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 392 July 25, 2003


July 25, 2003


  1. Issues and Ideas Papers Sought
  2. THORPEX Funding Announcement
  3. Panel Volunteers Wanted!
  4. Provention Consortium Grant Awards
  5. Recently Awarded Grants
  6. Call for Submissions: 5th Cycle Dubai International Award
  7. Predisaster Mitigation Grant Proposals
  8. Shah Family Innovation Prize
  9. Tennessee Considers Building Code Upgrade
  10. Alfred E. Alquist Award
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  12. Some New Web Resources
  13. Conferences and Training

1) Issues and Ideas Papers Sought

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) announces a call for papers for presentation during an upcoming virtual symposium titled, "Toward an International System Model in Emergency Management." The Symposium is intended to draw attention to the international dimension of emergency management, particularly the problems and opportunities for information sharing, integration, and interoperability among communities, jurisdictions, and nations. The program will be presented September 22-26, 2003.

Prospective papers should discuss the barriers and opportunities for developing a common framework or system model in emergency management, and the recommended qualitative and quantitative parameters for improved connectivity and information sharing. The suggested themes of papers are described in a concept paper at

Papers are being accepted now through August 31, 2003. Anyone wishing to submit a program paper should contact Dennis Kouba at PERI, 11350 Random Hills Road, #210, Fairfax, VA 22030;(703) 352-1846; e-mail: To sign up to participate in the symposium, visit:

2) THORPEX Funding Announcement

The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is soliciting preapplications and full proposals under the U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) for "THORPEX: A Global Atmospheric Research Program." THORPEX is a major long-term international program aimed at improving the accuracy and utility of operational global numerical weather predictions (NWP) on time scales out to two weeks through international collaboration between the operational and research communities. Applicants are encouraged to submit preapplications describing proposed work and its relevance to targeted priority project areas. The purpose of the preapplication process is to provide information to potential applicants on the relevance of their proposed project to THORPEX and the likelihood of it being funded in advance of preparing a full proposal.

Complete information on eligibility and priority project areas is available at (Summary 18).

Preapplications must be received no later than 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on July 30, 2003. Response letters will be sent from NOAA no later than August 15, 2003. Preapplications, or questions about this funding, may be sent to John Gaynor, Interagency Program Office of the U.S. Weather Research, Room 11116, SSMC 3, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; e-mail:

3) Panel Volunteers Wanted!

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) are seeking interested volunteers from the research community to serve on project panels charged with overseeing new projects involved with transportation and security research dealing with vulnerability. The budgeted amounts and project funding priorities are found at (TCRP), and (NCHRP).

Nominations for volunteers are due as soon as possible, but no later than August 15, 2003. Panels will have approximately 8 members and are scheduled to meet from late September 2003 through January 2004. Panel members are prohibited from submitting or participating in preparation of proposals on projects under their jurisdiction. There is no compensation, but volunteers will be reimbursed for travel and subsistence expenses.

For more information, or to nominate a panel participant, contact Brenda Douple, Cooperative Research Programs, Transportation Research Board, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; e-mail:

4) Provention Consortium Grant Awards

Sixty-five young professionals from 27 countries were recently selected as grantees by the Provention Consortium, based on their potential for making a significant contribution to the field of disaster management. The proposals cover a number of unique topics, including the spread of forest fires due to honey-hunters in South Africa, coastal erosion vulnerability mapping in the Philippines, training youths in emergency preparedness and first aid techniques in Bulgaria, and a study of the awareness of earthquake risk among the population of Mendoza, Argentina. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2003 and their collective results will be disseminated in 2004. The applications were screened by an independent panel of disaster management specialists, who selected those proposals that best fulfilled the grant criteria in three categories: hazard and risk identification; risk reduction; and risk sharing/transfer.

