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 380 December 20, 2002


December 20, 2002


  1. Issues in Risk Science
  2. Climate Change Partnership Visits to Maryland
  3. Graduate Student Fellowships in Austria
  4. Call for Articles for the IAEM Bulletin
  5. Reinsurance Association of America and University of Colorado Joint Internship Program
  6. Open GIS Consortium, Inc.
  7. USGS Coastal Hazards Post-doctoral Opportunity
  8. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training

1) Issues in Risk Science

The Benfield Grieg Hazard Research Centre (BGHRC) announces the inaugural issue of an on-line newsletter report that addresses contemporary themes in hazard and risk sciences. It is published four times a year. The goal of the publication is to make advances in risk and hazard sciences more easily available to insurance and re-insurance professionals who have an interest in natural catastrophic exposure and loss.

The first edition of Issues in Risk Science focuses on a re-assessment of seismic risk in northwestern Europe. The report is available at

2) Climate Change Partnership Visits to Maryland

The National Weather Service's Climate Services Division (CSD) Partnership Program, begun in 2001, will continue through 2003. The goal of this program is to bring local people who create and are active in climate change partnerships together with CSD staff who are involved with climate prediction and products at the national level. Participants spend two weeks in the Washington, D.C., area meeting with CSD personnel and learning about national programs and activities. CSD hopes that this interaction will establish or strengthen climate-related partnerships.

CSD covers travel costs and provides a per diem for all participants. For more information about this program, contact Judy Koepsell, CSD, (301) 713-1970 x187; e-mail:;

3) Graduate Student Fellowships in Austria

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an organization supported by the U.S. and fifteen other governments that engages in scientific research aimed at providing policy insight on issues related to global change. The Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) brings together about 50 students from around the world to work on policy research related to their graduate studies. Students work with IIASA senior scientists on interdisciplinary, global change-related projects that fall within the Institute's three theme areas: natural resources and environment, energy and technology, and population and society (which is of special interest to DR readers because it includes risk, modeling, and society).

For application forms, instructions, and detailed information about IIASA, visit Airfare and a modest stipend are provided to participants. The program will be held from June 2-August 29, 2003. The application deadline is January 10, 2003. For more information, contact Margaret Goud Collins, U.S. Committee for IIASA, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 136 Irving Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; (617) 576-5019; e-mail:

4) Call for Articles for the IAEM Bulletin

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) is looking for feature articles (no more than 750 words) for an upcoming IAEM Bulletin Special Focus Issue on the topic of "All-Hazard Warnings." Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: public partnership warnings, homeland security advisory system, amber alert, the emergency alert system, emergency dial-up warning system, or other topics related to emergency management.

If you wish your article to be considered for this special focus issue e-mail it by January 10, 2003, to Karen Thompson at

5) Reinsurance Association of America and University of Colorado Joint Internship Program

The Reinsurance Association of America and the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado announce a summer internship program for graduate students in science, engineering, or policy. The program is designed to place emerging professionals in policy or scientific graduate programs with reinsurance companies for approximately three summer months.

Reinsurers cover insurance companies for catastrophe losses and therefore provide the largest share of the financing for recovery from major natural disasters. Much of their financial analysis is based on current scientific understanding about catastrophe risk.

Applicants must have completed at least one year of graduate school in a scientific or policy field of study. Interested candidates must submit college transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a 500-word statement describing their interest in this program. The application deadline is March 15, 2003. For further information, contact the Joint Internship Program, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado/CIRES, 1333 Grandview Ave, 488 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0488; e-mail:;

6) Open GIS Consortium, Inc.

The Open Geographic Information System Consortium (OGC), an international industry consortium of more than 230 companies, government agencies, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications, announced that it is offering new classifications of associate membership for local, state, and provincial governments. For the past eight years, OGC has been working with federal, national, provincial, state, and local agencies to specify interfaces and protocols that enable interoperability among geoprocessing systems. Benefits of this new membership class include participation in OGC working groups and subcommittees as well as in OGC interoperability initiatives.

Developing common technology specifications and focusing on interoperability issues is important to natural hazards managers and others who use GIS technology. Complete information may be found at

7) USGS Coastal Hazards Post-doctoral Opportunity

The U.S. Geological Survey has established a website that describes the Mendenhall Post-doctoral program and lists the current opportunities: One of the approved areas of research involves exploring new ways of analyzing and expressing vulnerability to coastal hazards. This research will be conducted in St. Petersburg, Florida. If you are interested, contact Bob Morton, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Wetland Studies, 600 Fourth Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846; (727) 803-8747; e-mail:

8) 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.]

