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 2,700 people.
Disaster Research 379 - December 6, 2002


December 6, 2002


  1. Climate Variability and Human Health Grants
  2. Study Earthquakes in China
  3. A Reader Request
  4. ASPEP's First Annual Emergency Management Student Writing Contest
  5. Seeking Performance Evaluation Proposals for Lifeline Industries
  6. Social Science Research Training Fellowship for Junior Faculty
  7. Study the Benefits of FEMA's Mitigation Program
  8. Contemporary Emergency Management Certificate On-Line!
  9. Seeking Contributions for a Monograph on Earthquakes
  10. Announcing the Knowledge Management (KM) and Critical Incident Management Special
    Interest Group (SIG) Web Site and Discussion Forum
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  12. Some New Web Resources
  13. Conferences and Training

1) Climate Variability and Human Health Grants

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPRI (formerly the Electric Power Research Institute) have issued a joint program announcement on climate variability and human health for FY 2003. Pre-proposals are due December 16, 2002. Full proposals are due February 18, 2003.

The grants are designed to support multidisciplinary teams working on integrated projects that help illuminate the human, biological, and physical pathways by which climate may affect human health, and the potential for applying climate and environmental information toward improved public health. The group is also interested in how human health impacts and responses related to climate variability affect our knowledge of potential consequences of, and adaptation and vulnerability to, longer term changes in the climate system.

Grantees should plan to participate in an annual meeting of researchers funded under this announcement. This meeting will be organized by the funding partners and is intended to facilitate midpoint discussions of research and methodology as well as presentations of final research results. The participation of other team members, particularly new researchers at the graduate and postdoctoral level, is highly encouraged.

The full Federal Register Notice can be found at the NOAA Office of Global Programs, 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1210, Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301) 427-2089;

2) Study Earthquakes in China

U.S. researchers in the fields of earthquake studies, earthquake engineering, and earthquake hazards mitigation are invited to participate in a Research Exchange Program in Earthquake Studies. The program is designed to enhance cooperative research in earthquake hazard mitigation between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC). It is jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation (U.S.) and the Ministry of Construction (PRC), and is coordinated by the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), headquartered at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Applications are now being accepted for placement during the spring of 2003.

The program enables selected U.S. researchers to visit host institutions in the PRC for between two weeks and three months. Successful applicants will engage in cooperative research activities as outlined in Annex III to the Protocol for Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Earthquake Studies, Cooperative Research in Earthquake Engineering, and Hazards Mitigation. Complete protocol information, including detailed objectives and research components, is available on-line at

Some support for exchange travel and subsistence costs will be provided. Exchange period lengths will be determined based on extent of research proposed. Exchanges are expected to begin as early as February 2003, and travel must be completed by June 30, 2003. The deadline for application is January 31, 2003.

Awards will be contingent upon relevance and approval of the National Science Foundation. Application and information packets are available from Andrea Dargush, MCEER, State University of New York at Buffalo, Red Jacket Quadrangle, Buffalo, NY 14261; (716) 645-3391, ext. 106; fax: (716) 645-3399; e-mail: Applications may also be downloaded from the MCEER web site at

3) A Reader Request

Dear DR Readers,

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is interested in determining the "best" or most preferred literature regarding disaster mitigation/risk reduction. I would like to ask interested DR readers to send me the names of the two or three best references they have found on this subject. I can be reached at the address below:

Ms. Marie-Lou Darricau
United Nations
ISDR Secretariat
Palais des Nations, Room A-572
CH-1211 Geneva 10

4)ASPEP's First Annual Emergency Management Student Writing Contest

The American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP) announces a contest for students enrolled in emergency management programs. Students are invited to submit original papers on emergency management topics. Papers will be judged on their approach, research, and practical use for emergency management professionals. The top three papers will be included in the 2003 ASPEP Journal to be published in August or September 2003. Cash prizes accompany the awards, and each published author will receive a copy of the 2003 ASPEP Journal.

Papers may be case studies, descriptions of original research results, or discussions of current emergency management concepts. Papers should be between 8 and 12 pages and must be received by 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 15, 2002. Authors are asked to provide the e-mail address of an academic contact to confirm enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate level emergency management program.

Papers may be submitted by e-mail or disk to ASPEP Writing Contest, c/o Bruce Binder, 8770 Southwest Goldstone Place, Beaverton, OR 97007; e-mail:

5) Seeking Performance Evaluation Proposals for Lifeline Industries

The American Lifelines Alliance (ALA), which is managed by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), has issued a request for proposals to develop guidelines for evaluating the performance of electric power, oil and gas pipeline, and wastewater treatment utility systems.

