August 19, 2005


  1. Call for Quick Response Proposals
  2. Two Fellowships from the National Academies
  3. Earth Institute Fellows Program
  4. Grants to Support Fire Departments with GIS Abilities
  5. Call for Papers: Public Safety Communications
  6. Call for Abstracts: Tsunami Session at AGU Meeting
  7. Call for Abstracts: Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference
  8. Interagency Disaster Preparedness Award
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Call for Quick Response Proposals

Each September, the Natural Hazards Center solicits proposals for the next round of Quick Response Grants. These small grants are intended to enable social and behavioral science researchers from the United States to conduct short-term studies immediately following a disaster. Grants average between $1,000 and $3,500 and are intended to cover food, travel, and lodging expenses.

If, during the course of the next year, a disaster matching an applicant’s preapproved proposal occurs, the grant is activated and the researcher is able to immediately travel to the site. Grantees are required to submit a report of their findings to be shared with the hazards community. Reports are published by the Natural Hazards Center and are available online.

In recent years, the Center has activated grants studying adaptation to flood impacts in Louisiana, elderly populations in disasters, and providing for pets during extreme events. Proposals for natural, technological, and human-induced events are considered for funding. Physical science- and engineering-based proposals are not eligible. For more information about this program, and to find out how to apply, visit http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/, or request a 2006 Quick Response Program Announcement from Greg Guibert, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; (303) 492-2149; e-mail: greg.guibert@colorado.edu. The deadline for proposal submission is October 14, 2005.

2) Two Fellowships from the National Academies

The application period is open for the following two fellowships sponsored by the National Academies:

The Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program is designed to engage graduate science, engineering, medical, veterinary, business, and law students in the analysis that informs the creation of science and technology policy and to familiarize them with the interactions of science, technology, and government. As a result, students develop essential skills different from those attained in academia that also aid them in the transition from being a graduate student to a professional. To apply, candidates should submit the online application and reference letter forms. The deadline for receipt of materials is November 1 for the January program, March 1 for the June program, and June 1 for the September program. For more information, contact (202) 334-2455; e-mail: policyfellows@nas.edu; http://www7.nationalacademies.org/policyfellows/.

The Jefferson Science Fellows program at the U.S. Department of State was created to establish a new model for engaging the U.S. academic science, technology, and engineering communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. The three-year pilot program is administered by the National Academies and supported through a partnership between American philanthropic foundations; the U.S. science, technology, and engineering academic community; professional scientific societies; and the U.S. Department of State. Tenured academic scientists and engineers from U.S. institutions of higher learning are eligible for selection to be fellows. Each fellow will spend one year at the U.S. Department of State for an assignment in Washington, DC that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions. Application packages must be received by the National Academies by December 1, 2005. More information is available at http://www7.nationalacademies.org/fellowships/Jefferson_Science_Fellows.html.

3) Earth Institute Fellows Program

The Earth Institute Fellows Program at Columbia University provides postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to build a foundation in one of the core disciplines represented within the Earth Institute (i.e., any of the social sciences, earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, and health sciences), while at the same time acquiring the cross-disciplinary expertise and breadth needed to address critical issues related to sustainable development and reducing environmental degradation, poverty, hunger, and disease.

Fellowships are ordinarily granted for a period of 24 months. Candidates should submit a proposal for research based in one of the core disciplines mentioned above and to be carried out at one of the Earth Institute’s research units. Applications submitted by December 1 will be considered for fellowships starting in the summer or fall of the following year. For additional information, contact Hilary Cisneros Dewhurst; (212) 854-3893; e-mail: hd6@columbia.edu; http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/postdoc.

4) Grants to Support Fire Departments with GIS Abilities

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has partnered with ESRI to offer grants for geographic information systems (GIS) to IAFC members’ departments. The Fire GIS Leadership Grant series offers software, data, and training awarded by IAFC and ESRI to the fire departments of IAFC members. Departments applying for the Fire GIS Leadership Grant should have a desire to develop further GIS technology infrastructure. Each successful grant recipient will receive $6,000 worth of ESRI’s GIS software and training.

