October 14, 2002


  1. Communicating Risk Effectively
  2. Kudos and Congratulations!
  3. Study Natural Hazards Mitigation in Japan
  4. 7th Annual U.S.-Japan Workshop on Urban Earthquake Reduction
  5. Sociology of Disasters: Theory and Research
  6. Passing Along an Information Request . . .
  7. Electronic Updates from NASA
  8. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training

Communicating Risk Effectively

You are invited to attend the sixth Natural Disasters Roundtable Forum, "Alerting America: Effective Risk Communication," on October 31, 2002. The Natural Disasters Roundtable (NDR)seeks to facilitate and enhance communication and the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers concerned with urgent and important issues related to natural disasters.

Roundtable meetings are held three times a year in Washington, D.C. Each meeting is an open forum focused on a specific topic or issue designated by the NDR Steering Committee. This forum is intended to provide researchers, decision-makers, practitioners, and other interested parties the opportunity to exchange views and perspectives on communicating information to the public about various kinds of hazards and disasters. Roundtable discussion will provide a broad view on risk communication, facilitate understanding across relevant disciplines and professions, and offer a basis for future risk communication action and research.

Attendance is free. To register on-line, select "events" at http://national-academies.org/naturaldisasters, then Roundtable 6, and scroll through the agenda to reach the "register on-line" link at the bottom of the page; or interested persons can also call (202) 334-1964; e-mail: pkershaw@nas.edu.

Kudos and Congratulations!

We have been interested observers of the hazards world for over 25 years now and, like many of our colleagues, have often despaired at the lack of recognition of the importance of mitigation programs by anyone outside of our relatively small "hazards community."

Thus it was most heartening to read recently that Brian Tucker, president of GeoHazards International, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship - one of those "genius" grants that drop from the sky to unsuspecting, but highly deserving, individuals. To our knowledge, it is the first time this MacArthur program has so honored anyone even remotely involved in the disaster or emergency management field.

We couldn't agree more with their selection. As many DR readers know, Brian has worked in various corners of the developing world to mitigate earthquake hazards, and, most importantly, he has succeeded. He and his crew at GeoHazards appear to have learned how to deal with social, political, and economic realities and synthesize those with the science, engineering, and planning necessary to actually *do* something to reduce vulnerability to seismic hazards.

So our most sincere congratulations to Brian - the entire hazards community can be proud of what he has done . . . and can learn from him as well.

The Editors

For more information about the fellows and fellowship, see http://www.macfound.org/programs/fel/2002fellows/tucker_brian.htm; http://www.macfound.org/programs/fel/fel_overview.htm.

Study Natural Hazards Mitigation in Japan

Each year the National Science Foundation (NSF) sends a group of U.S. graduate students to Japan for an intensive summer research experience. A supplemental program to explore the state of research and practice in natural hazard mitigation with 12 graduate students and one middle school math/science teacher is also part of the program.

Applications are sought from qualified students in structural, earthquake, wind, and geotechnical engineering who would like to participate in either of the NSF-Japan Summer Programs during the summer of 2003. Applications from middle school math/science teachers are also welcome.

More information on the program, called the Natural Hazard Mitigation in Japan Program (NHMJ), along with eligibility and an explanation of the application procedure, can be obtained at http://www.nd.edu/~quake/nhmj/. You may also contact B.F. Spencer, Jr.; e-mail: bfs@uiuc.edu; or Y.C. Kurama; e-mail: ykurama@nd.edu. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2002.

7th Annual U.S.-Japan Workshop on Urban Earthquake Reduction

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Committee on Urban Earthquake Hazard Reduction and the Japan Institute of Social Safety Science (ISSS) are in the planning stages for the seventh in a series of U.S.-Japan workshops that began in 1984.

The upcoming workshop in Maui, Hawaii, sometime in late March 2003, will continue to build cooperative research and practice; focus on changes in mitigation and emergency management practice; examine longitudinal reconstruction assessments in a variety of settings; and explore recent technology innovations in risk communication, loss estimation, and mapping.