ALA is a public-private partnership with the goal of reducing risks to lifelines (utility and transportation systems) from hazards. Existing ALA-developed guidance, as well as the new guidelines to be developed, are intended to provide decision-makers with clear, concise information to perform standardized evaluations during and after hazard events that could disrupt service. The risks posed by both natural and human-caused hazards are being addressed.

The proposal submission deadline is 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time on January 21, 2003. If you are interested in obtaining more detailed information, contact Joe Steller at ALA; (202) 289-7800, ext. 130; e-mail:;

6) Social Science Research Training Fellowship for Junior Faculty

Applications are being solicited from junior faculty for a unique research training program aimed at fostering the next generation of social scientists addressing societal considerations of natural hazards and extreme events. The program, "Enabling the Next Generation of Hazard Researchers," is funded by the National Science Foundation and is being administered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in collaboration with faculty from seven other universities.

The program will consist of a two-year series of workshops, tutorials, and discussions focusing on practical advice about research and proposal development for social science research addressing hazards and extreme events. Participants will receive an honorarium and travel expenses to workshops and meetings with senior faculty mentors.

Deadline for applications is March 1, 2003. Application details will be available after December 10, 2002 at For specific questions before that date, contact Leanna Hush, e-mail:; or Raymond Burby, e-mail:

7) Study the Benefits of FEMA's Mitigation Program

The Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is seeking statements of interest and team qualifications from contractors for a study on the benefits of FEMA's mitigation program. The contract amount will not exceed $1.1 million and work will be completed by September 17, 2004.

Prior to submitting qualifications, interested contractors are encouraged to read the advisory report "Parameters for an Independent Study to Assess the Future Benefits of Hazard Mitigation Activities," available at For consideration, contractor statements of interest and qualifications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 6, 2003. Submittals may be sent to Claret Heider, MMC, 1090 Vermont Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20005; or e-mailed to both: and Eight copies of the qualification statement should be provided, preferably in PDF format.

Complete submission format and content information, including ranking criteria and an overview of how contractor qualifications will be evaluated, is available at Questions about the project or the submission process should be addressed to project manager Tom Tobin at Prospective teams are encouraged to contact Tobin concerning their intent to submit their qualifications.

Statements of qualifications will be graded and the top-ranked contractors will be invited to submit full proposals. The request for proposals will be issued on January 21, 2003, and will be due by March 3, 2003. It is anticipated that contracts will be executed by April 7, 2003.

8) Contemporary Emergency Management Certificate On-Line!

The University of Missouri Extension Fire and Rescue Training Institute announces the first course in their Contemporary Emergency Management Certificate Curriculum that will be available in an internet-based format through distance education. This is a non-credit course within the core curriculum of their certificate program and is a required core course. The registration deadline is January 10, 2003. Once enrolled, students will receive texts in the mail, an e-mail with login credentials, and instructions on how to access the lesson plans. The class will run from January 14, 2003 to May 23, 2003. This is a 19-week window in which to complete 13 lessons, conduct a case study, and take the final exam.

For more information, contact Eric S. Evans, Emergency Management Specialist, University of Missouri, Fire and Rescue Training Institute, 201 South Seventh, 240 Heinkel Building, Columbia, MO 65211-1342; (800) 869-3476; e-mail:

9) Seeking Contributions for a Monograph on Earthquakes

Earthquake disasters are becoming more frequent and devastating and social and economic losses due to strong earthquakes increase annually. Recent earthquakes in Turkey, Greece, Japan, Taiwan and other locations have again demonstrated the importance of developing tools for reliable estimation of expected damage distribution and losses which can be implemented in safety measures such as preparedness plans, emergency response, and real-time systems for rapid damage and loss assessment.

In an effort to continue expanding earthquake knowledge and experience on a global scale, the European Seismological Commission (ESC) and International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI) announce a new initiative. Their goal is to create a collaborative monograph on "Earthquake Damage and Risk Assessment and Safety." Additional objectives involving communication and recommendation implementation in the form of various applications related to professional education, technical assistance, and sustainable development will be specified at a later date.

You are invited to contribute to this effort. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative and how to collect and present information, contact the Global Alliance for Disaster Reduction (GAR), at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001; (704) 687-3233; or contact any of the following people: Nina Frolova Hays; e-mail:; Avi Shapira; e-mail:; Walter Hays; e-mail:

10) Announcing the Knowledge Management (KM) and Critical Incident Management Special Interest Group (SIG) Web Site and Discussion Forum

Fire services and other critical incident management organizations around the world are in the process of procuring and deploying decision support and knowledge-sharing mechanisms. Although there is a great deal of good work being done, many of the same mistakes are being repeated. Most people are ready and willing to share their experiences - but until now, there has been no European forum for exchange.