Hazards Geographer Wanted

The Department of Geography at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, is seeking a tenure-track assistant or associate professor in hazards geography. The candidate should bring a demonstrated commitment to teaching and research, along with experience in the management and mitigation of hazards that confront the natural or built environment, particularly in the area of planning and policy development. The appointment will be effective July 1, 2003. Further information about the department may be found at

Applications are due by January 31, 2003. Send cover letter, statement of research and teaching interests, current resume, and contact information for three references to Roger H. King, Chair, Appointments Committee, Department of Geography, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, NCA 5C2 Canada; (519) 661-3653; e-mail:

9) 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]
Health and Human Services (HHS) has unveiled a web site to provide timely information and answer common questions about the president's smallpox vaccination plan. The site provides a wide variety of information, ranging from basic vaccination questions to more technical public health and responder information.
The S.S. Huebner Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the Geneva Association (Geneva, Switzerland), have collaborated on a new web site to provide an international resource and clearinghouse for educators and researchers in the fields of insurance economics and risk management. Course syllabi, lectures, and working papers will be posted on the site.
This government web site is a gateway to science information that is provided by U.S. agencies, including research and development results. Topic headings range from agriculture and food, to natural resources, ocean sciences, and physics.
The Wildfire Lessons Learned Center recently launched a web site that focuses on ways to improve safe work performance and organizational learning in interagency wildland fire situations. It includes a quarterly newsletter titled "Scratchlines" and a virtual library.
The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is the federal government's central source for the sale of scientific, technical, engineering, and related business information produced by or for the U.S. government. Their new Homeland Security Information Center web site brings together a spectrum of homeland security related documents and information, all available for purchase.

10) 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:]

Traditional Responders: Non-Traditional Roles. Sponsors: Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response, United States Agency for International Development, and InterAction. Honolulu, Hawaii: February 3-5, 2003. The seminar is directed at senior level disaster response personnel to provide an overview of chemical, biological, radiological, and high yield explosives (CBRNE) contaminants; open a dialog on how nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can respond to disasters in this type of environment; and explore the issues that NGOs may need to consider when planning operations in high-risk areas. For more information or to fill out an application visit (click on "peace operations") or contact Joe Uson; (808) 433-7444; e-mail:

Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs): Developing and Maintaining Command Structures that Save Lives, Mitigate Damage to Infrastructures, and Ensure Continuity of Operations. Sponsor: National Institute for Government Innovation (NIGI). Four separate conference dates and locations: Seattle, Washington: February 24-25, 2003; Washington, DC: February 27-28, 2003; Los Angeles, California: March 10-11, 2003; New York, New York: March 17-18, 2003. The seminar will use case studies, group exercises, and tabletop projects to help give local jurisdictions and organizations the skills to effectively set up and administer EOCs. For complete information, contact Mark Weitzman, e-mail:;

Conflict Analysis for Prevention and Peacebuilding Workshop: Exploring the Roles of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). Sponsor: University of Wisconsin, Disaster Management Center (UW-DMC). Washington, DC: March 11-14, 2003. Participants will learn and apply an analytical framework for defining NGO programming priorities for conflict prevention, transition, or peacebuilding based on an examination of the causes and dynamics of conflict in specific country contexts. For a brochure and registration details please go to, or contact Charles Dufrese; (608) 262-1299; e-mail:

2003 Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference. Sponsor: Washington State University. Bellevue, Washington: April 22-23, 2003. This conference is designed for emergency management and continuity professionals from business and industry, government, schools, nonprofit, and volunteer organizations. Sessions include continuity planning, critical infrastructure protection, public health preparedness, bioterrorism, urban wildland response, and effective information flow within an emergency operations center. This conference also offers a series of sessions related to schools and non-profit organizations such as volunteer coordination and training, epidemics, and grant writing. For more information, contact Washington State University, Conferences and Professional Programs, P.O. Box 645222, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 99164-5222; 509-335-3530; e-mail:;

Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) 2003 Northeast Region Biennial Conference. Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania: June 4-6, 2003. This conference is geared toward dam safety engineers and owner/operators from throughout the northeastern U.S. Technical sesssions include: hydrology and hydraulics, geotechnical issues, dam rehabilitation, and instrumentation. Non technical sessions include emergency action planning, insurance, and financing. Abstract submissions are due February 12, 2003. For complete guidelines and conference information, contact John Ritchey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Dam Safety Division, P.O. Box 419, Trenton, NJ 08625; (609) 984-0859; e-mail:

Safety of the Mega-City: Problems, Solutions, International Experience. Sponsors: Russian Federation Ministry for Emergency Situations in support of Moscow City Government and International Science and Technology Center (ISTC). Moscow, Russia: June 17-19, 2003. ISTC promotes the nonproliferation of weapons technology of mass destruction and coordinates the efforts of governments, organizations, and private sector industries to provide opportunities to redirect efforts to peaceful science. More information is available from Ekaterina Pankratova; ISTC, Moscow; tel: 7 (095) 797 47 59; e-mail:;

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