September 2 , 2005


  1. NSF/CMS Funding Available for Hurricane Katrina Research
  2. NSF/HSD Funding Available for Hurricane Katrina Research
  3. Hurricane Katrina Quick Response Grants
  4. 2005 Hazards Workshop Abstracts and Summaries Available Online
  5. Propose a Session for the 2006 Hazards Workshop
  6. Fire Prevention and Safety Grants
  7. Call for Abstracts: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress
  8. September “Observer” Available Online
  9. St. Andrews Prize for the Environment
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences and Training
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) NSF/CMS Funding Available for Hurricane Katrina Research

The Division of Civil and Mechanical Systems (CMS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be accepting proposals from the research community to support reconnaissance teams to enter the Gulf Coast disaster area to capture data from Hurricane Katrina. Proposals will conform to the rules for the Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program and be submitted via FastLane. These funds will be used to fund teams to document damage and collect perishable data in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Historically, postdisaster reconnaissance awards for SGERs are in the range of $10,000 to $30,000.

The number of awards will depend on the quality of proposals received and the availability of funds. Proposals should be submitted via FastLane (https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp) in conformance with the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (NSF 04-23). The guide is available online at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/nsf04_23/2.jsp#IID1. For full consideration, proposals should be submitted by September 9, 2005.

Prior to submission, the appropriate NSF/CMS program officer must be contacted: Rick Fragaszy for Geotechnical or Structural Engineering issues or Dennis Wenger for Emergency Management and Response issues. Fragaszy and Wenger can be reached at (703) 292-8360 or via e-mail at rfragasz@nsf.gov or dwenger@nsf.gov.

Subjects for consideration by the research community include but are not limited to:

  1. Meteorological data including
    • Wind speeds and distribution
    • Storm surge
  2. Damage data including
    • Spatial damage distribution
    • Damage to residential structures
    • Impact damage to larger engineered structures
    • Damage to the electrical power system including transmission lines, power substations, and generating plants
    • Damage to the levee systems and documentation of the repair efforts; damage to the drainage pump system
    • Damage to coastal bridges and highways, railroads, pipelines
    • Damage to on and offshore industrial facilities
  3. Environmental impact assessment including
    • Public health and disease effects of the disaster
    • Petrochemical and other contamination from the storm
    • Damage to the potable water and wastewater systems
    • Damage to municipal solid waste and hazardous waste containment facilities
    • Erosion
  4. Emergency Management
    • Assessment of disaster planning in light of actual events
    • Effectiveness of warning and evacuation systems
    • Social vulnerability analyses
    • Establishment and operation of emergency shelters
    • Infrastructure restoration management
    • Search and rescue and delivery of emergency medicine
    • Urban versus rural effects of the storm
  5. Other related issues

2) NSF/HSD Funding Available for Hurricane Katrina Research

The Human and Social Dynamics (HSD) priority area of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces that it will accept Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) proposals for research related to Hurricane Katrina. The HSD priority area seeks to stimulate breakthroughs in knowledge about human action and development, as well as organizational, cultural, and societal adaptation and change.

Researchers interested in submitting SGER proposals to HSD should contact one of the following program directors prior to submission to discuss their ideas: Robert O’Connor, Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences; (703) 292-7263; e-mail: roconnor@nsf.gov or Dennis Wenger, Directorate for Engineering; (703) 292-7014; e-mail: dwenger@nsf.gov; http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/hsd/. For additional information about SGER proposals, see the Grant Proposal Guide, Section II.D.1, http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg.

3) Hurricane Katrina Quick Response Grants

The Natural Hazards Center is in the process of activating several Quick Response grants studying the impacts of Hurricane Katrina. More information on specific projects will be announced in the coming weeks. Proposals for Quick Response studies are solicited each September by the Center and are approved on a "stand-by" basis. If a qualifying event occurs during the following year, researchers have the option of activating their grants. The small grants average about $2,000 and cover transportation, food, and lodging. The Center is activating new proposals as well as those submitted last fall. For information on proposing or activating a Quick Response grant for Hurricane Katrina, contact Greg Guibert at (303) 492-2149; e-mail greg.guibert@colorado.edu. Quick Response Program requirements are available on the Web at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/index.html.

