The Disaster Research (DR) electronic newsletter is a moderated e-mail newsletter published by the Natural Hazards Center. DR comes out approximately twice monthly and comprises some of the news items that appear in center's printed newsletter, the Natural Hazards Observer, as well as other timely articles. In addition, it contains queries and messages from DR's many subscribers. DR is distributed worldwide via the Internet to over 2,600 people.
Disaster Research 377 - November 1, 2002


November 1, 2002


  1. Community Planning Fellowships
  2. Southern California Earthquake Center Request for Proposals
  3. Three New Quick Response Reports Available from the Hazards Center
  4. Research Query from Vermont
  5. Research on Quick Response Research
  6. From an Astute Reader . . .
  7. Some Recent Research Grants
  8. National Fire Academy Announces Second Semester Enrollment
  9. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences and Training

1) Community Planning Fellowships

Many emergency management and academic experts have recognized that the teaching of planning theory and practice should be expanded to incorporate hazard mitigation more directly into traditional planning concepts and issues.

One way to do this is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Planning Fellowship program, which is managed for FEMA by the Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Begun in late 1999, the program is open to students who are currently pursuing a Master's degree in planning. Two fellowships are awarded annually. Applications for the Summer 2003 - Summer 2004 fellowship are due by January 21, 2003.

Fellows participate in approximately eight weeks of orientation in Washington, D.C. and then conduct extensive fieldwork and independent study in communities selected jointly by the student and FEMA. Financial compensation is included. For more information, contact Claret Heider at NIBS, 1090 Vermont Avenue N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-7800 ext 131. View the complete program description and application memo at

2) Southern California Earthquake Center Request for Proposals

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) 2003 request for proposals (RFP) is now available. SCEC is soliciting proposals from individuals and groups in four categories: (1) data gathering and products; (2) integration and theory; (3) workshops, and (4) communication, education, and outreach (CEO). Along with submission guidelines, the RFP describes the research objectives of SCEC disciplinary committees, focus groups and special projects, and potential CEO activities. Complete and detailed information including scope of proposals, eligibility, format and submission particulars may be found at The deadline for proposals is November 12, 2002. For more information, contact John McRaney;(213) 740-5842; e-mail:

3) Three New Quick Response Reports Available from the Hazards Center

QR158: "The September 11th Attacks on America: Relationships Among Psychological Distress, Posttraumatic Growth, and Social Support in New York," by David N. Sattler, (2002), examines the psychological distress, coping, social support, and posttraumatic growth among college students in the New York City region three weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

QR159: "Defining Sustainable Development: Arkadelphia, Arkansas," by Cheryl Childers and Brenda Phillips (2002). This study examines one community's experience with sustainable development. In March 1997, an F-4 tornado cut a swath through a series of farm areas, residential neighborhoods, and downtown business areas of Arkadelphia. The devastation and property damage were tremendous for such a small town. As the community initiated recovery efforts, leaders defined the rebuilding as the creation of a "sustainable" community. The implications of defining and acting in a sustainable way are explored.

QR160: "El Salvador Earthquakes: Resource Loss, Traumatic Event Exposure, and Psychological Functioning," authored by David N. Sattler. This project examined the psychological functioning of university students in San Salvador four weeks after the second of two earthquakes. These earthquakes followed in the wake of a variety of other disasters and catastrophic stressors. Of special interest to this study, therefore, was the prevalence of symptoms associated with acute stress disorder.

All Natural Hazards Center Quick Response (QR) reports may be accessed at

4) Research Query from Vermont

Hello, my name is Zachary Carson. I am a student at the University of Vermont in the school of natural resources. I am currently writing a research article comparing flooding causes and effects and mitigation strategies between the Western US and Western South America. I was wondering if you could help me direct my research by suggesting some web sites or scientific journals to look through or offering information that could help me at all.

Thanks a lot for your time.


5) Research on Quick Response Research

Since 1986, the Natural Hazards Center, with National Science Foundation funding, has enabled researchers in the social, policy and behavioral sciences to investigate disasters in the immediate post impact phase. What are the origins of this type of quick response research? Are there other programs that support field-based social science and policy research immediately after a disaster? What is the contribution of quick response research to scholarship and practice and are there specific examples of research that have led to advances in understanding and/or policy? How does quick response research fit with other forms of research in social, policy, and behavioral sciences? What critiques exist of quick response research?

