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Number 492 • December 13, 2007 | Past Issues


1) Second Issue of Research Digest Now Online

The Natural Hazards Center is proud to announce the second issue of its new electronic publication titled Research Digest—a quarterly online compilation of recent research related to hazards and disasters. It provides the complete references and abstracts (when available) for current research in the field. The aim of Research Digest is to advance and communicate knowledge on hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery within an all-hazards, interdisciplinary framework.

The current issue includes more than 175 articles cataloged between August and mid-November 2007. The issues are compiled and edited by Center staff and include more than 35 peer-reviewed publications. Check out the past and present issues online at

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2) Call for Papers: Annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition

The Natural Hazards Center is pleased to announce its fifth annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition.

Papers may present current research, literature reviews, theoretical arguments, or case studies. Subject matter may include, but is not limited to, floods/floodplain management, Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes, climate change, warning systems, hazard mitigation, emergency management, vulnerability, or other topics relevant to the social/behavioral aspects of hazards and disasters.

Papers will be judged on their originality, organization, and demonstrated knowledge of the topic. One undergraduate and one graduate winner each will receive $100; mention in the Natural Hazards Observer; publication on the Natural Hazards Center Web site; and an invitation to the Annual Hazards Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, registration fees included.

The deadline for submission is March 14, 2008. Additional information is available at:

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3) Call for Papers: Australian Journal of Emergency Management

The Australian Journal of Emergency Management is calling for papers for a special edition of the journal with a theme of “All Hazards Risk Assessments” to be published in late 2008.

This special edition will focus on risk assessment and scenario development by governments in relation to the Council of Australian Government (COAG) reforms on Natural Disasters, Bushfires, and Catastrophic Disasters, with the aim of showcasing best practices in producing new information on risk from all hazards.

Papers are sought from a ll levels of government (local, state and territory, federal); academics; consultants; the insurance and reinsurance industry; and research, scientific, and information management/provision agencies.

Suggested topics include:

  • Risk management, including risk assessment
  • Implementing mitigation strategies, including case studies
  • Development and application of information systems that capture and/or deliver information on risk
  • Development and application of risk assessment tools and their use
  • Community involvement in managing risk
  • Land use planning schemes
  • Guidelines, policies, and legislation

Abstracts should be submitted to by February 28, 2008.

Contributors’ guidelines can be found at

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4) Call for Applications: Summer Academy on Vulnerability

The Munich Re Foundation and the United Nations University Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) have announced the third annual Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability, with a theme of “Environmental Change, Social Vulnerability, and Migration.”

The 2008 Summer Academy will be held July 20-26, 2008, at the historic Hohenkammer Castle (Schloss Hohenkammer) in the countryside outside of Munich, Germany.

Qualified Ph.D. candidates working on dissertations related to environmental change, migration, and social vulnerability are invited to apply for the 2008 Summer Academy by January 15, 2008.

Applications should be submitted online at

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5) PERI Symposium on Homeland Security and Environmental Sustainability

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) will hold a week-long symposium titled “ Infrastructure Risk and Renewal: The Clash of Blue and Green” on January 14-18, 2008. The program will be conducted entirely online on the PERI Web site, and there is no cost to participate.

The symposium will attempt to find practical steps to reconcile the demands of two largely independent but increasingly competitive policy movements:

  • the "sustainability" movement, aimed at environmental protection and resource efficiency and particularly concerned with green designs for buildings and other infrastructure; and
  • the homeland/national security movement, responding to the threats of attack or disaster and particularly concerned with infrastructure security, which we identify with the color blue.

The program will be of particular interest to those involved in public or private infrastructure policy, planning, design, architecture, construction, or operations; individuals concerned with safety, security energy/resource efficiency, environmental protection, economics, finance, and other pertinent topics; and policymakers at all levels of government.

More information can be found at

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6) FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Training

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) serves as the national focal point for the development and delivery of emergency management training courses to enhance the capabilities of federal, state, local, and tribal government officials; volunteer organizations; and public and private sectors to minimize the impact of disasters. Course delivery includes emergency management training in areas of natural and human-caused hazards, exercise design and evaluation, and public information.

EMI offers an Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) curriculum of exercise-based (tabletop and functional) training, which emphasizes the integration of emergency operations center functions performed by public officials and emergency managers in disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation phases. State and local governments may also request community-specific IEMCs tailored to their jurisdictions and specific hazard. For more information, visit the IEMC Web site at or contact William Tschumy at or (301) 447-1095.

7) CEO of American Red Cross Ousted

The president and CEO of the American Red Cross, Mark W. Everson, resigned on November 27, 2007, after the Board of Governors for the agency learned that he was “engaged in a personal relationship with a subordinate employee.” The Board then appointed Mary S. Elcano, general counsel for the American Red Cross, as acting president and CEO.

A search committee has been formed by the Board and will immediately undertake the process of selecting a new CEO.

More information is available in this press release from the Red Cross:,1077,0_314_7312,00.html.

8) Look for the Next Disaster Research in 2008

Due to the holiday season, the next Disaster Research will be posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008. Happy Holidays!

9) 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]

Disaster Risk Reduction: 2007 Global Review
“A radical realignment of priorities in addressing the Hyogo Framework for Action are required if the growing population living in high risk conditions is to be adequately protected,” concludes this report from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. The 2007 Global Review emphasizes the need for addressing underlying risk factors through livelihood diversification, environmental management, climate change adaptation, better building practices, and settlement planning.

