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 390 June 13, 2003


June 13, 2003


  1. Earthquake Research Solicitation Pending
  2. Public Comment Results Posted
  3. New Electronic Journal
  4. Probabilistic Risk Analysis Course
  5. Call for Papers
  6. Disaster Recovery Planning: a Reader Request
  7. NSF Workshop
  8. Reader Request
  9. From A Reader
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  11. Some New Web Resources
  12. Conferences and Training

1) Earthquake Research Solicitation Pending

News from the 2003 Annual Meeting of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program includes the announcement that a funding request from the National Science Foundation for NEES research projects will soon be released. Please check the NEES consortium web site for more information. General information about the meeting, including proceedings and presentation materials, are posted on the web site as well (click on "highlights").

The NEES Consortium, Inc. is located at 1301 South 46th Street, Richmond, CA 94804; (510) 231-9557;

2) Public Comment Results Posted

The Sphere Project was begun in 1997 by a group of humanitarian non-governmental agencies, along with representatives from the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. A process of inter-agency collaboration resulted in a humanitarian charter and a set of agreed-upon minimum standards for disaster assistance in five sectors: water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food aid, shelter and site planning, and health services. The Handbook of the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards was first published in 2000.

Recently, the handbook was revised with the help of public comment, and the resulting draft changes in the content of the handbook, including a new section on food security, have been posted on the Sphere web site. The revisions are now being edited for inclusion in the revised edition of the handbook which will be available for purchase in the fall. For more information, contact the Sphere Project, P.O. Box 372, 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland; e-mail:;

3) New Electronic Journal

Contributions are being solicited for the inaugural edition of the peer-reviewed "Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management," a new Internet-based journal. The editors welcome submissions of original articles, news from the field, and suggestions about book reports.

For more information, including details about the editorial board, and the aim and scope of the journal, contact Claire B. Rubin, e-mail:;or visit

4) Probabilistic Risk Analysis Course

For the fourth year, a course on "Probabilistic Risk Analysis: Assessment, Management, and Communication," is being offered at the School of Public Health at Harvard University in Boston. The course will run from September 30-October 3, 2003. It is designed for professionals within academia, government, industry, consulting groups, trade associations, law firms, and other organizations who want to advance their knowledge of probabilistic risk analysis. Using a practical and integrated approach that combines lectures with case examples, the four-day program will teach the methods used to assess, manage, and communicate risks in a fully probabilistic framework.

Complete information, including registration requirements and a tentative schedule, is available from Kimberly Thompson, Department of Health Policy and Management, Kresge, 3rd Floor, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, (617) 432-4285; e-mail:;

5) Call for Papers

Papers and posters are being solicited on all topics of wildland fire ecology and fire management for the Fire Congress and Symposium to be held November 16-20, 2003, in Orlando, Florida (see for complete details). Special attention will be given to the following topics: smoke management and modeling, air quality regulations, fire education, ecosystem restoration, managing fire in the urban interface, wildland fire use, fire history, social and economic consequences, wildlife-fire interactions, and more.

Abstracts are due July 1, 2003. A complete list of topics, along with information about how to electronically submit your paper or abstract, is available at

6) Disaster Recovery Planning: a Reader Request

A small research team investigating preparedness for unplanned interruptions to information technology systems at small to medium sized utilities (5,000-40,000 users) seeks plans, procedures, templates, and related information in the public domain that addressees this need in utilities or similar institutional bodies. We would also value any experiences in applying IT disaster recovery plans in a small utilities environment such as things that worked well, things that didn't, and changes made to plans and procedures based on practical experience.

Thank you in advance for any guidance or contributions to this research project.

John Newton
John Newton Associates
262 Robert Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 2K8
(416) 929-3621

7) NSF Workshop

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is sponsoring a "Workshop for the Advancement and Retention of Underrepresented and Minority Engineering Educators" aimed at increasing the presence of minorities, women, and persons with disabilities who work in civil and mechanical systems (CMS) areas. A definition of NSF areas of research within CMS can be found at The workshop will be held in Arlington from September 21-24, 2003.

The goal of the workshop is to foster the technical and intellectual exchange among underrepresented and minority engineers who work in CMS-related areas; to instill in participants a sense of a technical community in which they can thrive and to which they can contribute; and to increase participant awareness of educational, research, and funding opportunities.

Although the primary pool for participants is underrepresented and minority faculty already employed in tenure track positions, outstanding candidates in the final year of a Ph.D. or post-doctoral program who plan to pursue tenure-track faculty positions will also be considered.

Complete application information is available from Norma Jean Mattei, University of New Orleans, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Building Room 830, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148; (504) 280-5414; e-mail:

8) Reader Request

I and my co-researchers Graham Marsh and Syd Smale are preparing a handbook for Emergency Management Australia to set out procedures and methods for assessing vulnerability, resilience, and capacity in the context of risk and disaster management.

This applies particularly, though not exclusively, to impacts on social processes and institutions and at local and community levels.

If anyone is aware of relevant research or existing material, I would be grateful if you could contact me or send me the details.