If you would like to offer your insights on any of the above questions or suggest worthwhile readings on this topic, please contact Sarah Michaels; School of Planning, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue, West Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1;(519) 888-4567 ext. 6863; Fax: (519) 725-2827; e-mail:

6) From an Astute Reader . . .

In our last DR, we mentioned that the McArthur Fellows "genius" award was given this year for the first time to someone active in hazards. Well, a reader took the time to let us know that this is not quite the case. The first hazards-related professional to receive this honor was Fred Cuny. The award was given posthumously, in 1995, the same year of Cuny's disappearance and presumed death in Chechnya. Fred Cuny founded Intertect Relief and Reconstruction Corporation in 1971, and worked for many years in disaster relief and humanitarian aid, garnering a deserved reputation for innovation, creativity, and a faith in those he was trying to help. His approach, the "Cuny Approach" considers disaster reconstruction as a catalyst to improve people's lives.

More information about Fred Cuny's life may be found at

7) Some Recent Research Grants

"The Implementation of Disaster Assistance in New York in the Aftermath of September 11: The Dynamics of Multiorganizational Response." Funding: National Science Foundation, $80,389, 12 months. Principal Investigator: Steven Stehr, Department of Political Science, Johnson 816, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4880; e-mail:

"Terrorism and Corporate Crisis Management: The Strategic Effect of the September 11 Attacks." Funding: National Science Foundation, $339,997, 24 months. Principal Investigators: John R. Harrald, Julie Ryan, and Louise K. Comfort, Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management, George Washington University, 1776 G Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20047; e-mail:

"R4: Rescue Robots for Research and Response." Funding: National Science Foundation, $823,269, 36 months. Principal Investigator: Robin R. Murphy, College of Engineering, ENB 311, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620; e-mail:

"Adaptive Shoring for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue." Funding: National Science Foundation, $96,146, 12 months. Principal Investigator: Robin R. Murphy, College of Engineering, ENB 311, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33520; e-mail:

"Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards Researchers: An Education and Training Proposal." Funding: National Science Foundation, $370,000, 24 months. Principal Investigator: Raymond J. Burby, Department of City and Regional Planning, Campus Box 3140, New East Hall, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140; e-mail:

8) National Fire Academy Announces Second Semester Enrollment

The United States Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) is accepting applications for its second semester residential programs. The second semester begins April 1, 2003, and ends September 30, 2003. The enrollment and application period opened November 1 and will run through December 31, 2002.

Applications received that are post-marked after December 31, 2002, will not be accepted. General eligibility requirements include substantial involvement in fire prevention and control, emergency medical services, fire-related emergency management activities, or other allied professions. Applicants must also meet specific selection criteria for each course.

To find out more about the National Fire Academy or to obtain an application for second semester residential training courses and programs, go to

9) 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.]

Emergency Transportation Specialist at the Office of Emergency Transportation

The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) is one of nine major agencies of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). RSPA provides vital services to America's multi-modal transportation system and is responsible for ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials. RSPA is also responsible for transportation emergency preparedness, pipeline safety, safety training, and fostering cross-cutting research and development for land, sea, air and rail transportation.

The emergency management transportation specialist will manage the crisis management center (CMC), a 24-hour, multi-modal information fusion center reflecting the status of the national transportation infrastructure. The CMC is located in the RSPA's office of emergency transportation (OET). OET manages DOT's response to crises and disasters, and leading DOT activities in support of the Federal Response Plan and Continuity of Government programs. The incumbent must be an excellent communicator, skilled information collector, good analyst, and able to lead a team. The complete vacancy announcement, number RSPA-02-43(PR), is available at The vacancy closes November 19, 2002.

Oklahoma Sate

Subject to funding availability, the department of political science at Oklahoma State University invites applications for the position of assistant/associate or full professor of political science. The position is a tenure track, nine-month appointment with summer teaching possible. The candidate must possess an earned doctoral degree and be able to teach masters-level courses in fire and emergency management administration. Teaching ability in the area of public administration or public policy is desirable. Excellence in teaching and a commitment to scholarly research are required. Application deadline is January 15, 2003. Send cover letter, resume, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, teaching evaluation summaries, and a writing sample to, FEMP Position, Robert England, Department of Political Science, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078.

