October 6, 2006


  1. President Signs Homeland Security Appropriations and FEMA Reform
  2. Request for Comments: National Science Board Hurricane Research
  3. Request for Comments: NIMS Credentialing for EMS and IM
  4. Request for Comments: Disability Research and Emergency Management
  5. 2007 ISDR World Disaster Reduction Campaign
  6. PAHO Publication Discounts
  7. Call for Papers: Risk and Rationalities Conference
  8. Call for Entries: St. Andrews Prize for the Environment
  9. EERI 2007 Meeting: Call for Poster Abstracts and Travel Scholarships
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences, Training, and Events
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) President Signs Homeland Security Appropriations and FEMA Reform

This week, the president signed the Fiscal Year 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations bill (Public Law 109-295), providing $34.8 billion in discretionary spending for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Title III designates $6.5 billion for preparedness and recovery activities, including:

Preparedness ($4 billion):

  • $3.4 billion for the Office of Grants and Training:
    • $1.2 billion for discretionary grants
    • $525 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program
    • $375 million for law enforcement terrorism prevention grants
    • $352 million for national programs
    • $662 for firefighter assistance grants
    • $200 million for the Emergency Management Performance Grants
    • $50 million for the Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program
  • $547.6 million for infrastructure protection and information security
  • $46.8 million for the U.S. Fire Administration

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ($2.5 billion):

  • $244 million for readiness, mitigation, response, and recovery
  • $1.5 billion for disaster relief
  • $199 million for flood map modernization
  • $151.5 million for emergency food and shelter
  • $100 million for the National Predisaster Mitigation Fund
  • $33.9 million for public health programs (The National Disaster Medical System will be transferred to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in January 2007.)

Also part of the new law is the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 that calls for a comprehensive structural overhaul of FEMA that elevates the status of the director to the level of deputy secretary and requires that the director have extensive emergency response and crisis management experience; prevents the diversion of FEMA funds to other agencies; requires clearer coordination between federal, state, and local emergency preparedness entities; and restores the nexus between emergency preparedness and response.

The new law and the accompanying conference report (109-699) are available in any federal repository library and on the Library of Congress Web site at http://thomas.loc.gov/.

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2) Request for Comments: National Science Board Hurricane Research

In a recently released draft report, the National Science Board proposed a major new hurricane research effort. The report, Hurricane Warning: The Critical Need for a National Hurricane Research Initiative, says that the overall economic costs associated with hurricanes striking the mainland are growing at a much higher rate than the investments made in creating and generating new knowledge about these kinds of storms. Thus, it recommends a major increase in federal investments for hurricane research, up to $300 million in additional yearly spending to fund a new multiagency national research effort. Specifically, it recommends essential new investments in hurricane prediction to improve warnings to local officials and the general population, research toward new construction and infrastructure technologies, and understanding in greater detail the social and economic implications associated with these storms to provide better assistance to affected populations.

The draft report is available at www.nsf.gov/nsb/committees/hurricane/. E-mail comments to NSBHSE@nsf.gov before Sunday, October 29, 2006.

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3) Request for Comments: NIMS Credentialing for EMS and IM

As part of our nation’s efforts to strengthen catastrophic response capabilities in line with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency's NIMS Integration Center has released the proposed initial minimum criteria for emergency medical services ( EMS) and Incident Management (IM) personnel to be deployed using a national credentialing system. The purpose of these releases is to solicit comments and constructive feedback for an open period not to exceed 45 calendar days from the date stated in the NIMS Alert ( EMS - September 19, 2006, IM - October 4, 2006).

An EMS credentialing working group comprised of 35 subject matter experts identified 19 EMS positions anticipated to be most commonly requested during an interstate mutual aid response. For each job title, the working group identified "requisite" and "recommended" baseline criteria for education, training, experience, physical/medical fitness, certification, and licensing. These criteria are intended to complement and support existing credentialing systems. Where national standards do not exist under requisite" criteria, "recommended" criteria are listed for current and/or future consideration.

The NIMS Integration Center invites NIMS stakeholders to review these initial criteria for the standardized, national credentialing of EMS personnel at www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/ems_job.pdf and submit comments to NIMS-credentialing@L-3com.com. Read the NIMS Alert at www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/ems_pos.pdf.

