March 4, 2005


  1. Survey: Natural Hazards Library at the Natural Hazards Center
  2. Applications Available for the 2005 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
  3. Call for Student Abstracts: Public Health and Disasters
  4. New Quick Response Reports from the Natural Hazards Center
  5. Presentation Series: Nation on Edge
  6. Call for Submissions: 2005 Gender and Disaster Sourcebook
  7. IRCD Seeks Tsunami Researchers for ISA World Congress
  8. Training to Help Animals Survive Disasters
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training

1) Survey: Natural Hazards Library at the Natural Hazards Center

To better serve your needs, the Natural Hazards Center is conducting an assessment of the Natural Hazards Library (http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/library/). As part of this assessment, the Center is surveying both producers and users of research and knowledge on extreme events. The survey is extremely important and will provide answers to questions regarding user needs, library usage, and how the existing resources and services can be augmented and improved. It consists of nine questions and should take approximately two minutes to complete. To ensure confidentiality, this survey is anonymous and your responses cannot be linked to you.

To make this as simple as possible, the Center has posted the survey on the Web at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/library/survey/. It will remain online through June 30, 2005.

Please note that you do not have to be familiar with the Natural Hazards Library to take the survey. If you have any questions about the survey or the library, please contact the Natural Hazards Library at hazlib@colorado.edu or (303) 492-5787.

2) Applications Available for the 2005 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship

Mary Fran Myers was codirector of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center at the University of Colorado for 16 years until her untimely death in 2004. Reducing disaster losses, both nationally and internationally, was her life’s work.

During her tenure as codirector, Mary Fran was instrumental in maintaining the Hazards Center’s international reputation as a driving force in hazards research and mitigation. Her work helped to bring about a fundamental change in national and international perspectives regarding hazards and helped institute new, more farsighted, and sustainable ways of dealing with extreme environmental events.

Mary Fran was much more than her job title. She provided leadership, guidance, grace, and laughter, and established a standard of excellence that her colleagues both admired and strived to emulate. She was an innovator, a mentor, and a creative spirit who touched many lives and whose legacy has had a lasting impact on the global hazards community.

Each summer, the Hazards Center hosts an invitational Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. The Hazards Workshop brings together over 350 members of the hazards community who are working to alleviate the pain and loss inflicted by disasters.

One of Mary Fran’s primary concerns was ensuring that representatives of all ages, professions, and communities be represented at the Hazards Workshop. Mary Fran recognized that many people and organizations who could greatly benefit from and contribute to workshop activities--including, in particular, local practitioners, students, and international professionals--were among the least likely to be able to afford the meeting.

In 2003, members of the hazards community established the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship to fulfill Mary Fran’s explicit request that qualified and talented individuals receive support to attend the Hazards Workshop. The intent of the scholarship is to bring new and fresh perspectives--and otherwise unheard voices--to the workshop.

The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship provides financial support for recipients to attend and participate in the Hazards Workshop to further their research or career paths. This scholarship covers transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, and workshop registration fees.

The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship is awarded annually to at least one potential workshop participant, who is then formally invited to the workshop. Each year, the recipient or recipients are recognized at the workshop and may be asked to serve as panel discussants, where they can highlight their research or practical experiences in the hazards and disasters field.

Eligibility and Application Procedure

All hazards researchers, students, and practitioners are eligible for the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship. However, preference is given to individuals with demonstrated financial need and those who have not previously attended the Hazards Workshop.

Applicants must complete the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship 2005 Application Form, available from the Hazards Center’s Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/scholarship/.

An application form can also be requested by calling the Hazards Center at (303) 492-6818 or by e-mailing Lori Peek at lori.peek@colorado.edu.

Four typed copies of the completed application should be mailed to:
Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
c/o Lori Peek
Natural Hazards Center
University of Colorado
482 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0482

Applications must be received by Friday, April 15, 2005.

Special Thanks: The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship was made possible by generous contributions from numerous individual donors as well as support from the Association of State Floodplain Managers, the Extension Disaster Education Network, the Public Entity Risk Institute, and the Red River, North Dakota, High School Classroom Teachers Association.

3) Call for Student Abstracts: Public Health and Disasters

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) invites abstracts from students for a poster session at the 4th UCLA Conference on Public Health and Disasters. To be eligible for consideration, poster abstracts are to be authored solely by students and must be submitted either electronically or by fax no later than March 21, 2005. Acceptances will be sent via e-mail by April 4, 2005.

A poster is a visual presentation of recent findings combined with informal discussion between the presenters and the audience. Authors illustrate their findings by displaying graphs, photographs, diagrams, and limited text on poster boards. Authors hold discussions with registrants who circulate among the poster boards. The poster session will take place on May 1, 2005, from 6:30–9:00 pm at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California.