The Fire GIS Leadership Grant Program is being instituted to assist departments in integrating GIS technology into their operations. Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate a commitment to information sharing and meeting geospatial standards and that address multiple aspects of fire department operations.

The deadline to apply is September 15, 2005. For full grant guidelines and an application, visit http://www.esri.com/grants/esri/fire.html. For more information, contact Jennifer Schottke, jschottke@esri.com.

5) Call for Papers: Public Safety Communications

The Association for Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO) invites APCO members, industry associates, business professionals, and educators to submit a written presentation for the professional development track program, workshop, or roundtable discussion at the APCO International Annual Winter Summit, January 30-February 1, 2006, and/or the Annual Conference and Exposition, August 6-10, 2006. A few of the suggested topics include interoperability, homeland security, planning and management, and grant writing. The deadline for submissions is September 16 for the Annual Winter Summit and December 1 for the Annual Conference and Exposition.

For additional information, contact APCO International Inc., Conference and Meeting Services Department, 351 North Williamson Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114;(888) 272 6911; e-mail: callforpapers@apco911.org; http://www.apcointl.org/.

6) Call for Abstracts: Tsunami Session at AGU Meeting

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is seeking abstracts for the session “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Reconstructing the 26 December 2004 Great Sumatra-Andaman Earthquake-Induced Tsunami” at the 2005 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California, December 5-9, 2005. The session will present interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the tsunami, including seismological and geodetic results, offshore geophysical surveys, sea floor observation, tsunami wave model results, and visual data integration for both the earthquake itself and the tsunami it generated. Abstracts must be submitted online by September 8, 2005. For more information, visit http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm05/.

7) Call for Abstracts: Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference

The International Association of Wildland Fire is accepting abstracts (300 or fewer words) for oral and poster presentations for the 1st Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference in Portland, Oregon, March 28-30, 2005. The theme of the conference is “Fuels Management - How to Measure Success.” Papers for publication in the conference proceedings may also be submitted. Some papers will also be published in a special issue of the International Journal of Wildland Fire. Presentations are welcome even if not accompanied by a paper.

Suggested topics for presentations include the following:

  • Case studies
  • Collaboration
  • Policy considerations
  • Fuel characterization
  • Change detection
  • Remote sensing
  • Monitoring
  • Assessing and measuring risk
  • Economic and operational efficiency
  • Fire behavior and effects modeling
  • Wildland urban interface
  • Wilderness, parks, roadless areas
  • Biomass utilization

Abstracts are due on September 30, 2005. Information on the conference and abstract guidelines can be found at http://www.iawfonline.org/fuels/overview.shtml.

8) Interagency Disaster Preparedness Award

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and Homeland Protection Professional (HPP) magazine have established the annual Interagency Disaster Preparedness Award to recognize and encourage the crucial role of interagency cooperation in keeping citizens safe from both natural and human-induced disasters. Ongoing multiagency programs with missions primarily focused on disaster and/or terrorism mitigation, prevention, response, and/or recovery are eligible for the award.

Entry is open to U.S. and Canadian emergency response, emergency management, and emergency support agencies (e.g., public health, public works) and their municipal, county, tribal, military, or federal jurisdictions and parent agencies. Entries will be judged on the extent to which their collaborative efforts demonstrate results in disaster or terrorism preparedness. A panel appointed by HPP and the IAEM will judge entries. The winning program will be recognized at the IAEM annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, November 14-16, 2005. For information on how to enter, e-mail editor@hppmag.com.

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/.]

Social Science Methods for Marine Protected Areas
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration created this Web site for coastal officials and managers interested in learning the roles of social science. The site introduces social science methods and themes, provides a wide range of social science tools, and includes case studies and print and online references.

