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 393 August 18, 2003


August 18, 2003


  1. EERI Annual Student Paper Competition
  2. Prakash Award
  3. Call For Papers I
  4. Come Join Our Staff!
  5. Association of American Geographers Seeks Award Nominations
  6. Young Scientist Workshop
  7. Educational Opportunities Grant
  8. Comments Wanted
  9. Virtual, On-line Risk Reduction Discussion
  10. Call for Papers II
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  12. Some New Web Resources
  13. Conferences and Training

1) EERI Annual Student Paper Competition

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) announced its annual student paper competition. The aim of the contest is to promote the active involvement of students in earthquake engineering and the earthquake hazards research community. The competition has graduate and undergraduate categories. Up to four students will be invited to attend EERI's annual meeting and will receive travel support. All manuscript submissions must be received by November 3, 2003.

Complete details, including specific requirements for each category and guidelines for preparing and submitting manuscripts can be found on the EERI web site at or by contacting EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612; (510) 451-0905.

2) Prakash Award

The Shamsher Prakash Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2003 Shamsher Prakash Annual Prize for Excellence in the Practice of Geotechnical Engineering. The award is given to a young engineer, scientist, or researcher chosen from around the world. Successful candidates will have a background in geotechnical earthquake engineering and have made significant independent contributions to the field.

Nominations are due on or before October 31, 2003, and will be reviewed by an international panel. The award recipient will be announced on December 31, 2003. Complete information is available from Sally Prakash, e-mail:;

3) Call For Papers I

In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IV, the communities of Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, are soliciting "best practices" submissions from volunteer organizations engaged in a broad array of homeland security and related activities. Selected papers will be presented at the Volunteers in Homeland Security Conference, to be held in Austin, Texas, on November 4-6, 2003.

The conference will offer a valuable forum for partnership and exchange among organizations that serve community and individual preparedness, prevention, mitigation, and response to natural, human-made, and terrorism hazards, crime, and other emergencies. If your community is involved in an innovative, exciting, or challenging program, take advantage of this opportunity to share your experiences with others.

Papers may be submitted from any of the five states that comprise Region VI - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Send a short one-page abstract (100-150 words) to Shari Brand; e-mail:;, by August 29, 2003. For more information contact Citizen Corps, FEMA Region VI, 800 North Loop 288, Denton, TX 76209; (940) 898-5358.

4) Come Join Our Staff!

The Natural Hazards Center is seeking a full-time project manager to provide oversight for Center activities. The Center's emphasis is on the social and behavioral science and policy aspects of hazards and disasters. The position reports to the director, and in cooperation with the director, the incumbent will oversee program development (including grant writing and proposal preparation); plan and coordinate the annual workshop; maintain ongoing contacts with funding agencies and potential funding sources; manage the Center's budget; and supervise staff activities including publications, web site, library, special projects, and day-to-day administrative operations. The candidate will also represent the Center at advisory committee meetings and national conferences, among other duties.

A wide range of professional backgrounds and interests in the hazards field will be considered. The successful candidate will have a Masters degree in a related discipline and will be a person who is knowledgeable about hazard-related policies, programs, research, and knowledge-transfer activities and who can work well with the broad spectrum of constituencies that are concerned with hazards and disasters.

Review of candidates will begin on September 30, 2003, and will continue until a successful candidate has been identified. To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references to Search Committee, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482.

5) Association of American Geographers Seeks Award Nominations

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) announces a number of awards, all of which share an October 31, 2003, deadline. Of specific interest to hazards geographers (and others) are the Glenda Laws Award for outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues; the Meredith F. Burrill Award for individual and group work on fundamental geographical concepts and their practical applications in a variety of policy arenas; and the Anderson Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the AAG applied geography specialty group to a groups or individuals who have contributed notably to the practice of geography.