4) 2005 Hazards Workshop Abstracts and Summaries Available Online

In July 2005, hazards researchers and professionals, including federal, state, and local government officials; representatives from nonprofit organizations and private industry; and other interested individuals, convened in Boulder, Colorado, for the Natural Hazards Center’s 30th Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Participants debated, explored, and shared information on a wide range of issues. This year’s session topics included the 2004 Asian tsunami, social isolation in disaster planning, the effectiveness of land use zoning as a hazard mitigation tool, climate change and unpredictability, innovations in Earth observations, legal issues regarding quarantine, and many, many others.

To share some of the ideas and discussions presented during the workshop, the Center publishes brief summaries of each session, abstracts of the research presented, and descriptions of the projects and programs discussed. This is a valuable resource for those who were unable to attend, as well as for those who were. Session summaries, abstracts, and other workshop materials are available online at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/workshop/2005/.

5) Propose a Session for the 2006 Hazards Workshop

The Natural Hazards Center invites proposals for session topics for the 2006 Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Proposed session topics will provide guidance to the Center as it plans and prepares next year’s program. Session ideas may be modified, combined, or otherwise altered by the Center and submission of a topic does not guarantee inclusion on the program.

The annual workshop is designed to bring members of the research and applications communities together for face-to-face networking and discussion of cutting-edge issues related to hazards and disasters and society’s efforts to deal with them. It provides a dynamic, provocative, and challenging forum for the diverse opinions and perspectives of the hazards community.

Session topics must be submitted by October 14, 2005, to be considered. To submit a session idea, go to http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/workshop/2006/session_proposal.html.

6) Fire Prevention and Safety Grants

The Department of Homeland Security has announced details and guidance regarding the 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The program provides grants directly to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations for the purpose of enhancing first responders’ ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first responder personnel facing fire and fire related hazards. The primary goal of the AFG Program’s Fire Prevention and Safety Grant is to reach high risk target groups to mitigate the high incidences of death and injuries. As in prior years, this year’s grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that best meet the program’s criteria.

The 2005 AFG Program Guidance document provides a summary of the grants, explains how to apply, describes the items that can be requested, and explains how applications will be evaluated. For more information, contact Brian Cowan, Fire Grants Program Office, Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, 810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531; http://www.firegrantsupport.com/.

7) Call for Abstracts: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress

The Environmental Water and Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) invites you to submit paper abstracts for the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress in Omaha, Nebraska, May 21-25, 2006. The proceedings from the conference will be published. A few of the suggested topics include dam removal; environmental processes; hydraulics and waterways; and sustainable development in water, stormwater, and wastewater.

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words and in English. ASCE membership is not required for submission. Authors whose abstracts are accepted and who submit a final paper are expected to attend the congress, pay the appropriate fees, and make their presentation(s) in person. The deadline for submission is September 16, 2005. Failure to submit abstracts and/or final papers by the deadline will result in removal from the congress program and proceedings. For program questions, contact Randall Graham, rrgraham@pbsj.com or David M.Admiraal, dadmiraal@unl.edu. To submit an abstract, follow the instructions at http://www.asce.org/conferences/ewri2006/abstract.cfm.

8) September Observer Available Online

The September 2005 edition of the Natural Hazards Observer is now available online at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/o/.

9) St. Andrews Prize for the Environment

Applications are invited from individuals, multidisciplinary teams, and community groups for the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment 2006. The primary objective of the prize is to find innovative solutions to environmental problems. The solutions should be practical, combining good science, economic reality, and political acceptability. The prize offers people from all backgrounds around the world the chance to help transform their environmental ideas into reality and also provides a network of connections and support. The winner will receive $50,000 and two runners-up will each receive $10,000.

The prize is an environmental initiative by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the international integrated energy company ConocoPhillips. Recognizing significant contributions to environmental conservation since its launch in 1998, the prize has attracted entries from more than 50 countries each year on topics as diverse as sustainable development in the Amazon rainforest, urban regeneration, recycling, health and water issues, and renewable energy. The submissions for the annual prize are assessed by eminent trustees from science, industry, and government.

Anyone wishing to enter the 2006 prize should submit a single page project summary of no more than 500 words by October 31, 2005. The short listed entries will be invited for a more substantial submission in January 2006, and the winners will be announced at a seminar at the University of St. Andrews in May 2006. Full details about the prize and how to enter are available at http://www.thestandrewsprize.com/.