African Drought Risk and Development Network
This is a test site developed by the United Nations Development Programme Drylands Development Center and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Africa. The site is designed as a resource for drought reduction in Africa and includes issues, discussion, lessons, and resources for planners, journalists, students, and other interested parties in drought/drylands issues.

USGS Preliminary Earthquake Report, August 16, 2005
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center report on the magnitude 7.2 earthquake near the coast of Honshu, Japan, that occurred on August 16, 2005, can be found here.

Cost-Effectiveness Software Tool
A cost-effectiveness software tool developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology is now available to download. The tool helps users make straightforward and consistent comparisons of risk mitigation strategies based on established economic evaluation practices. The software allows building owners and managers to define hazards scenarios, identify possible consequences of those scenarios, and compare combinations of strategies to mitigate those consequences.

Report on Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communication Access
The report Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Communication Access: Lessons Learned Since 9/11 and Recommendations prepared by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network and the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons can be found on this Web site.

Australian Development Gateway
This Web site funded by Australia’s Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) provides information on disaster management including lessons learned from previous disasters, the complex issues relating to reconstruction and resettlement postdisaster, and the challenges facing the reestablishment of economic livelihoods. The content and resources on the Web site predominantly concentrate on the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Report on Protecting Critical Infrastructure
The report Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure: Findings and Recommendations from the American Lifelines Alliance Roundtable prepared by the American Lifelines Alliance is available here.

Directory of U.S. State Agencies of Emergency Management
A directory of U.S. state offices and agencies of emergency management can be found at this Web page of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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.]

2005 Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) Mid-Year Seminar. Santa Monica, California: September 21-22, 2005. The theme of this seminar is “Global Telecommunications in Times of Crisis and Turmoil.” It was conceived as a response to recent major disasters and is designed to bring the providers and users of telecommunications services together to discuss areas of mutual concern. A few of the seminar’s focus areas are disaster mitigation planning, natural disasters monitoring and recovery systems and programs, challenges and opportunities unique to developing nations, and telecom applications for homeland security. For registration information, contact the PTC, 2454 South Beretania Street, 3rd Floor, Honolulu, HI 96826; (808)941-3789; e-mail: my05@ptc.org; http://www.my2005.org/.

Protecting the Protectors. Sponsors: The New Jersey Center for Public Health Preparedness at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the John Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness. East Brunswick, New Jersey: September 27-28, 2005. This conference is intended to develop surveillance recommendations to protect workers who may be involved in incident response under the National Response Plan. Participants will help shape national strategies on topics of medical surveillance, behavioral health response, and exposure assessment. For more information, e-mail Patricias Walker, walkerpa@umdnj.edu, or visit http://www.njcphp.org/ptp_conf.cfm.

1st Greece-Japan Workshop on Seismic Design, Observation, and Retrofit of Foundations. Organizers: The Hellenic Society for Earthquake Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, and the Earthquake Engineering Committee of the Japanese Society of Civil Engineers. Athens, Greece: October 11-12, 2005. Workshop topics include behavior of shallow and deep foundations in strong recent earthquakes, design of foundations to resist liquefaction, and repair/retrofit of foundations against earthquakes. More information is available from the Soil Mechanics Lab (Room 102), School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytexneiou, Athens 15780, Greece; +30-21-0772-3383; e-mail: gazetas@mail.ntua.gr; http://www.ntua.gr/gj-workshop/.

Disasters Roundtable Workshop: Law, Science, and Disaster. Sponsor: The National Academies. Washington, DC: October 18, 2005. The roundtable’s mission is to facilitate and enhance communication and the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers to identify urgent and important issues related to the understanding and mitigation of natural, technological, and other disasters. For more information, contact William Anderson, Disasters Roundtable, The National Academies, 500 5th Street NW, Keck WS617, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-3511; e-mail: wanderson@nas.edu; http://dels.nas.edu/dr/.

