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Number 478 • May 17, 2007 | Past Issues


1) Natural Hazards Center Seeks Post-Doctoral Researcher

The Natural Hazards Center is seeking to hire a professional research assistant/post-doctoral scholar to assist with the coordination of its research program. This soft-money appointment extends for one year with the possibility of extension to two-three years.

The purpose of the position is to collaborate with the Natural Hazards Center director, program manager, research coordinator, and other staff on Center projects funded by NSF, the Department of Homeland Security, and others. The position will play a lead role in a newly funded Center project on preparedness among community-based and faith-based organizations and other non-profits providing services to at-risk populations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

Minimum Requirements:

Education: PhD in a social/behavioral science discipline or closely related field (e.g., public health).

Skills & Knowledge: Comprehensive knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, procedures, and techniques; experience coordinating fieldwork teams; advanced knowledge of qualitative data analysis techniques; excellent oral and written communication skills, accompanied by the ability to communicate with diverse audiences both inside and outside academia; excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate with others; and the ability to design, plan, implement, troubleshoot, and administer all phases of the research work. Must be willing to travel.

Experience: Two or more years of experience in fieldwork related to hazards and disasters.  

Applications will be considered beginning June 1, 2007, and will continue until the position is filled. Send vitae, samples of written work, and the names of three professional references to:  

Kathleen Tierney, Director
Natural Hazards Center
University of Colorado
482 UCB Boulder, CO 80303
Via email:

The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

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2) Poll: Majority of Americans Want FEMA Out of DHS

A United Press International (UPI)/Zogby poll of nearly 6,000 Americans found that 71 percent believe the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) should be taken out of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and restored to an independent agency.

The survey respondents overwhelming agreed that placing FEMA in DHS has “hurt the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters and emergencies by shifting the focus from disaster and emergency preparedness and placing more emphasis on counter-terrorism.”

A FEMA spokesperson told UPI that FEMA is actually stronger within DHS.

To read more about the poll, visit

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3) Poll: Federal Government Not Ready for Next Disaster

Most Americans don’t believe the federal government is prepared to respond to a disaster, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted in April and reported by the Associated Press.

Though two-thirds of respondents said their families and their local emergency response agencies were ready for a natural disaster, only 30 percent said they thought the federal government could adequately take action. Experts attribute this lack of confidence to the slow response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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4) May 20-26 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week

National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 20-26, is an annual campaign by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to increase the public’s knowledge about tropical cyclone hazards and to encourage individuals to develop preparedness plans.

For each day of the week, NOAA will feature one aspect of hurricane preparedness and the potential for damage resulting from the storms.

For more information, see

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5) CDC Issues Guidance for Using Facemasks during Pandemic

The use of facemasks and respirators, when combined with other actions, may help prevent some spread of pandemic influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Steps that should be taken during a pandemic influenza include hand washing, minimizing the likelihood of exposure by distancing infected people from others and treating them with antiviral medications, having people who are caring for ill family members voluntarily stay home, and encouraging people to avoid crowded places and large gatherings. If these steps are taken, wearing a facemask or using a respirator during a pandemic may help decrease risk of infection.

Because there is very little research about the value of masks, this guidance is a “best estimate” from public health experts based on what is currently known, according to Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC.

For more information and for the CDC’s complete guidelines, visit

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6) Call for Submissions: Journal of Disaster Research

The Journal of Disaster Research provides timely, topical information on disasters using a multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach. The journal’s target audience includes researchers, engineers, disaster prevention managers, administrators, diplomats, and disaster-related NGO personnel who fight disaster.

Technical papers, as well as contributions on disaster prevention and planning measures, risk management, disaster psychology, disaster-related medical treatment, sociological aspects of disaster, economic influences, and disaster philosophy, are invited.

The journal, based in Japan, is published in English because of its global circulation and contributions and is available in both printed and electronic form.

For more information and to view the journal’s contents, visit

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7) Trivia: The Naming of Hurricanes

On May 10, 1978, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the names of hurricanes would alternate between those of males and females. Prior to 1978, hurricanes were named solely after women.

