CWU created the Cascadia Hazards Institute (CHI) to establish CWU as the only hazards research and mitigation center in the Pacific Northwest. By leveraging the real-time, circum-Pacific warning capabilities of PANGA developed over the last decade, CHI broadens hazards research and mitigation to all schools and departments at CWU, from the school of business to resource management to sociology to elementary education.
Cascadia hazards are diverse, and range from magnitude-9 earthquakes and volcanoes to climate change, groundwater exhaustion, pollution and many others. Because effective mitigation of natural hazards stems directly from scientific understanding the processes that drive them, CHI's purview is both in core science and in designing mitigation in terms of their societal, economic and sociological impact.
The CHI expands CWU's role in NASA's READI network, Real-time Earthquake Analysis for Disaster Mitigation Network. The GPS network can accurately pinpoint details about large earthquakes and help government agencies properly predict the tsunamis that follow. The READI Mitigation Network was created and is supported by researchers at Scripps at the University of California in San Diego, the University of Nevada in Reno, Central Washington University, the University of California at Berkeley, UNAVCO in Colorado, and the California Institute of Technology/Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.