National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Fall Meeting. Galveston, Texas: October 19-22, 2005. The NVFC is a nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire services, emergency medical services, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as an information source regarding legislation, standards, and regulatory issues. The conference is cohosted by the State Fireman’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas. For more information, contact NVFC, 1050 17th Street NW, Suite 490, Washington, DC 20036; (888)275-6832; http://www.nvfc.org/2005-fall-meeting.html.

2005 Annual ASCE Civil Engineering Conference. Organizer: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Los Angeles, California: October 27-29, 2005. The conference theme, “Next Generation Infrastructure: Projects that Create the Future,” focuses on the leadership skills required to ensure that the vision is reflected in the final product. The conference will highlight projects in the areas of transportation and water, as these areas have a major impact on the quality of life of the people served and are of particular interest to civil engineers who work on the urban landscape. For more information, contact Demetria Taylor, ASCE Conference Department, PO Box 79668, Baltimore, MD 21279-0668; (703) 295-6075; e-mail: dtaylor@asce.org;

International Technical Rescue Symposium. Presenters: CMC Rescue Incorporated and Pigeon Mountain Industries (PMI). Fort Collins, Colorado: November 3-6, 2005. Participants in this symposium will include individuals from across the spectrum of rescue disciplines, including mountain rescue, the military, law enforcement, park services, water rescue, outdoor recreation, fire service, and rescue teams, along with equipment manufacturers and distributors. It will provide an open forum for sharing news and views on advances in equipment and techniques, technical problems, and issues of mutual concern. For information regarding registration, contact Sherry Cox, PMI, PO Box 803, LaFayette, GA 30728-0803; (706)764-1437 x 234; e-mail: scox@pmirope.com. For information regarding presentations, contact Tom Vines, PO Box 1391, Red Lodge, MT 59068; (406)446-3945. The conference brochure can be found on the Web at http://www.mra.org/ITRS_Brochure2005.pdf.

11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Volunteer Editor-in-Chief
World Housing Encyclopedia

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the International Association for Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE)is seeking candidates for the volunteer editor-in-chief position. The editor-in-chief has overall managerial responsibility for the project, helps to identify future directions, and collaborates with the regional editors. Responsibilities include overseeing the contribution and review process for new reports and working with the editors to develop new initiatives for the WHE. EERI seeks an editor to serve for three years who has a passion for and commitment to bringing together engineers and housing experts to make a difference in improving vulnerable housing construction.

The EERI Board of Directors will review submissions and select the new editor. If interested in this position, send a brief statement of interest and a curriculum vitae to Marjorie Greene at mgreene@eeri.org.

Health and Medical Emergency Preparedness Specialist
New York City Office of Emergency Management, New York

The preparedness specialist will focus on developing an integrated incident command system for the public health and medical providers of the City of New York. This includes the development of a curriculum and supporting materials based not only on accepted Incident Command System (ICS) concepts but also on the operational environment of public health agencies, healthcare facilities, and other healthcare providers. The preparedness specialist will be responsible for working on citywide interagency coordination issues, disaster drills/exercises, and operation of the New York City Emergency Operations Center. The preparedness specialist will serve as a resource for agencies requiring information regarding state and federal assets that may be requested in the event of an emergency. The selected candidate will be expected to work during nonbusiness hours during emergencies and will be assigned to a periodic Emergency Operations Center Team.

Qualification requirements:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited college in emergency management, public administration, urban planning, engineering, economics, political science, the physical sciences or related field, and one year of satisfactory full-time professional experience in one or a combination of the following: emergency management, fire or police services, public safety, public health, public administration, urban planning, engineering, or another specialized area to which the appointment is to be made; OR a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and two years of satisfactory full-time professional experience in the areas listed above.
  • New York City residency is required within 90 days of appointment.

Preferred skills are the following: knowledge of basic computer applications (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database); knowledge of emergency management issues; knowledge of the Federal Response Plan/National Response Plan; experience with the ICS; and strong writing skills.