Join organizations such as the United Kingdom Chief and Assistant Chief Fire Officers Association, the London Fire Brigade, the University of Girona, and renowned authorities to discuss and share technologies and critical incident strategies. This new web site and electronic discussion group is sponsored by the European Forum, and may be found at Covering a broad array of emergency management-related articles, technologies, new resources, and discussion boards, this web-site is looking for users and contributors.

11) 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 Management Planning and Administration Program at the University of North Texas (UNT)

The Department of Public Administration at UNT invites applications for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level beginning September 2003. Primary teaching responsibilities are at the masters level, with occasional teaching of undergraduate courses in public administration or emergency administration and planning. Candidates must be able to combine excellent teaching with a productive agenda of research and community service, and should hold an earned doctorate in public administration or related field at the time the appointment begins. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Submit a letter of interest, current vita, teaching interests, writing sample, and three letters of reference to: Search Committee Chair, Department of Public Administration, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 310617, Denton, TX 76203-0617.

Emergency Management Coordinator Positions

Pierce County Department of Emergency Management in Washington State has the following vacancies: Homeland Security Planner, Urban Search and Rescue Logistician, and Mitigation Planner. The work includes a variety of program planning, development, mitigation, training, operations, and coordination activities. All positions require a four year college or university degree and three years of professional experience in emergency management or related activity. These positions are grant funded for one year, and continued employment is subject to funding availability.

Complete details for all three positions, along with an application, are available from Pierce County Personnel Department, Job 2588, 615 South 9th Street, #200, Tacoma, WA 98405-4670; (253)798-7480;

University of Massachusetts Boston, Environmental, Coastal and Ocean Sciences (ECOS) Department

ECOS invites applicants for a tenure-track assistant professor position in one of two areas: environmental risk management/communication or marine resources policy. The risk management/communication position requires expertise in public health and ecological risk protocols, risk management strategies, along with a strong interest in the marine environment. The applicant should also have expertise in graphic display and information management techniques, risk and uncertainty, and integrated environmental assessment. Qualifications include a Ph.D. in a related discipline, and the fundamental commitment to join a multidisciplinary faculty that emphasizes linkages between the social and natural sciences. Send a cover letter that includes a statement of interest, research, and teaching goals; resume; and three letters of reference to University of Massachusetts Boston, Office of Human Resources, Search 735, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125-3393. Application review will begin on February 3, 2003. For departmental information visit

Florida Domestic Preparedness and Emergency Management Coordinator

This managerial position in Fort Lauderdale is responsible for fire-rescue planning, developing, directing, and coordinating domestic preparedness and emergency management programs that ensure the city is prepared to respond to, mitigate, and recover from terrorist attacks, mass casualty incidents, natural disasters, and other major emergencies. Requirements include a BS in public or business administration or related field, and at least four years experience coordinating emergency services. Qualifying experience may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for educational requirements. Closing date is December 27, 2002. Applicants must submit an official application to Human Resources Division, 100 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301; (954) 828-5300;

Director of Wind Science and Engineering (WISE) Research Center

Texas Tech University invites applications for the position of director and professor in the department of civil engineering. As director of WISE, the candidate will provide leadership and vision for an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary research center. The director works closely with faculty and students on a variety of wind-related projects. Successful applicants will have a Ph.D. in civil engineering, a professional engineering license, and significant research experience related to wind science and engineering. Excellent management and communication skills, national and international recognition, and leadership experience in professional organizations will weigh in the applicant's favor. Information about WISE may be found at Applicant evaluation will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Send complete resume, with contact information for at least three references, to WISE Director Search Committee, c/o Debbie Starcher, Department of Civil Engineering, Texas Tech University, Box 41023, Lubbock, TX 79409-1023; (806) 742-3524.

12) 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]
This web site presents basic information on a proposed new project "Geoscience for Andean Communities" (GAC), which is currently in the second phase of development. GAC focuses on geological hazards in participating Andean Countries. Project specifics, along with a monthly newsletter in English and Spanish, are available on this site.
This new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site integrates terrorism into hazard mitigation programs. Titled, "Hazard Mitigation: It's not just for Natural Disasters any more," the site is a companion to FEMA's how-to-guide "Integrating Human-Caused Hazards into Mitigation Planning" and is an information library for hazards professionals working to incorporate human-caused hazards into hazard mitigation efforts. The site includes reference publications, frequently asked questions, and a variety of relevant links.
This web site grew out of recommendations made by the Counter-Terrorism Training Coordination Working Group convened by the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs to examine the counter-terrorism tools available to law enforcement and first responder communities. This portal web site serves as a single point of access to counter-terrorism training opportunities and related materials available across the Federal Government and from private and nonprofit organizations. These resources will help law enforcement decision makers develop strategic plans for professional training and local emergency response.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency launched a pilot version of an information portal designed to provide one-stop information for emergency preparedness and response information. The portal will support more than 4 million members of the first responder community firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians. It will pull together several systems, simplify services, and eliminate duplication.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an innovative pilot information tool that provides the public direct access to the current environmental compliance records of more than 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. The Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) was developed in partnership with the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), a national association representing state and territorial environmental commissioners. The EPA is seeking public comment on ECHO during its 60-day pilot period. This comment period will provide users and other interested parties an opportunity to review and comment on ECHO's content, design, and data accuracy.
A variety of reports and publications that may be of interest to DR readers are listed at this web site - the urban catastrophic research page of the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University. The center explores issues affecting cities and metropolitan regions; issues reports and conducts forums with participants from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and the academic community.