Abstracts are currently being sought for participation in this workshop. Submissions should be between 200-300 words and should pertain to strategies and lessons that are stimulated by recent urban earthquakes. The submission deadline is November 15, 2002. Abstracts should be e-mailed to: valarie@eeri.org; http://www.eeri.org.

Sociology of Disasters: Theory and Research

Sociological studies of natural and technical disasters have increased substantially during the last decade. To reflect this ever-growing body of knowledge, submissions are invited for a disaster-related session during the upcoming 36th World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology. The Congress will be held in Beijing, China, in July 2003.

Those interested in presenting a paper should send a one-page abstract to E.L. Quarantelli, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716; e-mail: elqdrc@udel.edu. Submissions are due by December 31, 2002.

Passing Along an Information Request . . .

The following request was forwarded to DR from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM):

Having found the ASFPM web site I thought it worthwhile contacting you regarding a research and development project that I am undertaking on behalf of the Environment Agency in the UK. I have been asked to research and identify international good practice in flood warning management systems. The agency is looking to develop a computerized flood warning management system as an aid during flood events to do the following:

Aid the communication between the various responding agencies.
Provide decision support tools.
Help manage people and equipment.
Collect and display flood information (such as the number of houses, roads, railways that are flooded).
Create flood reports and share information.

In the first instance, I am trying to identify U.S. states or organizations that have either developed a specific flood management system incorporating some of the functions listed above or are recognized for good practice in their management of major floods. I would then like to talk to somebody about the flood response and management arrangements in the U.S. and any future proposals in this field. I am already making some interesting contacts with organizations in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. I hope that if you can't help me, then you can suggest somebody who will be able to help me in this research.

Many thanks in anticipation of your assistance.

Russell Burton
Tel: 01827 51493
Mob: 07753 730886
E-mail: russell.burton1@btopenworld.com

Electronic Updates from NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has begun a successful listserv under the auspices of the Earth Observatory (which we've mentioned before: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/). Since its inception, there has been a lot of interest from educators, media, and the public. In response to this, NASA has made some changes to the number and topics of individual lists. The electronic lists below differ in their frequency and whether or not they include natural hazards information.

The EO-Announce listserv will continue to provide weekly updates from the Earth Observatory web site, although soon they will be sent without natural hazards information. To sign up, send an e-mail to: eo-announce-subscribe@eodomo.gsfc.nasa.gov.

The NH-Announce listserv will provide daily updates from the natural hazards portion of the Earth Observatory web site, for those who wish timely imagery. To sign up, send an e-mail to: nh-announce-subscribe@eodomo.gsfc.nasa.gov.

The NH-Weekly will provide weekly updates from the Natural Hazards site. To sign up, send an e-mail to: nh-weekly-subscribe@eodomo.gsfc.nasa.gov.

Confused? Visit Earth Observatory's sign-up page at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/subscribe.php3.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

[Below are a few recent job vacancies that are related to some of the myriad activities in which DR readers engage. Please contact the organizations directly for more information.]

Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies Program

Brandon University invites applications for a tenure-track position in the applied disaster and emergency studies (ADES) program. ADES is a new program designed to integrate theory and application in environmental disasters and emergencies that offers four-year degrees in applied disaster and emergency studies.

Candidates should have a proven academic teaching record along with applied experience relating to disasters and an understanding of the challenges posed by an interdisciplinary approach to hazards and emergencies. Masters degree in related field is required; doctorate or equivalent preferred. Applications are due December 1, 2002. To apply, send cover letter, resume, and transcripts along with three references to Janet Wright, Dean of Science, Brandon University, Brandon, MB R7A 6A9 Canada; e-mail: wrightj@brandonu.ca.

Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

The Southeastern Michigan Health Association is looking for a person with a masters degree in public health or public administration and at least three years of relevant health care experience for the position of Bioterrorism/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator in a local health department. The coordinator develops protocols and procedures to be followed in the event of public health emergencies, provides training to the staff of a local health department, and is the point of contact for many organizations. This is a full-time position with benefits. Please send your resume to Southeastern Michigan Health Association, 200 Fisher Building, 3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202, Attn: Medical Director.