Many of these awards will be presented at AAG's annual meeting in March 2004. A list of these and other relevant awards and paper competitions may be found at Complete information about eligibility requirements and specific guidelines for each award may be found by contacting AAG, 1710 Sixteenth Street N.W., Washington, DC 20009-3198; (202) 234-1450;

6) Young Scientist Workshop

There is an increasing need for new approaches to cope with natural hazards. Successful hazard management needs a holistic approach that integrates different professions and fields of research. The Society for Risk Analysis-Europe (SRA-E)and the Alps-Center for Natural Hazard Management in Innsbruck Austria, are organizing a young scientist workshop on natural hazards. The workshop will promote an international network of interdisciplinary research for the preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery from natural hazards.

The organizing institutions invite young scientists to submit proposals to present their work about natural hazards. A travel stipend will be offered, and the best paper will receive an award from the Journal for Risk Research.

Proposals are due by October 1, 2003. For more information, contact Christian Büscher, SRA-E, Grabenweg 3, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria; tel: +43 512 392929 - 0; e-mail:;

7) Educational Opportunities Grant

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) has received funding to provide educational opportunities for African, Latino, or Native American college students who are interested in pursuing a career in disciplines involved with risk analysis and management. Students should be enrolled in a college or university program in one of the following disciplines: biology, chemistry, economics, psychology, environmental management, or a variety of other subjects. The grant will support laboratory projects, field studies, sociological and policy research, issues of environmental justice, law, and more.

For more information, contact Michael Greenberg, SRA, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (732) 932-0387 x673; e-mail:

8) Comments Wanted

The Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) has issued a draft report on the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The purpose of the assessment report is to review the history of EAS, assess the current state of the national warning system, and provide recommendations regarding its future.

PPW is now seeking public comment on this report. In addition providing comments, reviewers are invited to suggest recommendations about EAS that should be considered for inclusion in the final report. Comments are due by September 5, 2003.

Please see for complete details. PPW may be contacted at 7515 Colshire Drive, Mail Stop N655, McLean, VA 22102; (703) 883-2745; e-mail:

9) Virtual, On-line Risk Reduction Discussion

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UN/ISDR) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are organizing an on-line discussion about a framework to understand, guide, and monitor disaster risk reduction. This e-dialogue is part of ongoing consultation work by the UN/ISDR and UNDP. This work in progress has grown from earlier consultations conducted by UNDP in the context of the World Vulnerability Report, and other activities carried out by the Andean Disaster Prevention Program (PREANDINO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Instituto de Estudios Ambientales (IDEA), and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), among others.

The draft framework was initially shared with several groups and individuals by e-mail, and was informally presented at a variety of meetings. This on-line discussion is an opportunity to stimulate additional comments from a wider audience. It is not an end in itself and will be followed by other consultation rounds.

The discussion will be divided into three topics. Topic I is "the framework: process and its content"; Topic II is the "thematic areas and components of the framework"; Topic III is "monitoring and measurement of achievements in disaster risk reduction."

The conversation will run from August 26-September 26, 2003. Registration information; guidelines; and the draft framework, meant to be a starting point in an initial core set of principles and goals to understand, and thus guide and monitor, disaster risk reduction, is available at

10) Call for Papers II

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has issued a call for papers about short-term seismic hazard mitigation that is provided by earthquake early warning systems which offer seconds to tens of seconds of warning of pending ground motion. Various approaches to hazard determination have been developed for different earthquake prone regions including Mexico, Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. It is known that effective warning systems also require integrated alerting, response, and educational programs to ensure the warning is received and understood.

This special session at the fall meeting in San Francisco (see "Conferences and Training" in this DR for complete conference information) will bring together researchers interested in all aspects of earthquake early warning. The organizers seek abstracts on topics including, but not limited to, earthquake nucleation processes, event detection, ground motion prediction, hazard communication, and earthquake engineering and control engineering, with the aim of comparing strategies from different regions and broadening interdisciplinary understanding.

Abstract submissions are due September 4, 2003. Abstracts must be e-mailed to either of the session co-conveners: Richard Allen, University of Wisconsin; e-mail:; or Yih-Min Wu, Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan; e-mail:

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.]