8) Some New Web Resources

[Below are some new or updated Internet resources we have discovered. For an extensive list of useful Internet sites dealing with hazards, see]

Mitigation Success Stories in the United States, IV
This 100-page document from the Association of State Floodplain Managers presents case studies of natural hazard mitigation from 39 U.S. communities. The fourth in the Mitigation Success Stories series, this report shows the benefits of mitigation by providing examples that can serve as models for other communities and decision makers.

Giving Voice to the People of New Orleans: The Kaiser Post-Katrina Baseline Survey
One year after Hurricane Katrina and the devastating levee breaches the followed in its wake, the Kaiser Family Foundation sent a team to the New Orleans area to conduct an in-person survey. The project's goal was to offer residents a channel to express their views of the reconstruction effort as it moves forward. The survey was conducted house-to-house and face-to-face among 1,504 randomly selected adults living in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes. It is the first of three similar surveys to be conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation at 18-month intervals.

National Flood Mitigation Data Collection Tool
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, this new FEMA software provides a step-by-step process to gather information about buildings in areas being analyzed for flood risk. Additionally, data collected with this software can be digitally sent to FEMA in order to easily update FEMA’s repetitive loss database. This software can be downloaded for free by clicking the above link.

Reducing Damage from Localized Flooding
This publication is designed to help local officials understand the options available to reduce the damage, costs, and disruption brought by localized, shallow flooding in areas that often are not mapped or subject to floodplain regulations.

Oral History Series
The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) oral history project is a series of interviews with prominent figures in the field of earthquake engineering. The goal of the program is to preserve some of the rich history of those who have pioneered in shaping seismic design theory and practice. Fourteen interviews can be viewed free, in PDF form, on the EERI Web site. Print copies are also available for purchase from EERI.

Designing for Earthquakes: A Manual for Architects
This EERI-FEMA non-technical publication presents up-to-date information on natural hazard mitigation geared specifically towards architects. It explains principles of seismic design for those without an engineering and seismology background. EERI and FEMA will release a printed version of this publication soon.

Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Home This Hurricane Season
The Institute for Business and Home Safety has outlined the top five ways to better protect homes from damaging wind and rain this hurricane season. The list includes shuttering all openings; securing loose roof shingles; sealing openings, cracks, and holes; strengthening the material under roof overhangs; and surveying properties for potential flying debris.

Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth
This timeline, presented by LiveScience, shows the bleak future of environmental stability on earth due to climate change. Using several recent studies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, this article attempts to put specific dates on the damaging events that scientists believe global warming may cause.

Delivery of Benefits in an Emergency: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina
From the IBM Center for the Business of Government, this report explores the delivery of emergency financial benefits to Hurricane Katrina disaster victims. Among other case studies, the report states that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s electronic benefits transfer for $907 million in food stamps was remarkably effective, as was the American Red Cross’ delivery of emergency financial assistance.

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9) Conferences, Training, and Events

[Below are some recent announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. For a comprehensive list of upcoming hazards-related meetings, visit our Web site at]

3rd International Symposium on Geoinformation for Disaster Management (GiDM2007)—Toronto, Canada: May 25-27, 2007. The fundamental goal of this conference is to use the latest state-of-the-art, space-based technologies to understand the dynamic Earth processes and geohazards. This will be accomplished through the uses geoinformation for risk reduction, mitigation, monitoring, and response to disasters. For more information, see

Quantifying Corporate Crises and Man-Made Disasters—Amsterdam, The Netherlands: June 7-8, 2007. This congress, presented by the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, seeks to discuss and generate empirical data on the nature, frequency, and costs of corporate crises and human-made disasters and their trends over time, and to develop systems for their management. A full program will be presented on quantification of crises and disasters, and will be followed by an informal session where participants can outline and discuss research proposals in this field. For more information about the program and speakers, visit

PRIMA Annual Conference and Expo—Boston, Massachusetts: June 10-13, 2007. This conference brings together more than 2,000 employees and local officials, vendors, and suppliers with the overriding goal of improving risk management in the public sector. More than 80 concurrent educational sessions will address a variety of public risk management issues, including natural hazards. For more information, see

