Until the 1960s, most earthquake research was done at the universities, including the establishment of seismograph networks at the University of Washington, University of California at Berkeley, University of Nevada, and Caltech, in contrast to Canada, where seismography was always a responsibility of the federal government. As noted above, seismographs were considered to be an academic pursuit at the University of Washington until the advent of federal funding for seismographs to monitor nuclear weapons testing. At the present time, networks in the Northwest, Great Basin, and northern California are supported by the federal government, even though they are administered by universities. If an earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network at the University of Washington is called. Both the University of Washington and USGS scientists work in the same building, and the distinction between federal and university research is not always clear.
With the recognition of the seismic threat to the Northwest, the University of Washington, Oregon State University, and Portland State University have added faculty with expertise in earthquake geology and earthquake engineering. The University of Oregon and Central Washington University have also developed capabilities in earthquake geology and tectonic geodesy and geodesists are also at the University of Washington and Oregon State University. As a result, both states have a reservoir of experts able to advise the government and the public on earthquake issues, although they do so as private individuals rather than representatives of their respective institutions.