The Disaster Management Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with the World Bank, is administering the program and hosting a virtual space where the researchers can network and learn from one another. Other partners include the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Thailand and the Cranfield Disaster Management Center in the United Kingdom. Complete profiles of the grantees and the project is available at:

5) Recently Awarded Grants

Action Plan to Help Vulnerable Groups in the Caribbean Prepare For and Respond to Natural Disasters. Funding: European Commission Humanitarian Office, €2.5 million. For information, contact the National Emergency Management Office, P.O. Box 1517, Castries, Saint Lucia; (758) 452-3802; fax: (758) 453-2152; e-mail: or;

Organizational Knowledge Creation for Watershed Management. Funding: Social Science Humanities Council, $114,840, 35 months. Principal Investigator: Sarah Michaels, School of Planning, Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1; (510) 888-4567, ext. 6863; e-mail:

Agent-Based Approach to Smart Sensing for Health Monitoring in Civil Infrastructure. Funding: National Science Foundation, $350,000, 36 months. Principal Investigator: B.F. Spencer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2213 Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, 205 North Matthews Avenue, University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61801; (217) 333-8630; e-mail:

Development and Implementation of Monitoring and Damage Detection Methods for Large Civil Structures. Funding: National Science Foundation, $215,299, 36 months. Principal Investigator: Shirley J. Dyke, Department of Civil Engineering, Campus Box 1130, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130; (314) 935-6350; fax: (314) 719-4753; e-mail:

6) Call for Submissions: 5th Cycle Dubai International Award

The Dubai International Award for Best Practices aims to recognize and enhance awareness of outstanding and sustainable achievements in improving the living environment as per the basic criteria established by the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the Dubai Declaration. This includes improved disaster preparedness, mitigation, and reconstruction. The complete English guide to project criteria and submission is found at, and an overview of the entire award process (along with general information) is available from the Dubai Municipality, P.O. Box 67, Dubai, U.A.E; tel:(971 4) 2215555; e-mail:; The deadline for submission of potential best practices is March 31, 2004, and the award will be showcased in Dubai on World Habitat Day in October 2004.

7) Predisaster Mitigation Grant Proposals

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announces the availability of funding to states and communities to implement sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation programs to reduce overall risk to populations and structures, while also reducing reliance on funding from actual disaster declarations. For FY 2003, these funds will be awarded on a competitive basis with a national priority on funding mitigation projects that address National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) repetitive flood loss properties. A program overview may be found at; complete details from the July 7, 2003, Federal Register are available at (scroll down to FEMA).

8) Shah Family Innovation Prize

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is accepting nominations for recipients of the Shah Family Innovation Prize. The intent of the prize is to stimulate further creativity and leadership in the earthquake risk mitigation community and EERI. Individuals in government, the private sector, academia, and the international community are encouraged to nominate eligible individuals.

The prize rewards younger professionals and academics for creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit in the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management. A $10,000 award will recognize and honor one or more individuals who have been involved in the development of cutting-edge, innovative solutions to problems in earthquake engineering and related disciplines. Nominees should be in the developing or expanding stage of their careers, and demonstrate the promise of important future contributions.

To be considered, nominations must be received by EERI by October 15, 2003. The selection committee will review all nominations. Complete information, including selection criteria, nomination package requirements, and selection committee details, is available from Marjorie Greene, EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612; (510) 451-0905; e-mail:; (click on "Shah Family Innovation Prize").

9) Tennessee Considers Building Code Upgrade

The state of Tennessee is currently moving through the process of updating its building codes, but questions regarding the hazard level for seismic activity in the state may lead to an updated code that inadequately protects building occupants.

Studies have shown that substantial historical seismic activity has occurred in locations affecting Memphis, Tennessee, and surrounding areas. Evidence of seismic activity in this region has been well documented in studies that concluded that earthquakes have occurred within the New Madrid seismic zone about once every 500 years over the past 1,100 years and will continue with similar strength events in the future.

The Tennessee Fire Marshal's Associate Director, Al Hancock, is accepting input from all interested parties regarding this issue through August 15, 2003, to supplement testimony presented in July 2003. If you would like to submit comments, or are interested in learning more about the situation, contact him at the Tennessee State Fire Marshals Office, 3rd floor, Davy Crockett Tower, Nashville, TN 37243-1162; (615)741-7163; e-mail:

10) Alfred E. Alquist Award

The California Earthquake Safety Foundation is soliciting nominations for the Alfred E. Alquist Award for Achievement in Earthquake Safety. The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to seismic safety in the state of California. One to three awards are given each year in areas that include basic or applied research, education, volunteerism, or program implementation.

The deadline for submitting nominations is September 30, 2003. A letter describing the nominee's accomplishments and background must be sent to the California Earthquake Safety Foundation, c/o Christopher Rojahn, Applied Technology Council, 201 Redwood Shores Parkway, Suite 240, Redwood City, CA 94065

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.]