2007 National Conference on Community Preparedness: Partnerships and Collaboration Through Citizen Corps—Alexandria, Virginia: June 10-13, 2007. Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds. The Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security, which works closely with other federal entities, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps. Conference attendees will share best practices regarding community preparedness, examine how to reach out to specific populations, and learn innovative approaches to funding and program implementation. Visit

13th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM)—Park City, Utah: June 17-21, 2007. Organized by the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR), an interdisciplinary professional association whose members bring social science and natural science backgrounds to their research on environmental and natural resource issues, this annual meeting lists a theme of “Landscape Continuity and Change—Social Science Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Conversations.” The ISSRM has become the premier scientific meeting for academic and government researchers, students, land managers, and NGO representatives who are interested in the human dimensions of natural resources and the environment. See

5th Annual Meeting of the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)—Snowbird, Utah: June 19-21, 2007. The National Science Foundation created NEES to improve understanding of earthquakes and their effects. NEES is a shared national network of 15 experimental facilities, collaborative tools, a centralized data repository, and earthquake simulation software, all linked by ultra-high-speed Internet2 connections. Together, these resources provide a means for collaborative research and discovery across institutions. The NEES annual conference will provide participants with the opportunity to learn about the latest contributions to earthquake engineering from both national and international researchers. More information is available at

32nd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment—San José, Costa Rica: June 25-29, 2007. The symposium will address the nine societal benefits defined by the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) as well as related topics dealing with remote sensing technologies and education. The first identified area is “reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters.” The symposium will also focus on understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being; understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate variability and change; improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle; improving weather information, forecasting, and warning; improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems; supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification; and understanding, monitoring, and conserving biodiversity. Visit

17th World Conference on Disaster Management—Toronto, Canada: July 8-11, 2007. The theme for this conference will be “Emergency Management and Business Continuity Working Together.” It will feature speakers from many parts of the world and provide opportunities for both training and networking with experts and practitioners in all areas of emergency and risk management. For more information, see

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10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Federal Career Intern Program (FEMA FCIP)
Federal Emergency Management Agency

Two positions within the Office of Policy and Program Analysis:
Strategic Planning and Analysis
Program Analysis and Evaluation

FEMA’s Office of Policy and Program Analysis is seeking two candidates under the FEMA Federal Career Intern Program. This Office provides Agency-wide leadership and coordination for Policy; Program Analysis and Evaluation; Strategic Planning and Analysis; and, Transition Planning. One intern position would be located within Strategic Planning and Analysis, and the other within Program Analysis and Evaluation. A FEMA Federal Career Intern Program Fact Sheet, with general Applicant Characteristics and Qualifications, is attached. The specific knowledge and skills being sought for these two positions include: research and analytical skills; ability to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis; knowledge of planning and performance metrics; excellent written and oral communication skills; the ability to prepare information for presentation to a wide range of audiences; and, a knowledge of emergency management and preparedness and interest in FEMA’s mission.

The entry level position for qualified candidates (including candidates with a Masters or equivalent degree) is a GS-09, with promotion potential to a GS-13. Interested applicants should direct questions and submit resumes via email to . These positions are located within FEMA’s headquarters office in Washington, DC. Relocation expenses are not eligible. Applicants should submit resumes by May 31, 2007.

Emergency Management Project Coordinator
Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA); Vancouver, Washington

CRESA is seeking candidates with demonstrated group facilitation skills and experience, as well as project planning to coordinate regional preparedness projects. (NOTE: This is a grant-funded limited duration position. Funding secured through June 30, 2008)

Qualifications: Any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides an applicant with the knowledge, skills and ability required to successfully perform the job will be considered. A typical way to obtain this would be: one year of group facilitation and/or project coordination experience in emergency management or an applicable field, demonstrated experience in consensus building, providing group training and policy development, Bachelors’ Degree (additional related work experience may substitute for all or a portion of the required degree on a year-for-year basis.)

Salary Range: $3,925 to $5,591 per month. CRESA’s policy is to start employees in the lower-to-mid salary range, depending on qualifications.