An IM credentialing working group comprised of 22 Subject Matter Experts identified 8 positions anticipated to be most commonly requested during an interstate mutual aid response. For each job title, the IM Working Group identified "requisite" and "recommended" baseline criteria for education, training, experience, physical/medical fitness, certification, and licensing. These criteria are intended to complement and support existing credentialing systems. Where national standards do not exist under "requisite" criteria, "recommended" criteria are listed for current and/or future consideration.

These recommendations have been submitted to the NIMS Integration Center and will be made available on the NIMS Web page at www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/. The NIMS Integration Center invites NIMS Stakeholders to review these initial criteria for the standardized, national credentialing of IM Personnel. All comments and questions should be directed to NIMS-credentialing@L-3com.com. Read the NIMS Alert at www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/imp-15-06.pdf.

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4) Request for Comments: Disability Research and Emergency Management

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has released proposed research priorities in the areas of inclusive emergency evacuation of individuals with disabilities and emergency management technologies. The public is invited to comment on these proposed priorities, which were published as part of the NIDRR’s Combined Notice of Proposed Priorities in the September 19, 2006, Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 181, pp. 54869-54879, which can be found in any federal depository library and online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/, or at www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/proprule/2006-3/091906b.html.

Comments are due on or before October 19, 2006. For more information, contact Donna Nangle; (202) 245-7462 or Lynn Medley; (202) 245-7338; (800) 877-8339 (TDD). Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request.

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5) 2007 ISDR World Disaster Reduction Campaign

On June 15, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and its partners launched its 2006-2007 World Disaster Reduction Campaign: “Disaster Risk Reduction Begins at School.” With the premise that more needs to be done to protect children from disasters, the campaign has two main objectives: promote disaster reduction education in school curricula and improve school safety. The campaign aims to inform and mobilize governments, communities, and individuals to fully integrate disaster risk reduction into school curricula in high risk countries and to build or retrofit school buildings to withstand natural hazards. Key partners include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Action-Aid International, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and the ISDR’s thematic cluster on knowledge and education. For more information, including a press kit, case studies, a list of events, and online resources, visit www.unisdr.org/wdrc-2006-2007/.

This year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction is Wednesday, October 11.

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6) PAHO Publication Discounts

In recognition of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), regional office of the Americas for the World Health Organization, is offering select publications at a special rate. These publications include: Management of Dead Bodies after Disasters: A Field Manual for First Responders; Disasters: Selected Readings (only available in electronic format); Natural Disasters: Protecting the Public’s Health; and Humanitarian Assistance in Disasters: A Guide for Effective Aid. For more information, contact Erin Long at longerin@paho.org; http://publications.paho.org/.

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7) Call for Papers: Risk and Rationalities Conference

Economic and Social Research Council’s Social Contexts and Responses to Risk Network is calling for papers for a Risk and Rationalities conference to be held in Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 29-31, 2007.

How people identify and manage risks and uncertainties are central concerns in the policy and social sciences. These issues are becoming more pressing as a result of social, economic, and political changes and of developments in theory. Different approaches draw on different rationalities, stressing the importance of rational action, of culture, of emotions and affect, of everyday cognitive heuristics, of intuition, and of the role of trust.

Conference streams include:

  • The dynamics of risk: change and development in risk rationales
  • Approaches to risk in different disciplines: rational actors, psychometrics, and cultural values
  • Government and responses to risk
  • Varying rationalities in the management and regulation of risk
  • The advantages and limitations of heuristics
  • Affect and emotion in explaining risk responses
  • Trust and risk
  • Rationales of power, conduct, and resistance
  • General stream

E-mail abstracts (maximum 150 words) by Friday, October 30, 2006, to Mary Mustafa at M.Mustafa@kent.ac.uk; +44 (0)1227 827102. For more information, visit www.kent.ac.uk/scarr/events/rrcontext.htm.

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8) Call for Entries: St. Andrews Prize for the Environment

The University of St. Andrews and ConocoPhillips have announced the call for entries for the ninth international St. Andrews Prize for the Environment. Applications are invited from individuals, multidisciplinary teams, and community groups for the 2007 annual prize of $50,000 for the winner and $10,000 each of the two runners-up.

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.

Anyone wishing to enter the 2007 prize should submit a single page project summary of no more than 500 words by October 31, 2006. The shortlisted entries will be invited for a more substantial submission in January 2007 and the winners will be announced at a seminar at the University of St. Andrews in May 2007.

