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 381 January 9, 2003


January 9, 2003


  1. New Funding Opportunity for Hazards Research
  2. On-Line Hazards Organizational Survey
  3. Conference Scholarships Available!
  4. Call for Papers I
  5. Call for Papers II
  6. Sign Up for PERI Electronic News
  7. New Grant Program for Applied Disaster Risk Reduction
  8. Mapping A Flood Before It Happens
  9. Red is High; Blue is Low - Where Do You Live?
  10. On-line GIS Course
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  12. Some New Web Resources
  13. Conferences and Training

1) New Funding Opportunity for Hazards Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a new program solicitation inviting proposals to conduct research into critical infrastructure and related systems regarding disasters and other extreme events. The research focus may be on aspects of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery from hazards and disasters. All proposals must be multidisciplinary. This solicitation is unique for NSF, in part because it is co-sponsored by both the Civil and Mechanical Systems and Social and Economic Studies Divisions, rather than a single division.

Complete information about proposal submissions may be found at The deadline for submission is March 31, 2003.

2)On-Line Hazards Organizational Survey

The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder is working in cooperation with the Department of Sociology at Ankara University in Turkey to do a cross-cultural comparative study of hazards-related organizations. We are grounding this research in terms of ways that organizations may or may not have dealt with the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. This study is important for many reasons, including the fact that cross-cultural research such as this is rare. We hope that our survey questions, which should be answered from the viewpoint of your organization, will be applicable to the two cultures in which the research is being conducted.

We request that you take a few minutes to participate in our survey. Please go to to fill out the online questionnaire. Your answers will remain confidential. We recognize that some questions are personal in nature, but please be assured that your responses will be held strictly in confidence. Your responses will be seen only by the research investigators and will not be distributed to any unauthorized individual. You will not be identified individually or by organization in any reports relating to this research.

Thank you in advance for your participation,

Dennis S. Mileti
Director, Natural Hazards Center
University of Colorado

Aytul Kasapoglu Professor, Ankara University

3) Conference Scholarships Available!

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) and the Public Risk Mangement Association (PRIMA) are teaming up to provide scholarship funding for up to 60 people to attend the PRIMA Annual Conference in May 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada (see for full details).

The "Small Entity Scholarship" is aimed at providing staff and officials of smaller local governments, schools, and nonprofits with a valuable opportunity in risk management. Recipients receive a variety of benefits, including travel/accommodation funds and discounted registration.

The scholarship application deadline is February 22, 2003. Eligibility information and an application may be obtained from PERI, 11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 352-1846;

4) Call for Papers I

The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), a research and development organization dedicated to controlling the avalanche problem in the Indian Himalaya, announces the first call for papers for an international symposium on snow and avalanche in warm climactic zones. The symposium will be held on April 21-23, 2004, in Manali, India. The focus will be on the mechanical and physical behavior of snow found in warm conditions, since little research has been done on snowpacks at temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.

The symposium organizers propose publishing the proceedings in the Annals of Glaciology. For more information, contact S.S. Sharma, SASE, RDC, Him Parisar, Sector 37A Chandigarh UT 160036, India; tel: 0172 699804; fax: 0172 699802.

5) Call for Papers II

Paper submissions are invited for a conference that will compare texts about natural or human-made disasters with their socio-political impacts. "Texts" is loosely defined and may span myth and legend, historiographical writing, theoretical and philosophical treatises, plays, fiction, film, media coverage, and so forth. Finding words and images to describe and remember collective trauma is both a psychological necessity as well as a socio-cultural issue.

The conference, "Representing the Unimaginable: Narratives of Disaster," will be held at the University of Munster, Germany, on May 24-25, 2003. Abstract submission deadline is January 30, 2003. Send 250-word abstracts to Angela Stock, Englisches Seminar, Westfalische Willems-Universitat, Johannisstrasse 12-20, 48143, Munster, Germany; e-mail:

6) Sign Up for PERI Electronic News

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) will soon be sending out a regular electronic newsletter to keep interested folks current on new developments in risk management resources, products, and information available on PERI's web site.

Sign up by visiting and clicking on "receive news and updates via e-mail."

7) New Grant Program for Applied Disaster Risk Reduction

The ProVention Consortium, a global coalition of governments, international organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations aimed at reducing disaster impacts in developing countries, announces a grant program to support innovative disaster risk management projects and encourage competent professionals dedicated to reducing disaster risk.