10) 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/.]

Satellite/Aerial Imagery of Hurricane Katrina Damage
These Web sites provide updated satellite and aerial images of areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA Hurricane Katrina Information
This Web page of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information on Hurricane Katrina, including evacuees and disaster victims, emergency personnel, volunteers, and federal resources.

Use of Former (Shuttered) Hospitals to Respond to Disasters
Use of Former (Shuttered) Hospitals, a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, offers information for emergency responders and public health officials charged with opening shuttered hospitals to respond to crisis created by disasters. The report is available online and includes a surge capacity toolkit and a variety of checklists to guide planners.

Results of Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System Meeting
A summary of the results of the First Session of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in Perth, Australia, August 2-5, 2005, is available here.

Common Misconceptions - Panic, Disaster Syndrome, and Looting
The chapter, "Common Misconceptions in Disasters: Panic, the 'Disaster Syndrome,' and Looting," (Auf der Heide, E., 2004) in the book The First 72 Hours: A Community Approach to Disaster Preparedness is now available at no charge at the Web site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

Results of 2005 IAEM Demographics Survey
The results of the 2005 emergency management demographics survey conducted by the International Association for Emergency Managers (IAEM) is available here.

Impact of Lifelines on the Estimation of Natural Hazards Losses
This short article available on the Web site of the International Risk Management Institute discusses damage of utilities and transportation networks resulting in business interruption and facility operation.

Ready South Texas Campaign
Ready South Texas is a public education and outreach program that teaches children and adults what to do before, during, and after critical incidents.

Windstorm Inspections Program
The Texas Department of Insurance created this program to increase public awareness and preparedness for hurricane season by providing information about obtaining or maintaining windstorm insurance coverage when building, remodeling, repairing, or re-roofing structures.

Hurricanes and Global Warning
The paper Hurricanes and Global Warming (Pielke, R. et al, 2005) reviews recent research on tropical cyclones and climate change from the perspective of event risk, vulnerability, and outcome risk. The full version of the paper is available online and will be published in the December 2005 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

11) 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.]

FireRescue Conference and Expo 2005. Organizers: Elsevier's FireRescue Magazine and Reed Exhibitions. Las Vegas, Nevada: November 9-13, 2005. This educational event is designed to duplicate the FireRescue Magazine philosophy "Read It Today, Use It Tomorrow." Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two full days of hands-on training sessions and/or preconference workshops on November 9 and 10. The main conference features the following training academies: Fire Operations and Tactics, Rescue/Extrication, Company Officer Development, Training Instructor/Educator Development, Homeland First Response, Rural Fire Command, Fire Based EMS, and a dedicated Wildland Fire Conference. The expo will showcase new and innovative products and technologies. For information about the conference, contact Diana Press at (800) 363-3631 or Erin McArdle (exhibit sales) at (203) 840-5401; http://www.firerescueexpo.com.

Survive 16th Annual Business Continuity Conference. London, England: November 16-17, 2005. This conference will update participants with the work of the United Kingdom and European and world governments to ensure preparedness for and resilience to disasters. A few of the conference's topics include climate change awareness and resilience, ethical issues in the supply chain, business continuity in the transportation sector, and winning and retaining public trust. For additional information, contact Marylise Kellie at +44 (0)20 7265 2030; e-mail: mkellie@survive.com; http://www.survive.com/.

Earth and Space 2006. Organizer: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Houston, Texas: March 5-8, 2006. This conference hosted by the Aerospace Division of the ASCE will bring together experts from a variety of disciplines to discuss exploration, engineering, construction, and operations in challenging environments on Earth, in Space, and on other planetary bodies such as the moon and Mars. Technology transfer is a key goal of the conference. For more information, contact the ASCE, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191; (800)548-2723; http://www.asce.org/conferences/space06/.

100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference Commemorating the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Organizers: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), Seismological Society of America (SSA), and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Management. San Francisco, California: April 18-22, 2006. The 100th anniversary of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake provides a valuable opportunity to learn from the past, assess the present, and prepare for the future. EERI and the SSA are joining with Disaster Resistant California to focus on how communities can manage their risk through science, public policy, emergency response, and business continuity. For more information, visit http://www.1906eqconf.org/.