For more information about the call for abstracts, visit https://www.cphd.ucla.edu/abstractframe.htm. Find out more about the conference at https://www.cphd.ucla.edu/.

4) New Quick Response Reports from the Natural Hazards Center

The following Quick Response reports have been posted on the Natural Hazards Center’s Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qrrepts.html.

QR170 Community Response to Hurricane Isabel: An Examination of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Organization in Virginia, by Mary E. Franke and David M. Simpson. 2004.

In their examination of the degree to which community emergency response teams affected community level preparedness and response as it related to Hurricane Isabel in Virginia, these researchers found that the programs were still in the early stages of development and have yet to create a clear role for themselves. Nevertheless, the programs were well regarded and their potential is recognized.

QR174 Colorado Resort Communities and the 2002-2003 Drought: Impacts and Lessons Learned, by Olga V. Wilhelmi, Deborah S.K. Thomas, and Michael J. Hayes. 2005.

This study focused on the impacts of the drought of 2002 on tourism in Colorado and on the mountain resort communities in particular. The researchers identified three main categories of lessons learned: the conflict of water supply versus demand, the importance of cooperation between local and state entities, and the need for balanced messages in the media that consider local populations as well as visitors. This report also contains eight recommendations developed by the researchers to help vulnerable resort communities prepare for, mitigate, and respond to drought.

5) Presentation Series: Nation on Edge

In a series of presentations, the sponsors of the Nation on Edge project and their expert speakers and commentators will examine the history, current status, and future of building in disaster-prone areas and other vulnerable places. Scholars and practitioners from a number of disciplines will describe U.S. history as it pertains to settlement patterns and governmental policies regarding disaster area management; the move toward integrated federalism with clear roles assigned to federal, state, and local governments; and hopeful strategies for identifying and removing the remaining obstacles. The series is presented by the University of San Diego School of Law and the Land Use Law Center of Pace University School of Law. Cosponsors include the International City/County Management Association, the Environmental Law Institute, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and the American Planning Association.

Upcoming Events:

April 1, 2005
San Diego, California
Manifest Destiny and the Natural Order: Markets, Property Rights, and Ecological Planning

April 18, 2005
White Plains, New York
Planning and Zoning Tools--Local Role in Disaster Mitigation--Competencies and Limitations

April 19, 2005
New Haven, Connecticut
Fragmented Federalism: Lessons From the Field
Localism and the Federal System: Comparative Institutional Competence

November 7, 2005
White Plains, New York
Innovations in Disaster Mitigation; Beyond the Edge and the Prospects for Change

Find out more, including featured speakers, locations, and how to register at http://home.sandiego.edu/%7Elawdean/nation.html.

6) Call for Submissions: 2005 Gender and Disaster Sourcebook

What is the link between gender equality and disaster risk management? What lessons have been learned in the field and through scientific study? How can this knowledge be applied in practice to reduce risk and respond equitably to disaster events?

A one-stop, user-friendly electronic guide is currently under development to help answer these questions with support from the Public Entity Risk Institute and the Pacific Disaster Center/East-West Center. The final product, written in English with reference to resources easily revised and adapted, will be available in December 2005 through the Gender and Disaster Network: http://online.northumbria.ac.uk/geography_research/gdn/.

We welcome submissions from your region and area of expertise, particularly:

  • Recent gender-sensitive case studies from your region
  • In-house reports or documents on gendered capacities, vulnerabilities, impacts, and responses in disaster contexts
  • Women’s first-person accounts in disasters, and men’s
  • Research protocols
  • Good practice models
  • Gender-sensitive checklists and field guides
  • Ready-to-use guides to mainstreaming gender in mitigation
  • Positive photographs of women and girls in action
  • Information about grassroots community and women’s groups active in disaster response and risk reduction
  • Good sources of information for the newcomer as well as the specialist on gender, development, and disaster
  • Links to useful Web sites
  • Training opportunities and materials with a strong gender focus
  • Relevant college syllabi or modules
  • Policy guides and sample practice protocols
  • Topical bibliographies
  • Other materials you may want to suggest

Please e-mail project manager Elaine Enarson or members of the writing team below to contribute ideas or materials to the 2005 Gender and Disaster Sourcebook.

Elaine Enarson, University of Colorado at Boulder

Lourdes Meyreles, FLACSO Dominican Republic

Sarah Bradshaw, Nicaragua, Puntos de Encuentro

Maureen Fordham, University of Northumbria

Nuray Kuranci, Middle Eastern Technical University

Mary Hope Schwoebel, Washington, DC [Middle East]

Madhavi Ariyabandu, ITDG/Duryog Nivaran, Sri Lanka

Cheryl Anderson, University of Hawaii

Stuart Katwikirize, World Vision International, Uganda

7) IRCD Seeks Tsunami Researchers for ISA World Congress

The International Research Committee on Disasters (IRCD) is adding a session on the December 2004 tsunami to its sessions at the International Sociological Association’s (ISA) World Congress of Sociology in Durban July 23-29, 2006 (note year). More may be added if necessary. Organizers intend to find a way to include all those who have done tsunami research regardless of whether or not it is complete. Anyone wishing to participate should e-mail Joe Scanlon at jscanlon@ccs.carleton.ca. The committee is more than willing to send out formal letters of invitation if that will help researchers acquire travel support.