Philip Buckle
Cranfield Disaster Management Centre
1 Highworth Road
tel. + 44 1793 785513

9) From A Reader


I am looking for computer models that have been developed to assist with investment decisions for disaster mitigation. Ideally, I'd like to find models that provide cost-benefit comparisons of multiple mitigation strategies on a regional level for several different disaster types (e.g., earthquake, hurricane, large chemical release, etc.).

Thanks for any leads you can provide.

Delma Bratvold

10) 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 Specialist

The Saint Barnabas Health Care System in New Jersey, has an immediate opening in its Office of Disaster Preparedness. The incumbent will be responsible for developing and coordinating system-wide educational and training programs related to hospital preparedness, participating in the development of an emergency preparedness/disaster program, staffing the emergency operations center as necessary, and participating in the special operations team. Bachelors Degree preferred or 3 years experience in emergency management and disaster preparedness. The position requires knowledge of state and federal laws regarding emergency preparedness, and the ability to communicate effectively.

The position is open until filled. To apply, or for more information, contact Ted Rawley, Saint Barnabas Health Care System, Office of Disaster Preparedness, 95 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange, NJ 07052; e-mail:;

Executive Director/NVOAD

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD)is searching for an executive director. This is a newly created contractual position that initially will be implemented part-time, but will move to full-time as resources increase. NVOAD is looking for an individual to develop, coordinate, and evaluate strategies that foster cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration among member agencies, faith-based organizations, the emergency management community, and communities affected by disasters. The executive director will communicate the organization's mission and goals, oversee the development and dissemination of a newsletter and web site, monitor trends in the disaster community, recruit members, and build strong working relationships in the disaster community.

Applications must be received by July 30, 2003. To apply, or to obtain complete vacancy details, contact Michael C. Caison, NVOAD,4200 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022; e-mail:

Remote Sensing Mission Support Specialist

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is looking to hire a mission support specialist to provide research support to the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Remote Sensing Division Staff Cartographer and to the Chief of NGS' Remote Sensing Division (RSD). The mission support specialist will play a vital role in the evaluation of new technologies and will assist in integrating these technologies into an operational mode.

Requirements include at least 1 year of experience in the analysis of advanced remote sensing technologies. This experience may be in any one of the following areas: LIDAR; Hyperspectral scanners; Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR); or digital photogrammetry. The person must have a working knowledge of the ERDAS Imagine and ENVI image processing environments, and must be proficient with the IDL programming language in both the PC and UNIX workstation environments. The person must also demonstrate knowledge of basic surveying and mapping skills such as coordinate conversions between various datums; and the computation of map projection coordinates from geographic coordinates. The mission support specialist must also be familiar with the HTML programming language and have demonstrated a basic capacity for designing and implementing web pages.

Complete information is available at (search NOAA internships). Closing date is July 15, 2003. Contact Kerry Jones, EcoJobs, 179 South Street, Boston, MA 02111; (617)426-4783 x155; e-mail:

11) 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 provides coastal managers with information on grant opportunities offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center and other relevant organizations. The site also provides links to grant-writing resources, including articles, tutorials, and tips to help navigate through the grant-writing process.
The purpose of this website is to inform citizens, government agencies, and any interested people about current efforts to prevent unwanted damage from wildfire on private and public lands.
The web site of the Rocky Mountain Region Interagency Wildland Fire Communications Group provides wildfire prevention and mitigation information for homeowners, wildland fire professionals, the media, and educators.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has added two consensus documents to its growing list of codes, standards and reference materials posted as a public service.

12) 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:]

Conference on Flood Warning Systems, Technologies, and Preparedness. Sponsor: Southwest Association of ALERT Systems. Dallas, Texas: October 21-24, 2003. This conference is devoted to the issue of flood warning systems and focuses on helping to prepare communities for flood events. Topics include systems operations and maintenance, storm forecasting tools, flood warning system design, maintaining preparedness, research and development, and more. Details are available from the National Hydrological Warning Council, c/o Dan Miller, City of Overland Park, 8500 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66213, (913) 895-6032; e-mail:

Emergency Preparedness: Improving the Odds. Sponsor: Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society. Vancouver, British Columbia: October 27-29, 2003. Conference goals are to raise the global level of emergency preparedness through promoting awareness, providing information and solutions to problems, sharing experiences, showcasing technologies, and creating networking opportunities. For more information contact the Center for Policy Research on Science and Technology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6; 604-665-6097; e-mail:;

Building Alliances Through Resonant Leadership. Sponsor: Women Chief Fire Officers Association. Sunrise, Florida: November 6-9, 2003. This conference will focus on leadership skills and other issues with the goal of providing a proactive network that supports, mentors, and educates current and future women chief officers. For more information, contact Terri Wallace; e-mail:

HazMat Explo 7. Sponsor: Clark County, Nevada. Las Vegas, Nevada: November 17-21, 2003. This conference approaches Hazardous Materials from a variety of perspectives, such as first responders, emergency and industrial planners, medical practitioners and many others. Explo focuses on networking, education, and sharing state-of-the-art hazardous materials equipment. Details are available from Brent R. DeCracker, Destination Media and Marketing, 10056 Gold Thorn Street, Las Vegas, NV 89123; (702) 768-0887; e-mail:;

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