Assistant Professor

The Department of Geography at the University of Utah invites applications for two tenure-track positions at the assistant professor level starting July 2004. They are seeking candidates in the following areas: a remote sensing specialist with research interests in the application of remote sensing to Earth system science; and a human geographer with research interests in health hazards, including spatial epidemiology, bioterrorism and/or spatial risk analysis. The department will also consider candidates with interests in other types of natural and technological hazards.

Applications are due by September 26, 2003. A complete job description is available at For more information contact Tomas Kontuly, University of Utah, Department of Geography, 260 South Central Campus Drive, Room 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9155.

Post-Doc in Interdisciplinary Post-Graduate Program in Natural Disasters

The University of Karlsruhe, Germany, is looking for a one- or two-year candidate for post-doctoral work in natural disasters beginning in September 2003. German language ability is required. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in a disaster-related field and the motivation to work in an interdisciplinary community in one or more of the following disciplines: engineering, geosciences, meteorology, hydrology, computer sciences, economics, or social sciences. The candidate will be required to work extensively with the post-graduate program, give lectures, and conduct research.

More information (in German) is available at (click on "jobs"). You may also contact Tina Plapp, University of Karlsruhe, Institute for Technology and Management in Construction, Am Fasanengarten, D - 76128 Karlsruhe; tel.: +49-721-6088079; e-mail:

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]
"Crisis Manager," a free, printed newsletter announces a complementary web site and listserv on the topic of crisis management. Click on "register" on the upper right corner.
This web site is maintained by the Society for Environmental and Sustainable Development in New Delhi, and is updated daily. It unites hundreds of organizations throughout India and provides extensive environmental information and news. They are currently seeking to update their information and improve their user-friendliness and all comments and suggestions are welcome.
The SAFETYvictoria web site is an information portal in Australia that draws together information from a wide range of government departments and other organizations to provide quick access to safety and emergency information. The site has been designed to provide information for individuals and families, and is organized around topics and life events.
This web site, created by a student at India's National Institute of Hydrology, contains a comprehensive list of hydrology-related web resources.
Established in January 2003, the First Responder Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide assistance to emergency personnel to help them make their communities safer. They are currently accepting grant applications from fire departments for the purchase of life-saving equipment.

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:]

Response of Structures to Extreme Loading. Sponsors: McMaster University, Washington University in St. Louis. Toronto, Canada: August 3-6, 2003. This is a new conference for researchers and practicing professionals from the international civil engineering community to present, discuss, and exchange ideas on the analysis and design of structures for extreme loading conditions. Extreme loads that will be considered include severe earthquakes, high winds (tornadoes and hurricanes), blast and shock, fire, and multihazards. Complete information is available from the conference secretariat: Nina Woods, Elsevier Science, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, UK; tel: +44 (0) 1865 843297; e-mail:;

Louisville Metro Community Based Emergency Response Program. Sponsors: Louisville Metro Health Department, Louisville Metro Crisis Group, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Louisville, Kentucky: August 12-15; September 16-19; October 14-17, 2003. This program, offered monthly, provides an opportunity for participants to gain insight into how community emergency responders and personnel coordinate, interact, and work with public health professionals to plan, prepare for, and respond to emergencies and disasters within their community and state. Participants learn the roles, responsibilities, and missions of public health departments in all-hazards emergency preparedness and response. For more information, contact Linda Hawkins, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Branch, 4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop F-38, Atlanta, GA 30341; (502) 574-3646;

Dam Removal 2003: Lessons Learned. Sponsor: Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Baltimore, Maryland: August 18-19, 2003. The workshop will focus on what has been learned from actual dam removals and will not debate the pros and cons of the issue. It will encourage audience participation through speakers presenting their experience on key issues to foster roundtable discussions among the attendees. Workshop details are available from Don Phelps, ASCE, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191; 800-548-2723; e-mail:;

International Seminar/Workshop on Tsunami. Sponsor: National Seismological Center, Marine and Fisheries Research Agency (BRKP). Jakarta and Anyer, Indonesia: August 26-29, 2003. This workshop will discuss the potential of tsunami hazard in tsunami- and earthquake- prone areas. For more information, contact Fauzi, National Seismological Center, Meteorological and Geophysical Agency, Jl. Angkasa I No. 2, Kemayoran, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia; tel: 62-21-4209103; e-mail:;

