Dr. Kenneth Ridgway, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Science at Purdue University, will discuss the connection between earth science and communities. Such a connection seems obvious to most scientists but is much less clear to most communities. In the first part of his talk he will explore the geologic setting, the infrastructural damage, and the impact on communities of recent large earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, Haiti and Japan. Decisions that communities and governments made about these types of geologic hazards had a profound impact on human life and the built environment. In the second part of the talk, he will discuss how at Purdue University they are building connections between the scientific community and Native American communities. The strongest connections are developed when Native American students do research on issues that are directly relevant to their tribal lands and communities. An understanding of earth processes is critical in decision making both at the global and local community levels.