Karen Johnson, HR Manager
Fax: 360-694-1954

Emergency Operations Center Manager
Fairfax County Government; Fairfax, Virginia

Responsibilities: Manages both the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Alternate EOC to ensure 24/7 operational readiness. Provides operational support to the emergency management, homeland security programs, and watch officer programs. Operates communications and computer equipment. Researches and writes operational procedures. Manages personnel and resources. Participates in EOC operations during emergencies and exercise events. Conducts training exercises. Maintains a professional working relationship with internal and external agencies. Position is subject to recall during significant events and serves as an Office of Emergency Management Duty Officer on a rotational basis.

Minimum Qualifications: Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in business administration, law enforcement, emergency management or related field; plus six years of experience in emergency management and/or emergency services/public safety, to include project and program management.

Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of EOC operations, information management technology/GIS, emergency response operations and emergency management.

Apply online at Please note the Job # (07-9013) for this announcement before you visit our Web site to apply.

Executive Director, Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)
Council of State Governments; Lexington, Kentucky

DUTIES: Provides executive level supervision and day to day management for a national standards, assessment and accreditation program for state/territorial and local emergency management programs. Duties include: financial planning, management and reporting; strategic planning and business plan implementation; development and fundraising; federal grant project management; hiring and supervising personnel and staff development; interface with The Council of State Governments and The National Emergency Management Association. Also provide direct support to EMAP Commission and committees, educate and work with stakeholder organizations and decision makers on related issues and projects; advocacy activities with the federal government and Congress; education and information sharing. Public speaking. Travel required.

EDUCATION/ EXPERIENCE: Advanced degree in specified field, with at least five years of relevant experience and at least three years of direct supervisory or managerial experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.

SALARY RANGE: $69,917 - $95,000

DEADLINE: May 31, 2007 CONTACT: Please send cover letter, resume and references to

Program Administrator (Emergency Preparedness and Response Program)
Denver Department of Environmental Health; Denver, Colorado

Denver Department of Environmental Health (DEH) seeks a Program Planning Administrator to assist the DEH Emergency Preparedness and Response Program Manager in developing/updating, implementing, and administering emergency response plans, protocols and procedures in preparation for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The DEH emergency preparedness and response program addresses environmental health; public health/medical support; public health/environmental surveillance; food safety and security; vector control; victim identification/mortuary services; animal care and control; and releases of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear substances. The successful applicant will assume a significant role in the design and implementation of programs and services to counteract/mitigate the public health and environmental impact of emergencies and disasters resulting from natural and human-caused events, including acts of terrorism.

Duties may include the following: Establishes goals; develops and implements policies; develops and modifies work plans and sets priorities; ensures program operates in conformance with policies, work plans; conducts needs assessments and directs program evaluation and achieves program goals; develops budget and administers financial operations; modifies and develops new programs as needed; resolves complex problems that cross functional and administrative boundaries; maintains and improves relationships with agencies, communities to improve program decisions in controversial areas; assigns, review, and corrects work; acts as program spokesperson.

This is a LIMITED position with an ends date of one year after hire. The position may be extended for a longer amount of time.

Baccalaureate Degree in Public Administration, Management, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, or a related field. Three years of professional or technical level experience organizing the administrative aspects of a program(s) or training program participants and/or volunteers, one year of which must have been working with emergency preparedness and response programs. A combination of appropriate education and experience may be substituted for the minimum education and experience requirements, except for the one year experience working with emergency preparedness and response programs.

Applications may be completed on the Web site:

Post-Doctoral Researcher or Research Fellow
Global Carbon Project; Onogawa, Tsukuba, Japan

We are looking for one researcher to work with us on a project which started in April 2007 as part of a larger team (about 40 researchers) that includes members from a number of key research institutions in Japan. The goal of the overall project is to conduct a synthetic study on next-generation climate change scenarios. The project is funded by the Global Environment Research Fund from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan. The successful candidate will provide input on a component of this research, entitled “spatially-explicit emission and land use change scenarios”. In particular, the sub-component on which the researcher will work is entitled “Research on validating spatially-explicit scenarios and building an international network”. The researcher will work under the guidance and supervision of the Leader of this sub-component Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal. The researcher will also be required to contribute to research and activities related to the Urban and Regional Carbon Management initiative ( of the Global Carbon Project (

Post-doctoral researcher or Research fellow. The position is also open to people on sabbatical leave or secondment from other research institutions.