12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Health Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has an immediate opening for a health planner I or II to provide professional research, analysis, and policy and program support for COG's regional health programs, including public health, behavioral/mental health, and substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Key areas of responsibility include assisting senior staff in administering COG’s health work program, including professional staff support for health related committees, policy initiatives, and program tasks. The health planner will also be responsible for assisting senior COG staff and committee representatives in advancing health related policy and technical issues associated with COG's regional emergency coordination plan.

Specific tasks include preparing health policy and technical reports under the guidance of COG staff and health committees; memoranda and other program correspondence; responding to requests for information from COG member local governments and area health agencies; presentation of information, findings, and other data to COG health and policy committees; coordinating regional meetings, health conferences, training programs, and symposiums under the guidance of health committees; and assisting senior staff in developing funding proposals to expand and enhance the public health work program. Additionally, the planners will conduct health related research and epidemiological analysis.

Planner I applicants must have a master's degree in health, public administration, or a related field. Planner II applicants must have a master's degree in public health, public administration/management, social work (administrative), or related academic field and two years professional work experience in one or more of the above-referenced areas is desired. Other combinations of experience/education will be considered. Strong writing and communication skills are required. Must be detail-oriented and have good organizational skills. Demonstrated experience using the following software: word processing, spreadsheet, and graphic/presentation.

To apply, submit salary history along with a recent resume and a cover letter indicating the specific position for which you are applying with the corresponding job code number to Office of Human Resource Management, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 777 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20002. For the full job description, visit the Web page http://www.mwcog.org/resources/opportunities/detail.asp?JOB_ID=113.

Mendenhall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
U.S. Geological Society

The U.S. Geological Society (USGS) Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program is seeking applicants for postdoctoral positions in landslide hazards research and in research on the effects of urban growth and climate change on societal vulnerability to multiple hazards.

Mendenhall Fellows are appointed to the USGS for two years and receive full salary and benefits at the GS-12 level. Appointments are to begin between October 2006 and March 2007. The application deadline is December 1, 2005. Priority will be given to U.S. citizens and nationals, but noncitizens may be considered under certain circumstances. For additional information on the Mendenhall Fellowship Program, application process, necessary qualifications, and detailed descriptions for the research opportunities, contact Rama K. Kotra at (703)648-6271; e-mail: rkotra@usgs.gov. The complete list of research opportunities is available at http://geology.usgs.gov/postdoc/.

Response Alternatives for Technical Services
U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, Washington DC and Abroad

The U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) seeks applications for positions in Washington, DC and abroad. OFDA is currently seeking Response Alternatives for Technical Services (RATS) for a variety of technical specialties, including nutrition, administration, and water and sanitation.

RATS respond to humanitarian emergencies - natural, technological, and conflict-related disasters - as required, worldwide. RATS is a program developed by OFDA to satisfy its growing need for surge capacity. In response to numerous disasters worldwide, it became clear that OFDA could not find, in a timely manner, adequate staff to cover all positions in the field and in Washington and to backfill for permanent staff deploying to the field. OFDA approved a program that would bring onboard select candidates who could work on a part-time basis, for no more than 250 working days per calendar year, and be deployed within hours to facilitate OFDA’s response to disasters. RATS positions are contracted for an initial period of one year with the option to extend up to five years.

Visit http://www.globalcorps.com to learn more about these employment opportunities or to join the mailing list and receive e-mails as new positions become available. Contact Amy Feldman at (202) 661-9377 or afeldman@globalcorps.com for more information.

Floodplain/Natural Hazards Mapping Specialist
Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Salem, Oregon

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is recruiting for the position of Floodplain/Natural Hazards Mapping Specialist. This is a limited duration position expected to end on June 30, 2007. This position works out of the main DLCD office in Salem, Oregon.

The primary purpose of the Floodplain/Natural Hazards Mapping Specialist position is to provide state assistance and guidance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Map Modernization initiative of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The incumbent will be responsible for NFIP map modernization and related natural hazards mapping support activities, in accordance with grant agreements between DLCD and FEMA. The incumbent shall also work to build and maintain program capacity to provide digital data for floodplain and related natural hazards management purposes.

View the full job announcement and instructions for applying at http://egov.oregon.gov//LCD/jobs/LE050539.shtml.

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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