Project Scientist III

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), manager of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), is seeking applicants for a new, full-time position to provide leadership in establishing a program at NCAR on the societal impacts and benefits of improved weather information. Through a process emphasizing extensive collaborative dialogue and community building, he or she will identify, coordinate, cross fertilize and actively engage researchers and organizations that conduct research related to understanding the societal impacts and benefits of weather information. The incumbent will establish, manage, and coordinate research efforts within and across participating organizations within and outside NCAR.

Requirements include a Ph.D. in a social science or atmospheric science, at least 7 years of progressively responsible, relevant research and program development experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The complete job description, with details about other requirements and job responsibilities is available at

Initial consideration will be given to applications received prior to Monday, September 1, 2003. Thereafter, applications will be reviewed on an as-needed basis. For more information, contact UCAR Human Resources, 3065 Center Green Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80301; or apply on-line at

U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance Vacancies

There are currently three vacancies available with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). They are: Regional Advisor for Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia (closes August 25, 2003); Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean (closes September 4); and Regional Training Advisor for Africa (closes September 8). Complete information about each vacancy, including detailed descriptions, pay scale, and job locations, is available through Global Corps, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20004; (202) 661-9369; 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]
The National Institutes of Health has unveiled a consumer guide that provides easy-to-understand information on the potential health effects of more than 2,000 ingredients contained in more than 4,000 common household products.
Critical Intervention Services (CIS)has launched a new web site, Established as a comprehensive source for information and advice on critical issues of crime and domestic security, the site emphasizes that every citizen plays an important role in protecting the community.
During July 2003, the Capital Area Citizen Corps in Washington D.C. conducted a week-long training young men and women called the "Capital Area Youth Disaster College." The training included disaster education and mitigation activities, field trips, and disaster training opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has an emergency preparedness web site that focuses on emergency preparedness and response materials, resources, and links for workplace safety.
The Water Stewards Network has begun a new web site with the aim of becoming a planet-wide central nervous system for water literacy and stewardship. Network organizers hope to galvanize support for the movement for water sovereignty and promote a paradigm shift in the global approach to water management.

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:]

CASFM 2003. Sponsor: Colorado Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Managers. Breckenridge, Colorado: September 10-12, 2003. Presentations at this annual meeting will include the drought and fires of 2002 and future challenges for floodplain and stormwater management. Complete information is available from Chris Pletcher, 315 Canyon Avenue/D, Canyon Office Park, Fort Collins, CO 80521; (970) 224-5999.

2003 Transportation, Community Awareness, and Emergency Response (TRANSCAER) Workshop. Sponsors: American Chemistry Council, American Waterways Operators, Association of American Railroads, Chemical Education Foundation, and the Chlorine Institute. Orlando, Florida: September 15-16, 2003. This workshop will bring together hazardous materials transportation emergency response representatives and experts from the chemical industry, transportation, and public safety professions. Information is available from American Chemistry Council Meeting Services, 1300 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209; (703) 741-5131;

ConSec 2003: The Southwest Regional Symposium on Business Continuity, Information Security, and Audit Symposium. Sponsors: Texas Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners, Information Systems Security Association, Capitol of Texas Chapter, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Austin Chapter, and the Texas Department of Information Resources. Austin, Texas: September 16-18, 2003. This symposium, titled "preserving the infrastructure," will focus on how the government and private sector are working together to protect our information infrastructure. Contact Wayne McDilda, 2499 South Capital of Texas Highway, Suite B200, Austin, Texas 78746; (512) 423-0123;;

Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Training. Sponsor: Council of State Governments. Cincinnati, Ohio: October 8-9, 2003. Completion of this training prepares experienced emergency managers to serve as on-site assessors as part of EMAP's processes. Travel expenses are reimbursed by EMAP. Training will cover EMAP standards, assessment procedures, assessor responsibilities, and will conclude with an assessor examination. Program and training details are available from Nicole Morgan, EMAP, Council of State Governments, P.O. Box 11910, Lexington, KY 40578; (859) 244-8242; e-mail:;

Workshop on NEES Fast Hybrid Test System. Sponsor: University of Colorado at Boulder. Boulder, Colorado: October 9-10, 2003. This workshop will inform potential users about the the Fast Hybrid Test (FHT) system, which has been newly developed and installed as part of the National Science Foundation's George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). The workshop will provide an overview of the FHT model and aplications, and will present the capabilities and limitations of the system hardware as well as the guidelines and policies for its shared use. This will be a hands-on, applications based workshop. For more information, contact Eric Stauffer, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309; e-mail:; by August 29, 2003.