Full details about the prize and how to enter are available at www.thestandrewsprize.com/ or from the St. Andrews Prize for the environment office, +44 (0)1334 462544 or + 44 (0)1334 462161 ( Scotland); prize@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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9) EERI 2007 Meeting: Call for Poster Abstracts and Travel Scholarships

The 2007 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Annual Meeting will be held February 7-10, 2007, in Los Angeles, California. Individuals interested in participating in one of the poster sessions are invited to submit abstracts to the organizing committee. The abstracts for posters accepted for presentation will be included in the meeting notebook and therefore must be submitted in final form. They will be reproduced as submitted. All abstracts should be prepared with one-inch margins on all sides, single-spaced in 11-point Times Roman or equivalent font. Text should be flush left. The title of the poster presentation, in upper case, should be centered at the top of the page. Presenters should be identified by name, title, and organizational affiliation. Abstracts should not exceed two pages in length. E-mail abstracts by December 1, 2006, to Valarie Austin at valarie@eeri.org. Presenters will be notified in early January of acceptance.

Several scholarships are available to encourage student members and younger EERI members (out of school no more than three years) to attend the 2007 Meeting, thanks to support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The financial support will be contingent upon participation in one of the poster sessions (see above), either through the applicant’s own research project or as a representative of a student chapter depicting the chapter’s activities. Each scholarship will cover registration, lodging at the conference hotel for three nights, and roundtrip economy airfare. To apply, send a letter of request by December 1, 2006, to the Student Activities Committee in care of Valarie Austin at valarie@eeri.org. Applicants should describe their current involvement in earthquake engineering or a related field and their status as students or professionals.

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

National Emergency Management Network (NEMN)
A collaboration between the Public Entity Risk Institute and the International City/County Management Association, the NEMN is a nationwide network comprised of participating communities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that are willing to share resources with stricken areas and with each other in the event of a disaster.

10 Most Hurricane Vulnerable Areas
This list comes from the International Hurricane Research Center.

Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database
The purpose of this Congressional Research Service report (17 pp.) is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what it is and what it is not, and how it is intended to be used.

NVFC Guides to Help Volunteers Engage in Grassroots Activism
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) released two new resources to help volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel play an active role in advocating for the emergency services in the political arena. The NVFC Guide to Grassroots Activism and the Emergency Services (23 pp.) is a manual that teaches NVFC members how to communicate effectively with members of Congress. The NVFC Voter Registration and Grassroots Political Action Outline (6 pp.) highlights actions individual volunteers can take to get the voice of their department and the fire and emergency services heard by elected officials at all levels of government.

Disaster Response and Recovery Resource for Transit Agencies
The purpose of this resource (43 pp.) is to provide local transit agencies and transportation providers with useful information and best practices in emergency preparedness and disaster response and recovery. It summarizes general background information and includes best practices and links to more specific resources and more detailed information for local agencies concerning critical disaster-related elements.

Climate Change and Its Effects on Small Businesses in the UK
This report (46 pp.), commissioned by AXA Insurance and written by David Crichton, concentrates on the effects of insurance changes and climate change on small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Britain. It shows that the already high costs borne by SMEs as a result of climate change (most clearly manifested in flooding) are set to rise dramatically. Projected scenarios detailed in this report show that the cost is likely to rise in the order of 30 or 40 times by 2080. “Preparing for Climate Change: A Practical Guide for Small Businesses” (19 pp.) is also available here.

Forum for Public Safety Communication Europe
With the support of the European Commission, this forum has been established to facilitate consensus building in the area of public safety communication and information management systems. Users, policy makers, industry (technology and service providers), research organizations, and standardization bodies within public safety communication and information management systems are invited to take part.

Free Webinar: Ensuring Business Continuity
This 60-minute webcast from Disaster Recovery Journal shows how companies impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma were able to provide business continuity to their users through centralized application management. Hear two real-world case studies about the challenges and vulnerabilities these companies faced and how they overcame them. Registration required.

Early Warning - From Concept to Action: The Conclusions of the Third International Conference on Early Warning
This document (33 pp.) is an outcome of the Third International Conference on Early Warning (EWC III) hosted by the government of Germany under the auspices of the United Nations in March. The major objectives of the conference were to showcase innovative early warning projects for potential financial support and implementation; to identify unused potential in early warning; and to facilitate multidisciplinary scientific debate on latest practices and research. Other outcomes include A Compendium of Early Warning Projects (47 pp.), which consists of project proposals from all parts of the world, and a tool for practitioners, Developing Early Warning Systems: A Checklist.