Fourth Floodplain Management in Ohio Conference. Sponsor: Ohio Floodplain Management Association. Columbus, Ohio: August 27-28, 2003. Concurrent sessions will address a wide variety of topics concerning floodplain management fundamentals, engineering issues, and certification opportunities. Complete information is available from Christopher Thomas, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Fountain Square, Columbus, OH 43224; (614) 265-6750; e-mail:;

Role and Responsibility of the Land Grant System in Building Community Strengths to Address Biohazards. Sponsors: Cornell University and Cooperative Extension. Ithaca, New York: September 8-9, 2003. This symposium will address natural and human-made threats to public health and the environment and will have cross-disciplinary relevance and appeal. The symposium will explore how communities pull together in a crisis. Complete information is available from Lois Levitan, Environmental Risk Analysis Program, Department of Communication and Center for the Environment, 213 Rice Hall, Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-5601; (607) 255-4765; e-mail:;

Tsunamis in the South Pacific: Research Toward Preparedness and Mitigation. Sponsor: Natural Hazards Centre, International Tsunami Commission, the International Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific. Wellington, New Zealand: September 25-27, 2003. The workshop will discuss a wide spectrum of tsunami research related to understanding tsunami hazards, and developing tsunami warning and mitigation measures. It is aimed at a wide community of researchers, emergency managers, decision makers, and other practitioners dealing with assessment and mitigation of tsunami hazard. Complete information may be obtained from "Tsunamis in the South Pacific," C/-Absolutely Organised, P.O. Box 41-016, Eastbourne, Wellington, New Zealand; e-mail:;

Critical Incident Stress Management. Sponsor: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Various locations and sessions: Cedar Rapids, Iowa: September 18-21, 2003; Anaheim, California: September 25-28, 2003; Overland Park, Kansas: October 23-26, 2003. At all locations, sessions will cover linking emergency management with stress management, basic crisis intervention, responding to school crises, pastoral crisis intervention, domestic terrorism, and weapons of mass destruction. Information is available from ICISF, 3290 Pine Orchard Lane, Suite 106, Ellicott City, MD 21042; (410) 750-9600;

Sand Key EMS Summit 2003. Sponsors: Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation, Sunstar Emergency Medical Services. Clearwater Beach, Florida: October 2-4, 2003. General sessions include prehospital care, public safety network linking, lessons learned from program successes, professionalization of emergency medical services, data management, and more. Summit details may be found by contacting the Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation, 3717 South Conway Road, Orlando, FL 32812; (407) 281-7396;

Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC-II). Sponsors: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), German Federal Foreign Office. Bonn, Germany: October 16-18, 2003. The World Summit on Sustainable Development held in 2002 called for a greater commitment to include disaster and risk reduction, along with strengthening early warning systems and networks, within the framework of sustainable development policies and action plans. This conference will address these issues through an interdisciplinary discussion that focuses on the following three themes: emerging issues, early warning and sustainable development, and sustaining the early warning dialog. Conference details are available from the United Nations Inter-Agency Secretariat of ISDR, Palais de Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; tel: 41 22 917 27 62; e-mail:;

ATC-29-2 Seminar on Seismic Design, Performance, and Retrofit. Sponsors: Applied Technology Council (ATC), Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). Los Angeles, California: October 23-24, 2003. This seminar will present current research, practice, and informed thinking pertinent to seismic design, retrofit, and performance of nonstructural components in buildings. Complete information is available from ATC, 201 Redwood Shores Parkway, Suite 240, Redwood City, CA 94065;(703) 351-5052;

Critical Infrastructure and Continuity of Services in an Increasingly Interdependent World. Sponsor: Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). Geneva, Switzerland: October 28-29, 2003. Concerned about threats to essential services, governments and multilateral organizations are proposing new standards, laws, and regulations intended to improve infrastructure survivability. The protection of critical services should be coordinated across national boundaries, and should take into consideration the potential impacts on private industry and the competitive economy. This forum will focus on the coordination of planning and security measures between or among governments, and between governments and private businesses. Registration information and forum details are available from Nelson Matute, GCSP, 7bis, avenue de la Paix, CH-1211 Genève 1, tel: +41 22 906 16 40; e-mail:;