Development of a Model National Mitigation Policy

The Caribbean Hazard Mitigation Capacity Building Programme (CHAMP), part of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), is seeking to enhance regional capacity to reduce vulnerability to the effects of natural hazards. This will be done through the development of national hazard mitigation policies and implementation programs, wider use of hazard information in development decisions, and the strengthening of safe building practices building training and certification. One component of the CHAMP activity is to develop a Model National Mitigation Policy, and there is a consultancy available to help accomplish this.

The consultant will be required to undertake a variety of program development tasks including organizing workshops, preparing reports and policy papers as well as assisting with other tasks as needed. The position is to begin on October 23, 2002. The application deadline is October 16, 2002. Applicants should contact CDERA, The Garrison, St. Michael, Barbados, West Indies; e-mail: cdera@caribsurf.com; fax: (246) 437-7637; http://www.oas.org/cdera/champ.

Division Chief of Training

Boulder Rural Fire Department (BRFD), a progressive and professional combination department with a 25-mile district of suburban, rural and commercial environments, seeks a division chief of training for its staff of eight career and fifty volunteer firefighter/medics. The successful candidate will have five years of progressively responsible experience in the fire service, including two years of training responsibility in fire suppression, emergency medical services, rescue and Haz-Mat, and demonstrated experience in fire ground command. Experience with combination departments, wildland firefighting, computer-based administrative and record keeping software, personnel management, and teaching experience is highly desired.

Closing date is October 19, 2002. Applicants should send resume and cover letter to Bruce Mygatt, Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, 5075 Jay Road, Boulder, CO 80301; (303) 530-9575 x 101; http://www.brfd.boulder.co.us..

Georgia Emergency Management Planner

In order to assist the radiological emergency preparedness program (REP) manager, this position maintains and develops radiological plans for the fixed nuclear facilities that impact Georgia and assists the REP program manager to plan and conduct exercises as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The planner is responsible for maintaining working relationships with local officials to ensure adequacy of local REP plans and represents the agency as necessary and performs other duties as assigned.

Preferred qualifications include a science degree from an accredited college or university, experience developing radiological emergency preparedness plans, and significant professional level work experience in emergency and disaster management.

Closing date is October 16, 2002. Mail or fax resume or State of Georgia application of employment to Hugh Warren, Georgia Emergency Management Agency, P.O. Box 18055, Atlanta, GA 30316-0055.

ASFPM Project Manager

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) is looking to hire someone to develop proposals and manage policy, program, and educational projects that lead to the reduction of flood losses throughout the nation. ASFPM is a nonprofit, professional membership association with 4,500 members and 16 chapters throughout the U.S. The primary goals of this position are to obtain funding for ASFPM projects and manage funded projects to assure timely, compliant, and quality completion of projects and products. Qualifications include strong written and oral communication skills, a minimum of 6 years experience in floodplain management with a focus on preparing and managing projects, experience drafting and administering grant proposals, and knowledge of the floodplain management industry.

The closing date is November 7, 2002. Send cover letter, resume, two writing samples, and an example of a project that was successfully funded and executed to ASFPM, Attn: Larry Larson, 2809 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, WI 53713; e-mail: larry@floods.org; copy to diane@floods.org; http://www.floods.org.

Some New Web Resources

[Below are some new or updated Internet resources we've discovered. For an extensive list of useful Internet sites dealing with hazards, see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sites/sites.html]

ReliefWeb, a United Nations organization serving the needs of the humanitarian and relief community, has launched a new, searchable library of humanitarian documents, aiming to provide a central point of access to publications addressing a wide range of humanitarian issues. The more than 300 documents from 105 sources presently available include analyses, annual reports, conference reports, program and project evaluations, manuals, and program guidelines.

The COMET Program's web-based training materials on weather and weather-related hazards for emergency managers are now available from a single page. This page provides links to interactive, self-paced multimedia learning modules on such topics as wildfire behavior, hazardous weather, hurricanes, and flooding. Other COMET modules, which are primarily designed for weather forecasters, can be found at http://meted.ucar.edu/modules.htm.

