide, pulling in images of earthquake devastation, methods of sound engineering practices, early earthquake warning systems, and so on. 

While this was certainly appreciated by the Minister, his inner geologist came out to play.  I prepared two broad-scale picture type slides, both taken from our Banda Arc collaborator's paper, Mr. Hendro Nugroho:

From Nugroho et al., 2007, published in Tectonophysics. Regional tectonic setting.
GPS velocity field, global reference frame.

These two figures carried a 30 minute conversation with a high-ranking politician who certainly had many other important tasks to pursue.  A full recap of that convo is suitable elsewhere, but I will say that it drew great interest.  These figures nicely detail the geologic complexity of the area, revealing the dynamic range of earthquake, volcanic, and tectonic activity.  I had the sense that Mr. Pires had some relief from his stressful and busy life as a politician by discussing the fascinating geologic configuration of the country he is representing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.