UCAR Social Science Position

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, is seeking to hire a Ph.D.-level social science researcher to examine societal aspects, including policy issues, of the impacts of weather and climate on environment and society, focusing on decision making under uncertainty. The incumbent will publish research results, devise appropriate methodologies for analysis, and work on collaborative research pertinent to physical and societal aspects of atmospheric processes. Priority is given to applications received before December 2, 2002. Resumes may be sent to UCAR Human Resources, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, Colorado 80301. Additional details and qualifications are available at

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:; fax: (246) 437-7637;

Citrus County, Florida

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is seeking an individual to plan, develop, and coordinate emergency management programs throughout Citrus County. The candidate will be responsible for managing various public programs, emergency response teams, grants, budgets, and emergency plans and procedures. Associates degree and experience in emergency management or civil defense planning is preferred, as is a background in public speaking or journalism and the ability to effectively communicate. The position is open until filled. For more information or to apply, contact the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, 1 South Park Avenue, Inverness, FL 34450; (352) 726-4488, ext 303.

North Carolina University Business Continuity Director

North Carolina State University seeks an experienced individual to develop, administer, and manage a comprehensive business continuity plan. The director will conduct assessments of business plans and procedures, assess the implications of proposed technological or organizational changes on business continuity, and be responsible for insuring that the disaster recovery plan supports the needs of the university. Candidates must establish effective communication channels; apply local, state, and federal regulations; and provide on-call support for emergencies. The position requires a bachelor's and three years experience in disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Experience with federal and state emergency management agencies and familiarity with business continuity planning software, facilities management, or engineering is desirable. To apply, send cover letter, resume, salary history, and three references to Vacancy #C-61-0202, Donna Owens, NC State University, Box 8007, Raleigh, NC 27695-8007; (919) 515-4397; e-mail: Application deadline is December 1, 2002. Additional information about the university is available at

Terrorism Preparedness in the Nation's Capital

The District of Columbia Government Emergency Management Agency is looking to fill the newly-created position of administrative services manager for a terrorism preparedness/weapons of mass destruction unit. This position will be an integral part of the agency's training, exercises, mitigation, and planning division. The ideal candidate will possess a strong general knowledge of current federal weapons of mass destruction programs and policies, procedures, and grant initiatives. The agency is looking to hire a person with a mix of technical and general management skills. This is a contract position that is funded through September 30, 2002, with the potential for annual contract extensions. The position will begin approximately on December 15, 2002, and will require a minimum of 40-hours a week, on-site in north-central Washington, D.C. Interested applicants may e-mail their resume and salary requirements (stated as an hourly figure) to:

10) 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]
The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History has launched a newly renovated web site about its Global Volcanism Program. The site has information about more than 1,500 Holocene volcanoes and more than 8,500 eruptions, and features both weekly and monthly reports concerning current activity. Much of the data, photos, and first-hand accounts have never before been available to the public.
The National Flood Determination Society (NFDA), representing a number of flood determination companies, has unveiled its new web site. NFDA serves as a collective industry voice on legislative and regulatory issues related to floods, and the site contains information on their certification program.;
Among the first group of environmental information portals available as part of the globally distributed United Nations Environment Program's UNEP.Net information network, the European portal is up and running. It is possible to make a variety of searches using thematic portals such as climate change, freshwater resources, mountains, etc. Regional updates will be added as they are complete.
The National Drought Mitigation Center web site has a new look and organization. The web site's information has been streamlined and reorganized into sections dealing with the following: an overview of drought, monitoring, planning, risk (impact) assessment, and mitigation. Site development will continue with planned additions about water conservation and state drought plans.