Early Warning Systems: A Global Perspective
In March 2005, with a view to establishing a worldwide early warning system for all natural hazards building on existing national and regional capacity, the United Nations secretary-general requested that a global survey of capacities and gaps for early warning systems be undertaken. This report, Global Survey of Early Warning Systems: An Assessment of Capacities, Gaps and Opportunities toward Building a Comprehensive Global Early Warning System for All Natural Hazards (60 pp.), synthesizes the findings of the survey, which was carried out by the secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) in collaboration with a multiparty working group.

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11) Conferences, Trainings, and Events

[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: www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/conferences.html.]

Engineering for the Threat of Natural Disaster—Washington, DC: October 16, 2006. Organizer: National Academies of Engineering (NAE). This symposium is part of the NAE 2006 Annual Meeting. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Cecile Gonzalez; (202) 334-1678; cgonzalez@nae.edu; www.nae.edu/nae/naehome.nsf/weblinks/CGOZ-6SPPMZ?OpenDocument.

Readiness Now 2006: Summit for Disaster Management Planning—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: October 23, 2006. Sponsors: Drexel University’s College of Engineering, Environmental Tectonics Corporation, and NFC Global LLC. This summit is designed to provide a timely educational and training experience for regional senior executives from public and private sectors who need to learn and understand the intricacies and challenges of disaster management. Spanning regional to global, natural and manmade disasters, it will feature leading experts to address the key issues from four key perspectives: threats, planning, training, and response. To learn more, e-mail contact@readinessnow.org; www.readinessnow.org/.

Public Safety and Homeland Security Regional Workshop and Roundtable—Polson, Montana: October 24-25, 2006. Host: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This event is part of the FCC’s Indian Telecommunications Initiatives program. It is designed as a workshop and intergovernmental consultative meeting between FCC senior staff and the tribal leaders and representatives who have responsibility for homeland security, public safety, and information technology security and will focus on such topics as emergency preparedness and critical infrastructure protection in the communications sector and public safety communications, interoperability, and preparedness. To learn more, call (888) 225-5322 and press 5 or e-mail iti-info@fcc.gov; www.fcc.gov/indians/.

Corporate Security, Business Continuity, and Crisis Management Conference: Predicting, Mitigating, and Managing Risk—New York, New York: October 31–November 1, 2006. Organizer: The Conference Board. Topics to be addressed at this conference include turning crisis into triumph, the business case for security and continuity, the human dimension of crisis management, and confronting natural disasters (from tsunamis to pandemics). Find out more at www.conference-board.org/conferences/conference.cfm?id=1202.

Coastal GeoTools—Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: March 5-8, 2007. Organizer: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center. Coastal GeoTools will focus on the technical information needs of the nation’s coastal programs. The goal of the conference is to help the constituents of the Coastal Services Center address coastal resource management issues through the effective use of geospatial data and tools. To learn more, contact Hamilton Smillie, NOAA Coastal Services Center; (843) 740-1192; Geo.Tools@noaa.gov; www.csc.noaa.gov/geotools/.

Second Alexander von Humboldt International Conference: The Role of Geophysics in Natural Disaster Prevention—Lima, Peru: March 5-9, 2007. Sponsors: European Geophysical Union (EGU) and Geophysical Institute of Peru. This conference will focus on volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, avalanches, and extreme climate and/or meteorological events. Abstracts are due November 30, 2006. To learn more, contact Peter Fabian, EGU; +49 8161 714740 (Germany); fabian@met.forst.tu-muenchen.de; http://meetings.copernicus.org/avh2/.

Flood Disaster Risk Management—Bangkok, Thailand: March 5-16, 2007. Organizer: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). This course offers an integrated approach to the development of flood risk reduction strategies that involves engineering, settlement, development, public administration, community-based strategies, and land use planning (with environmental considerations). To learn more, contact the Training Resource Group, ADPC; tedadpc@adpc.net; www.adpc.net/trg06/trg_home.htm.

Wildland Urban Interface 2007—Reno, Nevada: March 6-8, 2007. Presenters: International Association of Fire Chiefs and “Wildland Firefighter” magazine. This conference, featuring general informational sessions, breakout sessions, and exhibits, will bring together leaders from the local, state, and federal levels to address the growing risk of the wildland-urban interface. To learn more, call (703) 449-6418, (800) 934-1957; www.iafc.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=100.