8) Training to Help Animals Survive Disasters

Noah’s Wish is a national disaster response team solely dedicated to rescuing and sheltering animals in both natural and human-caused disasters that offers volunteer in-field training. This training is for both experienced volunteers, new volunteers, and individuals who want to be more aware of how disasters affect animals.

This comprehensive three day in-field exercise combines instructional teaching, team building, and hands-on experience. Participants will stay on-site during the training to give them a realistic experience of the physical challenges of responding to a disaster.

Once a participant completes the volunteer in-field training, they will become part of the Noah’s Wish National Disaster Response Team and be placed on an active call-out list to be alerted and possibly mobilized to future disaster sites.

For more information about the training, including dates and locations, or Noah’s Wish and the services they provide, visit http://www.noahswish.org/ or contact Sheri Thompson at (405) 621-9616 or sherithompson@cox.net.

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/.]

These Web pages from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction feature statistics, tables, graphics, and maps on disaster occurrence and their impacts for the period 1994-2003.

The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Reduction secretariat is currently reviewing all conference documents. These documents, which include official documents as well as presentations made during the thematic segment and the high-level roundtables, are gradually being posted on the conference’s Web site.

Science.gov, the Web portal for federal science information, now provides this free “alert” service that sends subscribers customized weekly e-mails about the most recent developments in science.

http://www.swissre.com/ (Research and Publications)
This new Focus report from Swiss Re, Tsunami in South Asia: Building Financial Protection, examines how the insurance industry should respond to tsunamis and other natural catastrophes occurring in developing countries.

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has created this special section on their Web site to examine the implications of the Kyoto Protocol’s entry into force, including history, related issues, and reports and analyses. The section devotes significant space to the question: What happens next?

This new site from the Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness (CDC) addresses some of the most noticeable misconceptions that might be derived about smallpox from fictional film and television programs. It also features links to more detailed CDC smallpox information.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s preliminary report on the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that occurred in central Iran on February 22, 2005, is available here.

This Web page from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute features information about reconnaissance activities associated with the magnitude 6.4 earthquake in central Iran on February 22, 2005.

The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami: Initial Findings on Tsunami Sand Deposits, Damage, and Inundation in Sri Lanka is a cooperative study by the U.S. Geological Survey, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, National Science Foundation, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of Sri Lanka, and GeoEnvironmental Consultants of New Zealand.

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Virtual Clearinghouse now features preliminary reconnaissance reports for the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released for a 30-day public comment period (ending April 4, 2005) its draft report of The Station nightclub fire (West Warwick, Rhode Island) that killed 100 and injured another 200 in 2003. The draft report and a fact sheet that summarizes the findings of the investigation and recommendations for improving nightclub safety are available here.

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.]

Behavioral Health Awareness for Terrorism and Disaster Conference. Sponsors: New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA), New Jersey Center for Public Health Preparedness at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), New Jersey Preparedness Training Consortium, UMDNJ Center for Continuing and Outreach Education. Princeton, New Jersey: March 23, 2005. This conference will examine optimal health and function of professionals during times of crisis, disasters, or terrorism. The program will discuss culturally competent services and intervention modalities, including behavioral health overview for terrorism and disasters, stress response to extreme events, psychological first aid, self-care strategies, disaster planning, surge capacity, safeguarding staff, and behavioral triage. For more information, contact Amelia Muccio, NJPCA, 14 Washington Road, Building 2, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550; (609) 275-8886 x24; e-mail: amuccio@njpca.org; http://www.peopleware.net/0646b/.

Mass Casualty Situations: Building the Infrastructure for Medical Response to Terror. Haifa, Israel. April 10-15, 2005. For more information, contact Jorge Mineiro, Portuguese Trauma Society, Lisboa, Portugal; fax: 351 1 3465973; e-mail: jmineiro@netcabo.pt or Moshe Michaelson, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel; e-mail: trauma@rambam.health.gov.il.

Negotiating Effective Environmental Agreements. Organizer: Concur Inc. Berkeley, California: April 28-29, 2005. Participants will gain hands-on experience and learn the tools needed to act as an effective negotiator. Topics include “Designing a Negotiation Strategy,” “Improving Your Negotiation Style,” “Using Coalitions,” and “Multiparty Negotiations.” The interactive format includes short lectures, simulations, role-playing, discussions, and dinner. For more information, contact Concur Inc., 1832 Second Street, Berkeley, California 94710; (510) 649-8008; e-mail: amy@concurinc.net; http://www.concurinc.com/.