11) 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:]

4th Annual Building Resilient Communities Symposium. Sponsor: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). Toronto, Canada: November 6, 2002. There will be sessions focusing on vulnerability, emerging research, and investing in mitigation. For complete information, contact Tracy Waddington, ICLR, 151 Yonge Street, 18th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5C 2W7 Canada; (416) 362-6112; e-mail:;

Infrastructure Security Conference 2002. Sponsor: Transnational Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Washington, D.C.: November 6-7, 2002. This conference will address the various issues, policies, and emerging threats surrounding efforts to protect critical infrastructures such as transportation, communications, and energy systems. For more information, contact Jane's Information Group; 44 (0) 20 8700 3841; e-mail:;

Getting Back to Business After Disasters: Building and Maintaining Preventative Programs. Sponsor: Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation (CDM). Santa Clara, California: November 20, 2002. This workshop provides a forum for information acquisition and exchange among industry professionals involved in business continuity planning. To find out more information or register for this half-day workshop contact Jessica Tran, CDM, One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192-0082;(408) 924-3596; e-mail:;

Dealing with Disasters: Prediction, Prevention, and Response: the Second Duke Environmental Leadership Forum. Sponsors: Duke University and AIG Environmental. Durham, North Carolina: November 20-21, 2002. The meeting will bring together top leaders in business, science, and policy for intensive discussion and brainstorming. The forum will consider disasters that are accidental or natural, as well as those that are purposeful, such as terrorist acts. The seven sessions include an overview, discussions on disaster prediction, prevention, and response; examinations of chemical facilities and ecosecurity; and a meeting summary. Complete forum details may be found by contacting the Office of Continuing and Executive Education, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708-0328; (919) 613-8082; e-mail:;

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: or visit

Training in Basic and Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). Sponsor: Disaster Mental Health Institute. Casper, Wyoming: November 22-23, 2002. Offers a certification course in basic and advanced CISM; scholarships are available. For more information, contact the University of Wyoming Conferences and Institutes, P.O. Box 3972, Laramie, WY 82071; (307) 766-2124;

Seventh Annual Fire Suppression and Detection Research Application Symposium. Sponsor: Fire Protection Research Foundation of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Orlando, Florida: January 22-24, 2003. This "bridging the gap" symposium brings together professionals in fire detection and suppression to share practical solutions to day-to-day fire problems. The conference also provides a unique opportunity for experts to learn about common issues and futures. To obtain complete program information or to register, contact Eric Peterson, Fire Protection Research Foundation, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269-9101; (617) 984-7281; e-mail:;

Disaster Management 2003: Solutions to Enhance Your Preparation, Response and Recovery Efforts. Sponsors: National Institute for Government Innovation and Institute for International Research (IIR). Las Vegas, Nevada: January 27-29, 2003. This conference has special focus sessions on emerging technologies in disaster management, legal and practical blueprints for emergency operations, and a variety of table-top emergency management exercises. To register, contact IIR, 708 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, New York, 10017; (888) 670-8200; e-mail:;

International Course for Managers on Health, Disasters and Development. Sponsor: Pan American Health Organization. St. Ann, Jamaica: February 10-21, 2003. Emergencies caused by natural and Human-caused phenomena are becoming increasingly frequent. This management course is designed to build capacity among participants to establish and manage disaster reduction (from prevention to response) with a special emphasis on the health and social sector. Application deadline is December 23, 2002. Complete information and an on-line registration form are available by e-mailing:;

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Landslide Analysis and Mitigation Workshop. Sponsor: SCEC. Los Angeles, California: February 20-21, 2003. This workshop is presented by members of a SCEC committee convened to develop specific slope stability analysis implementation procedures to aid local southern California city and county agencies in their compliance with review requirements of the state's Seismic Hazard Mapping Act. It will summarize and explain recommended procedures, as well as provide time for interaction between managing and practicing engineers and geologists. For more details, contact Southern California Earthquake Center, University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Parkway, Suite 169, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0742; (213) 740-5843;

Spring World 2003: The 14th Annual Corporate Contingency Planning Seminar and Exhibition. Sponsor: Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ). Orlando, Florida: March 30-April 2, 2003. This conference features the latest in business continuity planning information and products, including sessions in best practices, command post operations, crisis management planning, and the fundamentals of disaster recovery. To register, contact DRJ Registrar, P.O. Box 510110, St. Louis, MO 63151; (314) 894-0267; e-mail:;

25th Annual National Hurricane Conference. Sponsors: American Meteorological Society, American Public Works Association, Coastal States Organization, the National Weather Service, the Tropical Prediction Center and many others. New Orleans, Louisiana: April 14-18, 2003. The primary goal of this conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific. The conference is also a forum for federal, state, and local officials to exchange ideas and recommendations. For complete information, contact National Hurricane Conference, 2952 Wellington Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32309; (850) 906-9224; e-mail:;

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