2003 Advanced Technical Seminar II: Seepage for Earth Dams. Sponsor: Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ADSO). Boulder, Colorado: October 28-30, 2003. This seminar will focus on the principles and practice of seepage for earth dams. The following topics will be covered: permeability, seepage analysis using flow nets and computer-based numerical modeling, filter design, and instrumentation system design. Several case histories will be used throughout the seminar to illustrate seepage failures and to help clarify topics discussed, and workshops will be included. Effort will be made to give the participants hands-on training with the use of computers for analyzing seepage for earth dams. Complete information is available from Susan Sorrell, ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, Floor 2, Lexington, KY 40507-1544; (859) 257-5146; e-mail:;

World Conference on Disaster Management, Infrastructure, and Control Systems (DMIC). Sponsor: Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Society for Communal Harmony, National Integration, and Social Justice. Hyderabad, India: October 29-31, 2003. This conference will focus on the mitigation of disasters through control systems and infrastructure development. It is aimed at a wide, interdisciplinary audience with the goal of providing a common platform to discuss and plan disaster preventive measures, and broadly disseminate information. Conference themes include disasters that are geologic, medical, terroristic, water and climate related. Information may be obtained from Professor Anjaneyulu, DMIC 2003, Center for Environment Institute of Post Graduate Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Mahaveer Marg, Hyderabad 500 028, Andhra Pradesh India tel: +91-040-55589706; e-mail: or;

Campus Fire Forum 5. Sponsors: Campus Firewatch, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder Fire-Rescue. Boulder, Colorado: November 3-6, 2003. This fire safety forum will focus on developing effective university-municipality working relationships, working with the media, anticipating riots, evaluating the effectiveness of fire safety programs, preparing for the unthinkable, and more. Complete details are available from Campus Firewatch, P.O. Box 1046, Belchertown, MA 01007; (413) 323-6002; e-mail:;

Thirtieth Disaster Management Course (DMC-30). Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Bangkok, Thailand: November 3-21, 2003. This course aims to provide comprehensive disaster management knowledge and skills to managers who have key disaster management responsibilities. It is designed to enable professionals working in disaster management, development, and donor agencies to effectively integrate disaster management into their development programs and policies. Participants will be encouraged to develop key skills and adopt proactive attitudes through participation in interactive lectures and reflection on a range of key issues raised during discussions and practical activities. For more information, contact ADPC, Training and Education Division, Asian Institute of Technology P.O. Box 4 Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 Thailand; Tel: (66 2)516-5900-10 ext. 333; e-mail:;

The Fire Service College Research Event. Sponsor: The Fire Service College. Moreton in Marsh, UK: November 19-20, 2003. This annual event brings together delegates from a range of backgrounds including brigades, senior policy-makers, universities, consultancies and international organizations interested in fire-related research and best practice. For complete information, contact Anne Eyre, Events Department, The Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0RH; tel: 01926-427939; e-mail:

11th International Conference on Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering (ICSDEE). Sponsors: International Committee for the ICSDEE, and the Technical Committee TC-4 (Earthquake Engineering) of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). Berkeley, California: January 7-9, 2004. Recent major earthquakes provide both incentive and a window of opportunity to achieve advances in soil dynamics and earthquake engineering. This conference will provide a platform for communication and dissemination of ongoing advances in both research and practice, with the aim of encouraging continued efforts at advancing practice in all regions. Themes include: seismicity, ground motions and site effects, soil liquefaction, lifeline earthquake engineering, codes, policy issues, insurance, and standards of practice, observations for recent earthquakes, and much more. Conference information is available from the Secretariat, c/o Integrated Meeting Specialist Ltd. 1122A Serangoon Road, Singapore 328206; tel: 65 6 295 6790; e-mail:;

World Congress on Natural Disaster Mitigation. Sponsor: India Institution of Engineers, World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO). New Delhi, India: February 19-21, 2004. Plenary sessions for this multidisciplinary congress include the global and regional dimensions of natural disasters, their implications for national development, capacity building and public education and awareness of natural disasters, the role of government, mapping, vulnerability and much more. For more information or to register, contact the Organizing Secretary General, Engineer Bhawan Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi-110002 India; tel: 91-11-2270168; e-mail:;

***DATE CHANGE*** GDIN2004. Sponsor: Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN). Washington, DC: March 26-29, 2004. 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 is available from GDIN, 26128 Talamore Drive, South Riding, VA 20152; (202) 647-5070; e-mail:;

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