13) 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:]

Government Convention on Emerging Technologies: Defending America Together. Sponsors: Government Emerging Technology Alliance (GETA) and Government Expert Planning Committee. Las Vegas, Nevada: January 8-10, 2003. This convention will provide a forum for federal, state and local governments, including first responders, to help understand each other's requirements and concerns regarding homeland security. The convention will focus on four venues: critical infrastructure protection, domain sharing, policy and requirements, and managing expectations. For more information contact David Fisher, (301) 596-8899; e-mail:;

Disasters Study Day: A One-Day Seminar. Sponsors: The British Sociological Association (BSA) Disasters Study Group and Cranfield University's Disaster Management Network. Cranfield, United Kingdom: January 23, 2003. This seminar will bring practitioners, researchers, and students from a range of backgrounds together to share ideas and network, disseminate research and developments related to emergency planning and response, and highlight the work of the BSA disasters study group. For more information, contact Anne Eyre, Disasters Study Day, Trauma Training, P.O. Box 2590, Leamington Spa, Warks, CV31 1GQ England; tel: 01926-427939; e-mail:

Transportation Safety and Security Workshop. Sponsors: George Washington University (GWU) Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management and the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS). Washington, DC: January 28-29, 2003. The objective of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for an international exchange of topical concerns and issues regarding transportation safety and security. For additional information, including the agenda and registration specifics, please contact Greg Shaw, GWU, 1776 G Street Northwest, Washington DC, 20052; e-mail:; or Claire Rubin; e-mail:;

2003 Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) Annual Meeting. Nashville, Tennessee: March 25-26, 2003. The theme of this year's meeting is "communicating the earthquake risk: two decades of collaboration." Registration and meeting information will soon be available from Kerri Hall, CUSEC, 2630 East Holmes Road, Memphis, TN 38118; (800) 824-5817; e-mail:;

13th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Sponsor: World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Melbourne, Australia: May 6-10, 2003. This conference will address the theme "redefining the scope of disaster and emergency medicine." Breakout sessions include: global collaboration on research and education; standards for a variety of disaster-related disciplines; and global learning, sharing, and advancing. For more information, contact the Meeting Planners, 91-97 Islington Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia 3066; tel: 61 3 9417 0888;

Third Regional Course on Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction for Cities (EVRC-3). Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Dhaka, Bangladesh: June 9-18, 2003. Increasing population and urban development in areas susceptible to earthquakes has increased vulnerability. However, earthquakes do not necessarily present an uncontrollable and unpredictable hazard to life and property. Greater understanding of their causes and effects will reduce damage and loss of life. This course focuses on mitigation strategies to reduce earthquake vulnerability. For more information contact ADPC, Asian Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel: (66 2)524 5354; e-mail:;

World Congress on Risk 2003. Sponsor: Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). Brussels, Belgium: June 22-25, 2003. The theme of the first world congress on risk is "risk and governance." This reflects the world-wide trend toward making better use of risk-oriented concepts, tools, and processes in public decision making and risk analysis. Goals are to stimulate dialog on risk issues worldwide; share insight on methods and decision processes; demonstrate recent advancements in assessment, management, and communication; and build an international community of individuals working on these issues. More information and an on-line registration form are available by contacting SRA, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; e-mail:;

Catastrophic Risks and Insurability Conference. Sponsor: Aon Re Australia. Queensland, Australia: August 17-19, 2003. This conference will address the issues of the limits of risk insurability, including what should be insured, the extent to which community expectations contribute to the state of the risk industry, and current limits to risk modeling. Conference details will soon be available from Aon Re Austrailia, Level 29, Aon Tower, 201 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel: 61 (2) 9253 7000;

GDIN2003. Sponsor: Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN). Washington, DC: November 4-7, 2003. GDIN is an organization that is dedicated to improving the flow of information before and during natural disasters. Conference themes include: emergency telecommunications, disaster manager needs, the UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction, information management (including homeland security), urban search and rescue, and many more. Information about abstract submission (due by February 28, 2003), chairing session presentations, and more is available from GDIN, 26128 Talamore Drive, South Riding, VA 20152; (202) 647-5070; e-mail:;

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