How to Measure and Benchmark Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Programs and Processes. Sponsor: Shared Services and Outsourcing Network. Chicago, Illinois: October 27-28, 2003. This conference will focus on evaluating business continuity programs and ways to implement performance measures to determine the effectiveness of protection archives. Conference details are available from the International Quality and Productivity Center, 150 Clove Road, Little Falls, NJ 07424; (973) 256-0211;

Landslides–Understanding the Causes and Mechanisms, and Using Proven Methods to Assess the Risks and Analyze the Mitigations. Sponsor: University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, Wisconsin: October 27-29, 2003. This technical short course is part of a new series for those in the geosciences. The course will present landslide causes and triggering mechanisms, how to identify landslide-prone areas, and how to analyze unstable soil and rock slopes, among other issues. For more information, contact C. Allen Wortley, College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 432 North Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706; (608) 262-0577; e-mail:;

Civil Engineering Conference and Exposition. Sponsor: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Nashville, Tennessee: November 12-15, 2003. This annual meeting of ASCE will feature four different tracks: professional qualifications, leadership and management, application of new technology, and infrastructure. Of special interest to DR readers are sessions on the Pentagon Building Performance Study and the impact of modern technology on natural hazard mitigation and management. Conference information is available from ASCE Conferences and Expositions, PO Box 79668, Baltimore, MD 21279; (800) 548-2723;

51st Annual Conference and EMIX 2003 Exhibit. Sponsors: International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and National Association of Manufacturers. Orlando, Florida: November 14-20, 2003. The theme of this meeting is "communities and connecting: comprehensive emergency management." Featured sessions include the use of robots in disaster response, perspectives on management of information during emergencies, continuity operations, public health and emergency management, and much more. The EMIX exhibit will bring together homeland security and disaster preparedness suppliers. There are a number of pre-conference training opportunities. Conference details may be obtained from IAEM, 201 Park Washington Court, Falls Church, VA 22046; (703) 538-1795;

NFPA Fall Education Conference. Sponsor: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Reno, Nevada: November 16-19, 2003. With a focus on education, this conference will present a variety of sessions on National Fire Codes, emergency-response planning, a review of the hospital emergency incident command system, diverse facets of homeland security, and other topics relevant to fire chiefs, marshals, fire service professionals, engineers, contractors, building inspectors, and others. Conference details are available from NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471; (617) 770-3000;

AGU Fall Meeting. Sponsor: American Geophysical Union (AGU). San Francisco, California: December 8-12, 2003. This meeting provides the opportunity for researchers, teachers, students, and consultants to review the latest issues affecting the earth, the planets, and their environments in space. This meeting will cover topics in all areas of geophysical sciences, including risk assessment and management, human interaction with ecosystems, earthquake cycles, global warming, and much more. Conference details may be found by contacting the AGU Meetings Department 2000 Florida Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20009; (800) 966-2481, ext. 333; e-mail: (subject: 2003 Fall Meeting);

Fourth National Seismic Conference and Workshop on Bridges and Highways. Sponsors: Federal Highway Administration and Tennessee Department of Transportation. Memphis, Tennessee: February 9-11, 2004. This conference will provide a forum for the exchange of information on current national and regional practices and research on seismic-resistant design and retrofit. Information is available from Wendy Pickering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1401 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801; (217) 333-2880; e-mail:;

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: March 14-19, 2004. Meeting information is available from AAG at 1710 Sixteenth Street N.W., Washington, DC 20009-3198; (202) 234-1450;

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