Students and young professionals from developing countries are invited to propose creative projects and ideas, ranging from research projects and professional internships to professional development programs. Proposals should focus on the links between disasters, poverty, and the environment, and should fall into one of three general categories: hazard and risk identification, risk reduction, and risk sharing or transfer. Awards will be made to proposals with the greatest potential of making a significant contribution to the field.

Proposals must be received by February 28, 2003. Projects will be awarded a maximum grant of $5,000 and must be completed within six months of award under the guidance of the a faculty advisor or a mentor who is a disaster professional. Eligibility requirements and submission guidelines are available at

Proposals must be submitted to ProVention Consortium Disaster Risk Grants, c/o Disaster Management Facility, The World Bank, MSN F4K-490 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433; e-mail (preferred):

8) Mapping A Flood Before It Happens

Building on its long-standing partnerships with the Federal Emergency Management Agency's floodplain mapping expertise and the National Weather Service's flood-forecasting responsibilities, a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mapping method can produce flood-inundation maps as much as three to five days ahead of a storm, giving flood-response officials and others time to respond. The maps show computer-generated scenarios of flooded areas and flood depths for a specific storm. The USGS method combines high-accuracy elevation data, a new computer flow model, and a geographic information system, to produce maps in real-time that are then put on the Internet. For more information, contact Joseph L. Jones, USGS, (253) 428-3600 ext. 2648; e-mail:;

9) Red is High; Blue is Low - Where Do You Live?

There are more than 75 million Americans in 39 states who live in cities with moderate to high risk from earthquakes. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and partners have revised and updated the national seismic hazard maps that provide information essential to seismic design provisions of building codes in the United States. Engineers and planners now have updated information to ensure that buildings, bridges, highways, and utilities are built or rebuilt to meet modern seismic design provisions and are better able to withstand earthquakes. The updated, color-coded versions of the maps (red is high; blue is low) are available at In the coming weeks, other features on the website will also be updated to match the revised maps, including ground-shaking levels for 150,000 sites, the seismicity catalogs and fault parameters used to create updated maps, customizable hazard mapping, and the creation of earthquake scenarios for a given location.

10) On-line GIS Course

Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) is offering an on-line class in the spatial analysis of geohazards using ArcGIS as part of its virtual classroom. Geologic hazards loom all around us. As population growth forces more communities to expand into areas at risk from these ominous threats, concern increases about the danger that geohazards pose to people, property, and the environment. This course shows how GIS is the perfect tool for determining where geohazards are likely to occur and for assessing their potential impact on the human community. Participants work with ArcGIS software to analyze and map a variety of geohazards, including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, and floods. A better understanding of these events is the first step toward effective disaster planning.

Students should have a basic working knowledge of ArcGIS and general GIS concepts. Complete information may be found by clicking on "GIS Application Courses" at

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.]

Rapid Climate Research Assistantship

A 12-month full-time assistantship is available to work with rapid climate change research in the agricultural sector in Great Britain. The research will be comprised of two main components: synthesizing existing literature from management science, institutional economics, and disaster studies to develop a framework for identifying those forces shaping the capacity of organizations to respond to external pressures related to climate change; and participating in the field-testing of this framework among national, regional, and local stakeholders within the agriculture sector. The research assistant will facilitate workshop discussions and conduct semi-structured interviews.

Applications are due by February 28, 2003. Strong applicants will have a Ph.D. in a social science discipline. Interested candidates should send a resume to Mark Pelling, Geography Department, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7TX, UK; e-mail:

Bean Town Disaster Preparedness

The City of Boston is seeking experienced, highly motivated individuals to work on new disaster preparedness and terrorism prevention initiatives. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, along with the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Metropolitan Response System, and Boston Emergency Medical Services, are addressing city capacities for planning, assessment, education, and training. There are a variety of vacant positions, including: director of the regional emergency response training institute, hazardous materials instructors, database managers, medical volunteer coordinators, web-based learning systems administrators, and more. Visit for information, or send letters of interest and qualifications as soon as possible to: David R. Bibo, Boston Emergency Medical Services, 767 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118; e-mail (preferred):

Emergency Management Planner

The Police Department in the City of Hampton, Virginia, is looking to hire a planner to develop and implement city-wide emergency plans and disaster preparedness training activities. Requirements include a bachelors degree in public administration, government, business administration, criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field. A Masters degree is preferred, along with three years of experience in program or project analysis and evaluation or emergency management and disaster preparedness. To apply, submit a City of Hampton application and background packet to the Department of Human Resources, 22 Lincoln Street, 4th floor, City Hall, Hampton, VA 23669; e-mail; (757) 727-6345; The position is open until filled.