International Conference on Water and Flood Management—Dhaka, Bangladesh: March 12-14, 2007. Organizer: Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). The purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers, academicians, and professionals to exchange their views and address issues related to water and flood management to promote environmentally sustainable development. To learn more, contact the IWFM Conference Secretariat; +880 2 9665601 (Bangladesh); icwfm@iwfm.buet.ac.bd; www.buet.ac.bd/icwfm/.

International Emergency Management Conference and Exhibition—Adelaide, Australia: March 13-16, 2007. Convener: 2007 World Police and Fire Games Corporation. “Reaching beyond Catastrophe—The Return Journey” is the theme of this conference designed for specialists in emergency management. It will have broad interagency appeal and a varied program featuring a range of keynote speakers from Australia and overseas. There will be significant involvement from the business, technology, social justice, and academic communities. To learn more, contact the 007 World Police and Fire Games Conference Secretariat; +61 8 8375 9723 (Australia); conference@2007wpfg.com; www.2007wpfg.com/files/WPFG_RegoBook_pt5.pdf.

5th Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop—Seattle, Washington: March 20-23, 2007. Organizers: National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Services Division and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group. This workshop will bring together a diverse group of climate science producers and users to share developments in research and applications related to the use of climate predictions in societal decision making. The workshop will not address technical challenges of making climate predictions, climate modeling, or other technical topics related to the science of climate predictions. To learn more, contact Diana Perfect, NWS Climate Services Division; (301) 713-1970 x132; diana.perfect@noaa.gov; www.cses.washington.edu/cig/outreach/workshopfiles/cpasw07/.

2nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference: The Fire Environment—Innovations, Management, and Policy—Destin, Florida: March 26-30, 2007. This conference will focus on the fire environment. It will feature the latest innovations in wildland fire science, examples of successful and maybe not so successful management practices, and current and potentially future wildland fire policy. The program will include presentations, workshops, and field trips. To learn more, visit http://emmps.wsu.edu/fire.behavior/.

GovSec, U.S. Law, and Ready! Conference and Exposition—Washington, DC: May 9-10, 2007. This conference will bring together the three key disciplines that establish, enforce, and respond to our national security interests: government security, law enforcement, and emergency management/response. Participants will connect with each other and private industry to discuss how best to protect the nation. To learn more, call (703) 683-8500, (800) 687-7469 or e-mail: govsec@ntpshow.com; www.govsecinfo.com/.

GovSec China and Ready! China Conference and Expo 2007—Beijing, China: May 17-19, 2007. The purpose of this event is to address China’s homeland security issues and how senior government security officials and first responders can effectively meet obligations. The program focuses on discussing strategies, best practices, and technologies for counterterrorism, mass transit/transportation security, airport/aviation security, physical and information security, border control, securing high profile public events, and emergency management. To learn more, contact Infoex-World Services Ltd.; (852) 28651118 (China); info@infoexws.com; http://govsecasia.com/china/.

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12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Useful Job Sites:

International Association of Emergency Managers

National Emergency Management Association



The Chronicle of Higher Education

Interdisciplinary Social Scientist
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is seeking to hire a full-time interdisciplinary social scientist. This is a full time mid-career position involving social science/interdisciplinary research (e.g., sociology, human geography, economics, political science, policy analysis, demography, anthropology) designed to help move ISSE into a position of national and international recognition and leadership in research integrating human-environment interactions with atmospheric and Earth system dynamics. The social scientist will conduct research on the science-society interface related to weather and climate and collaborate closely with other ISSE, Societal-Environmental Research and Education laboratory (SERE), and NCAR staff and university colleagues on interdisciplinary research pertinent to ISSE’s goals and mission. Requirements include a PhD in a social science discipline or equivalent experience and at least five years research experience in an interdisciplinary setting.

Duties Include:

  • Conduct innovative social science research contributing to a collaborative program focused on integrating social, biological, and physical sciences
  • Publish results of research and communicate research findings to diverse as well as peer-reviewed audiences
  • Actively seek extra-mural funding to aid in supporting and further developing the ISSE program
  • Assist in developing interactions and collaborations with other NCAR and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Office of Programs divisions and programs and the wider university community
  • Contribute to ISSE, SERE, and NCAR scientific outreach and community development activities

Initial consideration will be given to applications received prior to November 20, 2006; applications received later will be reviewed on an as needed basis. Find out more at www.fin.ucar.edu/hr/careers/uco.cfm?do=jobDetailExt&job_ID=727.

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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