Adapting to Climate Change in Canada 2005: Understanding Risks and Building Capacity. Sponsors: Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program, Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network. Montreal, Quebec: May 4-6, 2005. This conference will serve as a national forum for researchers and decision makers from a wide range of disciplines to share climate change research results and information. Conference themes include the impacts of climate change on natural and managed resources, research techniques and approaches for assessing vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and incorporating climate change and variability into policy and decision making. Attendees will include researchers, policy and decision makers at all levels of industry and government, graduate students, professionals and practitioners who are engaged or interested in climate change research, and concerned members of the public. For more information, e-mail Conference2005@NRCan.gc.ca; http://www.adaptation2005.ca/.

Ninth National Watershed Conference. Sponsor: National Watershed Coalition (NWC). Fort Mitchell, Kentucky: May 22-25, 2005. The theme of this conference is “The Watershed Program at 50: Reflections on the Past and Forecasts for the Future.” For more information, contact Dan Sebert, NWC, 1023 Manvel, Suite D, PO Box 556, Chandler, OK 74834; (405) 627-0670; e-mail: nwchdqtrs@sbcglobal.net; http://www.watershedcoalition.org/events.html.

2005 Joint Assembly. Hosts: American Geophysical Union, North American Benthological Society, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Solar Physics Division/American Astronomical Society. New Orleans, Louisiana: May 23-27, 2005. The program committee for this conference is developing a union-wide science program that will cover topics in all areas of geophysical sciences. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.agu.org/meetings/sm05/.

12th Pacific Regional Disaster Management Meeting: Investment for Sustainable Development; Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Sponsors: South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), National Disaster Centre. Madang, Papua New Guinea: June 6-8, 2005. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together disaster management stakeholders and partners to discuss and consider the Draft Pacific Islands Framework for Action 2005-2015. Themes include governance, hazards identification and assessment, early warning systems, development of risk reduction tools, and preparedness for effective response. For more information, contact SOPAC, Private Mail Bag, GPO, Suva, Fiji Islands; +679 338 1377; e-mail: kata@sopac.org; http://www.sopac.org/tiki/tiki-index.php (12th PRDMM).

FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Conference. Host: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Emmitsburg, Maryland: June 7-9, 2005. This conference is designed for representatives of colleges and universities that have an existing hazards, disaster, or emergency management program in place or are attempting to develop and implement such a program on their campus (e.g., a degree, certificate, minor, or concentration). The primary goal of the conference is to provide a forum for academics to discuss problems and issues surrounding hazards, disaster, emergency management, and homeland security educational programs, such as program and course development, student recruitment and placement, program implementation, maintaining and growing a new program, core curriculum, standards, certification, accreditation, international disaster management, recent survey results, and making courses more interesting and relevant. For more information, contact Wayne Blanchard, EMI, 16825 South Seton, N–430, Emmitsburg, MD 21727; (301) 447-1262; e-mail: wayne.blanchard@dhs.gov; http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/educonference05.asp.

Information Security Convention 2005 (ISC2005). Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: September 29-October 1, 2005. ISC2005 is Malaysia’s first information security exhibition and conference, offering cutting-edge security technologies, products, and services, as well as the latest know-hows and global trends. ISC2005 is organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovations Malaysia under the banner of its information security arm, National ICT Security and Emergency Response Centre. For more information, contact Karen Dass at karendass@protemp.com.my.

IASPEI2005. Organizers: University of Chile, Military Geographical Institute. Santiago, Chile: October 2-8, 2005. This General Assembly of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior (IASPEI) will provide an opportunity for geoscientists from all fields to present and discuss the recent advances in the Andean environment. Abstracts are currently being accepted. For more information, contact Diana Comte, Department of Geophysics, University of Chile; e-mail: dcomte@dgf.uchile.cl; http://www.igm.cl/iaspei/iaspei.htm.

American Water Resources Association (AWRA) 2005 Annual Conference. Sponsor: AWRA. Seattle, Washington: November 7-10, 2005. In addition to this annual conference’s traditional focus on multidisciplinary subjects, this year’s event will offer sessions that address a mix of contemporary issues, such as the effects of natural catastrophes on water supplies and human health, the renewed interest in large water projects, dam decommissioning, and the increased risk to the nation’s water supplies from terrorism and the steps taken to counteract it. Abstracts are due May 6, 2005. For more information, contact Patricia Reid, AWRA, PO Box 1626, Middleburg, VA 20118-1626; (540) 687-8390; e-mail: pat@awra.org; http://www.awra.org/meetings/Seattle2005/.

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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