Period of Employment:
The successful applicant will be offered an annual contract which will expire at the end of the Japanese fiscal year (March 31, 2008). Initial hiring will be done for one year. The contract may be renewed (to a maximum of five years) subject to performance evaluation and budgetary review.

Nature of Research:
A number of global scenarios have been downscaled (top-down) for use by impact and emission communities of climate change; however, less or no efforts have yet been made to compare these downscaled scenarios to actual places (bottom-up). This research aims to compare such top-down approaches with bottom-up analyses from a number of test-sites in large cities and their surroundings. This will entail estimating greenhouse gases and aerosols at test sites and comparing them with emissions in down-scaled scenarios. These activities will also feed into Theme 2 of the research framework for the Urban and Regional Carbon Management initiative of the Global Carbon Project which aims to clarify the drivers, mechanisms, and methodologies for future scenarios of carbon emission at urban and regional levels.

Duties will primarily include (a) reviewing past research and methodologies at global and urban/regional levels (b) developing data friendly simple methodologies for estimating emissions at urban and regional levels (c) contributing towards building international networks involving test-sites and the wider community, and (d) developing a database of key data and information for test-sites.

Some of the key activities to be performed by the successful candidate will include:
-- Reviewing methodologies and techniques used in (1) making global scenarios and in their downscaling and (2) estimating emissions
-- Reviewing basic drivers and mechanisms that are responsible for emissions (greenhouse gases and aerosols), available methodologies for estimating emissions, and future scenarios at urban and regional levels
-- Identifying specific activities at urban and regional levels that govern emissions. Based on that, developing a simple methodology for emission estimation and spatial disaggregation with due consideration to data availability
-- Determining what kinds of data (such as activity data, level of aggregation, emission factors, spatial domains) and information (qualitative and quantitative) are needed at urban and regional levels
-- Building a network of researchers from a few test-sites and engaging them as potential collaborators. Mobilizing the network towards collecting data and information
-- Working and communicating with relevant people in the international community such as the Earth System Science Partnership ( family and others through the Global Carbon Project
-- Contributing to syntheses and research activities related to the Urban and Regional Carbon Management initiative of the Global Carbon Project, and especially to scenarios
-- Assisting in the preparation of project reports for fulfilling reporting requirements
-- Other tasks as assigned by the Theme Leader

Ph. D. in a relevant discipline, as this is largely a multidisciplinary endeavor
-- Ability to conduct research and activities mentioned above
-- Ability to carry out quick literature reviews and syntheses
-- Ability to prepare research reports and other publications in English
-- Familiarity with research on global greenhouse gas emissions, impact and climate scenarios, and downscaling
-- A good understanding of urban/regional dynamics, energy and infrastructure, socio-economic activity data, emission factors, and basic socio-economic drivers and mechanisms that govern emissions at urban and regional levels
-- Ability to handle a large quantity of data and information
-- Ability to network and collect information/data
-- Familiarity with GIS and remote sensing will be appreciated
-- Fluency in English (working language is English) but ability to communicate in Japanese will be an advantage as many team members are Japanese
-- Ability to work in a group and in a culturally diverse environment

Interested applicants are requested to submit a CV, a cover letter expressing interest/relevant experience, a list of publications, and the names and contact information of two referees (preferably by e-mail) to:

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal Executive Director
Global Carbon Project - Tsukuba International Office National Institute for Environmental Studies
16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Japan 305 8506
Tel: +81 29 850 2672
Fax: +81 29 850 2960
E-mail: (please cc to:

Applicants are encouraged to contact for any queries regarding the position. Selection process will begin on 15 June, 2007 until position is filled. We hope to finalize selection within two weeks after selection begins and expect the candidate to join us as soon as possible after that.

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University of Colorado at Boulder

Natural Hazards Center
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