December 3, 2004


  1. NSF Deadline: Human and Social Dynamics Solicitation
  2. Online Forum: World Conference on Disaster Reduction
  3. AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships
  4. Forest Service Celebrates 100 Years
  5. New Center: El Centro de Investigacion de Riesgos
  6. Call for Papers: Journal of Risk Research
  7. Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program
  8. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training

1) NSF Deadline: Human and Social Dynamics Solicitation

The deadline for the submission of multidisciplinary proposals to the Human and Social Dynamics Solicitation at the National Science Foundation is February 23, 2005. Proposals dealing with research on hazards and disasters should be submitted to the "Decision Making, Risk and Uncertainty" emphasis area. These proposals are to be multidisciplinary in nature and must involve the participation of at least one social scientist. Research teams including participants from the engineering, natural science, geoscience, and/or social science areas are encouraged.

All proposals must be submitted by 5:00 pm in the time zone from which the proposal originates. For more information, see the program solicitation at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05520/nsf05520.htm.

2) Online Forum: World Conference on Disaster Reduction

Ben Wisner at Oberlin College extends the following invitation:

I would like to call your attention to an international student forum I am running on the upcoming World Conference on Disaster Reduction.

My own students and those from many parts of the world will be discussing and debating some of the central themes to be addressed at January’s conference in Kobe, Japan. However, this is not only for students and trainees, but to everyone.

For more information about the goals of the forum, the conference itself, and how to participate, go to

3) AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) invites applications for its 2005–06 Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Programs. AAAS sponsors these programs to provide opportunities for accomplished and socially aware scientists and engineers to learn more about the policy-making process of the federal government.

Fellows serve for one year in Congress or in executive branch agencies and are valued for their external perspectives and critical thinking skills, as well as for their technical expertise. A booklet that fully explains the dimensions of each of 10 different policy fellowship programs that AAAS sponsors is available at http://fellowships.aaas.org/2005.06_booklet.pdf. Candidates may apply to a maximum of three programs.

The deadline for all AAAS programs is January 10, 2005. Address questions to the AAAS fellowship staff at (202) 326-6700; e-mail: fellowships@aaas.org; http://fellowships.aaas.org/.

4) Forest Service Celebrates 100 Years

The Forest Service will celebrate its 100th anniversary on July 1, 2005. On this date 100 years ago, the Forest Service was created as an agency with a unique mission: to sustain healthy, diverse, and productive forests and grasslands for present and future generations. As the agency approaches its centennial, they ask that you join them in reflecting on the organization’s proud history and traditions and exploring ways to move into a new century of “caring for the land and serving people.”

The commemoration will be a combination of nationally promoted signature events and locally sponsored opportunities. All planned activities are intended to recognize Forest Service past accomplishments and validate the importance of the agency’s current relationship with partners and collaborators. The New Century of Service has coordinated centennial events to encourage a dialogue about the challenges presented to the Forest Service in the next century. These challenges include: rapid natural and social changes, changing public desires, and new technologies.

A new Web site features the latest information on all Centennial events. Find out more at http://www.fs.fed.us/centennial/regional/.

5) New Center: El Centro de Investigación de Riesgos

El Centro de Investigación de Riesgos (Risk Research Center) was established in 2004 at the Universidad de Falcón in Venezuela by a group of Venezuelan professionals with experience in different aspects of disaster management, crisis management, environmental studies, and contingency planning.

Center objectives include:

  • Natural, technological, and human-induced disaster research;
  • Preparation of environmental studies and research of environmental and ecological crises;
  • Preparation of communities to face disasters and crises by means of adequate information and public awareness programs;
  • Preparation of contingency plans for communities and industrial facilities; and
  • Education and training of students in crisis management and disaster risk reduction.

For more information about the center, contact Juan Murria at jmurria@hotmail.com or visit the Web site (in Spanish only) at http://www.udefa.edu.ve/.

6) Call for Papers: Journal of Risk Research

The Journal of Risk Research, the official journal of the Society for Risk Analysis-Europe, solicits innovative, high-quality articles for inclusion in a special issue around the theme “Living With Risk.” The theme underscores the importance and growing breadth of the challenges of a variety of new, complex risks, such as terrorism, that require actions by high-level decision makers. The journal seeks articles that expand the risk field to address these new risks and that encourage the introduction of innovations in methods from not only the field of risk analysis but also from a wide range of disciplines: decision sciences, engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences.

The journal is collaborating with the Center for Global Security Research at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in producing this issue, which will be edited by Eugene (Gene) Rosa of Washington State University. By publishing a collection of conceptual, empirical, and case studies it is hoped that the project will expand the boundaries of risk analysis to inform national and international security policymaking.

The deadline for manuscripts is March 31, 2005. Send manuscripts directly to the journal’s editorial offices to the attention of Ragnar E. Lofstedt, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, King’s College London, Strand Building, London WC2R 2LS, UK; e-mail: ragnar.lofstedt@kcl.ac.uk. For further information on the project, contact Genevieve Lester (lester@iiss.org) or Jean Savy (savy1@llnl.gov).

7) Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program

The request for proposals for the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for fiscal year 2005 is now available online at http://www.grants.gov/ (keyword search: Water 2025). Through this program, the Bureau of Reclamation provides funding on a 50/50 cost share basis to irrigation and water districts for projects focused on water conservation, efficiency, and water marketing. Projects are selected through a competitive process, based on their ability to meet the goals identified in Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West.

The Water 2025 Challenge Grants Program encourages voluntary water banks and other market-based measures, promotes the use of new technology for water conservation and efficiency, and removes institutional barriers in order to increase cooperation and collaboration among federal, state, tribal, and private organizations.

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 21, 2005. Selection and award is anticipated by July 1, with implementation beginning in early August 2005. For more information, including eligibility requirements, contact Avra Morgan, Bureau of Reclamation; (303) 445-2906; e-mail: Water2025RFP@do.usbr.gov; http://www.doi.gov/water2025/.

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.]


Postdoctoral Research Assistant

The Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University (ASU) seeks a postdoctoral research associate to assist with a National Science Foundation-sponsored five-year joint project with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado. The project, called Science Policy Assessment and Research on Climate (SPARC), will investigate the relation between science policy and climate policy decisions from two perspectives. First, SPARC explores how climate research agendas are developed and implemented, with a particular focus on understanding how the organization of climate research (“supply”) relates to the information needs of climate policy decision makers (“demand”). Second, SPARC investigates the relative magnitude of various sources of global environmental change in order to better understand the relation between the causes of global change and the priorities of the U.S. climate science portfolio. Key, cross-cutting themes in each of these efforts include the role and behavior of science policy institutions and the influence of ethics and values on science policy decisions.

The responsibilities of the postdoctoral associate will include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting literature reviews and background research on impacts of climate change to ecosystems and on other drivers of change to these same ecosystems,
  • Developing an initial sensitivity analysis of the relative importance of the impact of climate change on ecosystems and that of other drivers of ecosystem change, and
  • Working with a panel of experts to map out the relevant set of impacts and causal relations and then to refine the sensitivity analysis on select ecosystems.

Required qualifications: Recent PhD in a related field, which may include but is not limited to political science, sociology, ecology, anthropology, geography, and other environmental sciences.

Desired qualifications: Knowledge of global change science and policies and experience working on interdisciplinary projects.

The initial appointment will be for one year with option to extend. The salary level is $35,000-$40,000 per year, depending on qualifications and experience.

The initial deadline is December 15, 2004; if not filled, the deadline extends to every two weeks until the search is closed. To apply, submit a detailed letter of application stating qualifications, experience, and research interests and plans; detailed curriculum vitae; and the names and contact information for three references to Lori Hidinger, Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 874401, Tempe, AZ 85287-4401; e-mail: cspo@asu.edu; http://www.cspo.org/.


Hazard/Vulnerability Analyst

This position is with the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS), Office of Facilities Support, Bureau of Emergency and Environmental Response. The analyst will be the primary lead in developing a hazard analysis and vulnerability assessment of all department facilities to examine the impact on the facility from hazards within and from the surrounding community. Mitigation strategies will be a required outcome. The analyst will integrate project results with a GIS specialist.

Position Term: One year with possible extension.

Salary: $55,000, no benefits.

The position requires a bachelor's degree; emergency management experience at the state, county, local, or nongovernmental level; and demonstrated knowledge of hazard/vulnerability analysis work. GIS knowledge is beneficial.

To apply, send resume and a writing sample (no more than 10 pages) of a recent report/analysis/investigation to Dennis Dura, Emergency Management, NJDHS, P.O. Box 700, Trenton, NJ 08625.

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 http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/.]

Information recently released by the insurance industry ranks this year’s big four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne) among the top ten costliest U.S. hurricanes in the past 25 years.

With four major events, the 2004 hurricane season inflicted greater losses on the United States than any other storm season in history. At the same time, Japan was hit by an unprecedented number of typhoons. In a new report, “Hurricane Season 2004: Unusual but not Unexpected,” Swiss Re discusses the recent storms in the context of its event-based approach to risk analysis and portfolio management.

“Preparing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan: A Handbook for Wildland–Urban Interface Communities” is a concise, step-by-step guide to developing a community wildfire protection plan. It addresses issues such as who to involve in developing a plan, how to involve other interested parties, what elements to consider in assessing community risks and priorities, and how to develop a mitigation or protection plan to address those risks.

The Joint Fire Science Program is a six agency partnership established to address wildland fuels issues. Participating agencies are the Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The program provides wildland fire and fuels information and tools to specialists and managers who make wildland fuels management decisions.

This Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document provides guidance for the initial response to a suspicious letter/container, offering recommendations for local responders based on existing procedures (including recommendations from the International Association of Fire Chiefs).

The Nature Conservancy launched the Global Fire Initiative to help counter threats that fire poses to global conservation. The initiative is fulfilling a leading role in restoring ecosystems where fire dynamics have changed, and recently completed a global assessment that quantifies the scale of the problem. More information about the initiative, its tactics, and its projects is available on this Web site.