Interested applicants should indicate the position to which they are applying and send resume and cover letter by e-mail (MS Word or RTF format) to jobs@oem.nyc.gov or by mail to Deputy Commissioner E. Gabriel, New York City Office of Emergency Management, 11 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

The complete position description is available online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/about/jobs_health_specialist.html.

Program Assistant
National Organization on Disability, Washington DC

The program assistant position will integrate program elements of three internal programs: the Emergency Preparedness Initiative, the Community Partnerships Program, and the National Partnerships Program. The program assistant performs a variety of tasks related to the continued development of these programs. The position will allow the candidate to interact with a variety of community-based organizations, disability advocacy groups, and emergency management personnel from first responders to local, state, and federal officials in both the emergency management arena and the special needs community.

Prerequisites for this position include the following:

  • Working knowledge of principles and practices of community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, emergency management planning, public administration, and intergovernmental coordination
  • Experience working with people with disabilities, community-based organizations, service providers, and volunteer agencies
  • Ability to work independently and a desire to continue professional development
  • Communications skills to address a range of audiences with varying degrees of ability, educational levels, and subject matter knowledge
  • Dependability, teamwork, and integrity
  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously and within a time sensitive environment
  • Basic understanding of statistics, research methods, and quantitative measures
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees, elected officials, public safety officials, and the general public

The ideal candidate holds an undergraduate degree in public service, human sciences, planning, public administration, government, emergency management, public safety, or a related field. Related experience or training in a community-based organization or public safety related employment, or a minimum of two to three years of experience in human services, field emergency medical services, social services, volunteer services, or nonprofit agencies may be considered to meet qualifications. The range of responsibility/involvement in the above tasks and the educational background and experience of the applicant will determine the salary.

To apply, submit the following:

  • A resume indicating job experience, achievements, program involvement, length of service, dates of employment, and supervisory contact name and number
  • Three professional references and three character references (family members and current supervisors are ineligible for these reference requirements)
  • A writing sample addressing the following question: “How would you increase awareness of emergency preparedness for people with disabilities and how do you suggest persons with disabilities become involved in emergency preparedness?” The writing sample should be three to five double-spaced, type-written pages. Provide appropriate citations if references are used

Application materials should be submitted to Hilary Styron, Emergency Preparedness Initiative, National Organization on Disability, 910 Sixteenth Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006. The job description may be found online at http://www.aapd-dc.org/News/employment/nodprogram.html.

Deputy Earthquake Hazards Program Coordinator for External Research
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Reston, Virginia

The USGS seeks candidates for this full-time position located at USGS Headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The position is offered at the GS-13 or GS-14 level depending on qualifications and experience.

Through applying a broad knowledge of geophysics, geology, related physical sciences, and engineering, the person in this position is responsible for coordinating the review and disposition of all proposals for research grants and cooperative agreements for seismic and geodetic monitoring supported by the Earthquake Hazards Program. These grants and agreements with universities, state agencies, and private technical firms represent one-quarter of the funds managed by the Earthquake Hazards Program Office and are a key USGS contribution to the mission of the interagency National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. A secondary duty of this position is to coordinate the tracking and reporting of performance metrics across the geology discipline hazards programs.

Applications (resumes and questionnaire responses) must be completed online via the USGS Online Automated Recruitment System by August 31, 2005. Applicants should view the vacancy announcement in its entirety to be sure that all required documents are submitted. Incomplete application packages cannot be considered.

View the vacancy announcement at http://www.usgs.gov/ohr/oars/index.html. Nonfederal employees should see vacancy announcement number HQ-2005-0183 under “Public Non-Status Vacancies.” Current and former federal employees can apply under the vacancy announcement HQ-2005-0182 under “Public Status Vacancies” for the same position. For more information, contact David Applegate (703)648-6714; e-mail: applegate@usgs.gov or Michael Blanpied (703)648-6696; e-mail: mblanpied@usgs.gov.

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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