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]
The African Center for Disaster Studies (ACDS) at Potchefstroom Christian University in South Africa aims to bring together practitioners from different fields to discuss issues related to disaster risk and management and has created a discussion forum. Free registration is required.
The Non-Profit Risk Management Center (NRMC) recently expanded its risk evaluation systems for nonprofit organizations – the Nonprofit Computer Assisted Risk Evaluation System (Nonprofit CARES) – and has made the system available on-line. CARES is designed to help nonprofits develop risk management plans.
Copies of workshop sessions, presentations, and papers from the Public Risk Management Association 2002 Annual Conference are available on-line.
Copies of papers and presentations from the Public Entity Risk Institute's (PERI) recent community emergency services symposium are available free and on-line, under the "symposium papers" section on PERI's web-site. Paper topics span a variety of themes.
The province of British Columbia, Canada has produced an on-line dynamic hazard, risk, and vulnerability assessment tool that may be of interest to communities wishing to conduct a risk assessment.
By January 3, 2003, Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island had been erupting for 20 years. The eruption, which began in 1983 and shows no signs of slowing down, has covered 189 buildings and almost eight miles of highway and added 544 acres to the island's southern shore. Kilauea is Hawaii's youngest volcano and one of the most active. US Geological Survey scientists watch this incredibly active volcano 24 hours a day, and volcanic images and current information are available at this web site.

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:]

How to Evaluate Humanitarian Action: An InterWorks Course. Sponsors: Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), Johns Hopkins University, and the Cuny Center. Washington, D.C.: January 15-17, 2003. This course is designed specifically for those who undertake evaluations of humanitarian actions and will give participants an opportunity to examine the principles of good practice and reflect upon their own experiences. Complete information is available from Sheila Reed, InterWorks, 116 North Few Street, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 251-9440; e-mail:;

The Second Annual Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Building Safe, Healthy, and Livable Communities. Sponsors: Local Government Commission and Pennsylvania State University. New Orleans, Louisiana: January 30-February 1, 2003. The conference will focus on forming new networks and levels of understanding among multiple smart-growth interests, including demography, transportation, housing, and the recent and continued threats to our national security and the safety of our communities. For more information, contact the Conference and Institutes Registration Department, Pennsylvania State University, Box 108, State College, PA 16804-0108; (800) 778-8632;

2003 EQECAT, Inc. Catastrophe Management for the Americas Conference. Sponsor: ABS Consulting. Orlando, Florida: February 23-26, 2003. This conference will address solutions to the challenges faced by insurers, reinsurers, and other financial entities that manage extreme risks. Conference details can be obtained from Robert Healy, ABS Consulting, 16855 Northchase Drive, Houston, TX 77060; (510) 817-3101; e-mail:

Tenth International Conference of Fire Service Women. Sponsor: Women in the Fire Service, Inc. Denver, Colorado: April 23-27, 2003. The conference offers workshops on gender and diversity issues, fire service training, and leadership development. Conference registration information is available by calling (608) 233-4768; or at

Second UCLA Conference on Public Health and Disasters (CPHDR). Sponsor: Center for Public Health and Disasters. Torrance, California: May 18-21, 2003. The health consequences of natural disasters cut across many disciplines. This conference will bring together academicians, researchers, policy practitioners, and professionals to stimulate a dialog to improve the public health response to disasters. For complete information, contact Tamiza Z. Teja, CPHDR, 1145 Gayley Avenue, Suite 304, Los Angeles, CA 90024; (310) 794-0864; e-mail:;

The Second Mediterranean Emergency Medicine Congress. Sponsors: National Association of EMS Physicians, Foundation for Education and Research in Neurological Emergencies. Sitges/Barcelona, Spain: September 14-17, 2003. For more information, contact the Mediterranean Conference Secretariat, 611 East Wells Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202; (414) 276-7390; e-mail:;

Sixth European Sociological Conference: Disaster and Social Crisis Research Sessions. Sponsor: European Sociological Association. Murcia, Spain: September 23-26, 2003. Ten proposed sessions relating to the impacts of disasters and crises across a number of indicators are being planned for this conference. For information about these special sessions, e-mail N. Petropoulos: General conference information is available at Departamento de Congresos - Viajes CajaMurcia, Avenieda Gran Vía Escultor Salzillo, 5 - Entlo. Dcha., 30.004 Murcia, Spain; tel: 00 34 + 968 225 476;

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