This new Web site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aims to raise issue awareness, inform dialog, and support decision making regarding the Arctic climate and ecosystem. It shows the past and present state of the Arctic climate and ecosystem and presents data and information from reputable scientific sources with easy to read and understand narratives.

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 web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html.]

Firehouse World Conference and Exposition. Sponsor: Cygnus Public Safety Group. San Diego, California: January 31-February 4, 2005. The largest fire, rescue, and EMS event on the west coast, this conference covers a wide variety of fire-related and emergency response topics and features hands-on training, classroom sessions, and networking opportunities. For more information, contact Firehouse World Conference and Exposition, 801 Cliff Road East, Suite 201, Burnsville, MN 55337; (800) 827-8009; e-mail: info@firehouseworld.com; http://firehouseworld.com/.

Hurricane Symposium: Impact of the 2004 Hurricanes on the Built Environment; Initial Observations, Lessons Learned and Unmet Research Needs. Sponsors: International Code Council (ICC), Building Officials Association of Florida, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Community Affairs/Florida Building Commission, Institute for Business & Home Safety, Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Orlando, Florida: February 11–13, 2005. This symposium aims to enhance the base knowledge about building and structure performance in regions impacted by hurricanes. It will examine the effects of four unprecedented, consecutive hurricanes; present a forum to discuss initial lessons, observations, and unmet research needs; examine how wind, water, and other environmental loads impacted buildings and structures; and examine how the storms impacted hurricane preparedness and response. Presentation proposals are due December 17, 2004. For more information, contact David Bowman, ICC Chicago District Office; (800) 214-4321; e-mail: DBowman@iccsafe.org; http://www.iccsafe.org/safety/hurricane/index.html.

The 2005 NEMA Mid-Year Conference. Sponsor: National Emergency Managers Association (NEMA). Washington, DC: February 12-16, 2005. This conference provides an opportunity for emergency managers to come together to discuss the many challenges that they face today, share solutions, grow professionally, and network with peers. During the conference, participants will hear from those involved in shaping the future of homeland security and emergency management, strengthen relationships with partner organizations, and share NEMA’s views on all-hazards emergency preparedness with the leadership in Washington. For more information, contact NEMA, P.O. Box 11910, Lexington, KY 40578; (859) 244-8000; http://www.nemaweb.org/.

Managing the Unexpected in Prescribed Fire and Wildland Fire Use Operations: A Second Workshop on High Reliability Organizing. Sponsor: Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. Jacksonville, Florida: February 28-March 3, 2005. The purpose of this workshop is to explore “high reliability organizing” principles and immunity to change activities to help improve wildland fire use and prescribed fire programs. It is part of an organized effort to decrease prescribed fire escapes and increase replication of successes. For more information, see http://www.wildfirelessons.net/.

Mass Fatalities Incident Response Planning. Sponsor: National Mass Fatalities Institute. Kansas City, Missouri: April 4-8, 2005. This course addresses the essential elements of planning for response to a mass fatalities event. It is designed to help planning-level officials from various governmental jurisdictions, public service, private sector business, and voluntary organizations understand the concepts of a multifaceted, integrated response plan. For more information, contact the National Mass Fatalities Institute, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404; (319) 398-7122, (866) 623-6634; e-mail: nmfi@kirkwood.edu; http://www.nmfi.org/events.htm.

2005 APWA North American Snow Conference. Sponsor: American Public Works Association (APWA). Kansas, City, MO: April 17-20, 2005. More than 30 education and technical sessions and roundtables at this conference will address a variety of topics including snow plowing procedures, new salt applications, anti-icing and de-icing, AVL/GPS/GIS, winter pavement maintenance, fleet responsibilities in a disaster, new technologies, snow removal, winter vehicle maintenance, and more. For more information, contact the APWA, P.O. Box 802-296, Kansas City, MO 64180; (816) 472-6100, (800) 848-APWA; e-mail: snow@apwa.net; http://www.apwa.net/meetings/snow/2005/.

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2005. Sponsor: European Geosciences Union (EGU). Vienna, Austria: April 24-29, 2005. Open to scientists of all nations, this assembly will include union symposia, oral and poster sessions on disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics covering the full spectrum of the geosciences and space and planetary sciences, short courses and workshops, key note and medal lectures, and town hall and splinter meetings. Abstracts are due January 21, 2005. For more information, contact EGU Office, Max-Planck-Strasse 13,37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany; +49-5556-1440; e-mail: egu@copernicus.org; http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/ga/egu05/index.htm.

IAIA'05: Ethics and Quality in Impact Assessment. Sponsor: International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). Boston, Massachusetts: May 31-June 3, 2005. IAIA’05 affords impact assessors an opportunity to examine and debate issues of ethical conduct and standards of quality in impact assessment and, as a practical matter, consider what the hallmarks of good assessment and ethical practice might be. Abstracts are due January 31, 2005. For more information, contact IAIA International Headquarters, 1330 23rd Street South, Suite C, Fargo, ND 58103; (701) 297-7908; e-mail: info@iaia.org; http://www.iaia.org/.

Questions for the readership and contributions to this e-newsletter are encouraged. Questions and messages should be indicated as such and sent to hazctr@colorado.edu.

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