Participants from the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS)/Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) Lifeline project have created a new web site to disseminate information and receive feedback about the project, the goal of which is to develop a virtual data center linking a variety of data sets.

The aforementioned project contains an on-line survey to assess how practitioners and researchers currently generate, store, and disseminate geotechnical information. The survey, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, will provide a baseline of current practices for future developments.

Conferences and Training

[Below are some recent announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of upcoming hazards-related meetings and training is available from our World Wide Web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html]

The Second Disaster and Risk Management Forum: Multi-Hazard Mitigation for Complex Infrastructure Systems. Sponsor: George Washington University (GWU) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Washingon, D.C.: October 24, 2002. Civil infrastructures (including buildings) are vital elements of a nation's economy and quality of life. Consequently, it is of the utmost importance to government, business, and the public at-large that the flow of services provided by this infrastructure continues unimpeded in the face of a broad range of natural and human-made hazards. To attend the forum, contact Greg Shaw at the GWU Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management; (202) 994-6736; e-mail: glshaw@seas.gwu.edu.

Emergency Preparedness: Managing Chaos. Sponsor: George Mason University, Office of Continuing Professional Education (OCPE). Fairfax, Virginia: October 28-29, 2002. Since September 11, the prospect of similar attacks or more catastrophic incidents involving unconventional materials poses significant challenges for agencies and individuals responsible for emergency planning, response, and disaster management. This seminar explores these themes. For seminar information contact OCPE, 4400 University Drive, MS 2G2, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 993-2109; http://www.ocpe.gmu.edu.

The Malaria-DDT Dilemma: Science, Policy and Law. Sponsored by: Duke Integrated Toxicology Program and Duke Center for Environmental Solutions. Durham, North Carolina: November 7, 2002. This one-day seminar explores malaria's impacts on health and society, along with DDT and other control mechanism risks and alternatives. To register, or for more information, contact Grace Badiali; (919) 613-8078; e-mail: gbadiali@duke.edu.

Fire Service Leadership Conference: Leading Organizational Change. Sponsor: Women Chief Fire Officers. Schaumberg, Illinois: November 7, 2002. Focus is on inclusion, leadership challenges, improvement in emergency services, and networking. An agenda and registration details available from Sharon Johnson; (630) 990-3040; http://www.womenfireofficers.org/events.htm.

Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Development: A Five-Day Workshop. Sponsor: the Institute for Business Continuity Planning. Offered in two locations: Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia: November 18-22, 2002. BCP is concerned with protecting the vital business processes of firms and organizations so that in the event of a critical incident, essential business components will continue to function. To learn more, e-mail: info@ibct.com or visit http://www.ibct.com/index.html.

Northeast Regional Conference. Sponsors: Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Departments of Public Health and Mental Health. Worcester, Massachusetts: November 19-21, 2002. This year's conference is designed to combat vulnerability and prepare individuals from throughout the Northeast to meet new challenges as well as ensure continued open lines of communications among all levels of emergency- and disaster-related professionals. For conference information, contact MEMA, 400 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA 01702-5399; (508) 820-2000; http://www.mass.gov/mema.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III: Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Conference. Baltimore, Maryland: December 8-12, 2002. This conference is designed to attract a broad audience ranging from local emergency managers to hazmat responders, utility specialists, maritime industry personnel, and others. Detailed conference information may be found obtained by calling (800) 364-7974; e-mail: kharris@genphysics.com; register on-line at http://www.2002conference.org.

2003 Government Risk Management Seminar. Sponsor: The Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA). Las Vegas, Nevada: February 17-21, 2003. This seminar will provide different educational tracks relating to risk management, ranging from foundations to emerging issues, to completion of a certificate program. For more detailed information contact PRIMA at 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1020, Arlington, VA 22209; (703) 528-7701; e-mail: pwolfe@primacentral.org; http://www.primacentral.org/meetings/grms2003/grms2003.php.

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