USGS Responds to Southern California Fires
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) launched this Web site for public access to science information in the aftermath of the southern California wildfires. Those affected by the fires can find out how to prepare for and protect themselves from flash floods and debris flows, commonly known as mudflows; see satellite imagery of the burned areas; learn about real-time stream-flow/flood information; listen to interviews with scientists; and view a video and photo gallery.

Climate Alarm: Disasters Increase as Climate Change Bites
Natural disasters have quadrupled over the last two decades, from an average of 120 a year in the early 1980s to as many as 500 today, according to this 28-page report from Oxfam International. The report recommends social protection and disaster risk reduction approaches for the world’s most vulnerable population—the poor.

A Fresh Look
R. David Paulison, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is the subject of this question-and-answer style article in Emergency Management magazine. In the interview, Paulison addresses changes at FEMA and their potential impacts to local and state governments.

Hospitals Safe from Disaster
This campaign brochure from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction is part of the World Campaign for Disaster Reduction 2008-2009. The goals of the Campaign on Hospitals Safe from Disaster are to (1) p rotect the lives of patients and health workers by ensuring the structural resilience of health facilities; (2) make sure health facilities and health services are able to function in the aftermath of emergencies and disasters; and (3) improve the risk reduction capacity of health workers and institutions.

10 Solutions for Climate Change
This Scientific American article lists 10 actions that one person can take to reduce the impacts of climate change. Foregoing fossil fuels, moving closer to work, consuming less, and eating smart are just a few of the suggestions.

Expect the Unexpected: Prepare Your Business for Disaster
The U.S. Small Business Administration and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company have teamed up to launch this disaster planning guide for small business owners. The 10-page guide provides information business owners need to develop an effective plan to protect customers and employees in the event of a disaster. The guide provides key disaster preparedness strategies to help small businesses identify potential hazards, create plans to remain in operation if the office is unusable, and understand the limitations of their insurance coverage.

Northern Research Network
The Northern Research Network facilitates dialogue among researchers conducting work on the circumpolar North in the humanities and social sciences. The network is a vehicle for building professional relationships, communicating funding and conference news, sharing resources, and disseminating information on fieldwork and academic writing.

A Disaster Pet Plan That Worked for San Diego
This press release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) details the success of San Diego County’s disaster pet plan that was in place during the southern California wildfires.

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10) 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]

29th Annual International Disaster Management Conference—Orlando, Florida: January 31- February 3, 2008. Organizer: Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center. The 29th Annual International Disaster Management Conference has been designed to meet the educational needs of all persons and agencies involved with emergency preparedness, response, and disaster recovery. This year’s Planning
Committee acknowledges the unique role that the myriad of first responders, response agencies, and communities play in planning for, responding to, and mitigating disasters. All persons and agencies involved with emergency preparedness, management, and response are invited to attend. Visit

7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities—Washington, DC: February 7-9, 2008. Organizer: Local Government Commission. This conference draws a multidisciplinary audience of local elected officials, city and county staff, landscape architects, developers and builders, planners, transportation professionals and traffic engineers, public health professionals, and others committed to building safer, healthier, and more livable communities. The 2008 program will include a dynamic mix of plenary sessions, interactive breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, and optional tours of local model projects. It will also feature the latest on cutting-edge smart growth issues, implementation tools and strategies, best practices, interactive learning experiences, new partners, new projects, and new policies, as well as tours of local model projects and case studies in the DC area. See

2008 Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference & Exhibition—Orlando, Florida: February 24-28, 2008. This conference brings together healthcare IT professionals, physicians, nurses, HIT executives, pharmacists, and vendors from around the world. Sessions will focus on a variety of health related topics, including the retail health phenomenon, e-Discovery, and patient-centric EHR. Keynote speakers include Bill Frist and Steve Case. See

Second Annual Gilbert F. White Lecture—Washington, D.C.: February 27, 2008. Organizer: The Geographical Sciences Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The second annual Gilbert F. White Lecture in the Geographical Sciences will be given by Gerald Galloway of the University of Maryland. His lecture is entitled “Managing American Water Resources: Recognizing the Realities of Geography.” The aim of the Gilbert F. White lecture series—developed with his blessing—is to focus on connections between the geographical sciences and society. It will both honor Dr. White and also use his example as an inspiration for geographers to share their work on the connections between science and society. RSVPs to Jared Eno ( are appreciated by February 13, 2008. Additional information can be found at

69th American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) National Conference—Dallas, Texas: March 7-11, 2008. Organizer: American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). Since 1939, the ASPA has been the nation's most respected society representing all forums in the public service arena. It subscribes to the belief that by embracing new ideas, addressing key public service issues, and promoting change at both the local and international levels, quality of lives can be enhanced worldwide. The 2008 conference theme is “Transformational Public Administration: A Call for Public Service.” See

Australian Disasters Conference 2008—Canberra, Australia: March 11-14, 2008. Organizer: Emergency Management Australia. With the theme “Surviving Future Risks,” this conference will provide participants with the opportunity to hear a diverse range of speakers from the fields of emergency management, community safety, and risk reduction. It will offer the opportunity for interaction with representatives from a broad range of disciplines, while the exhibition display and social events will provide further opportunities for networking and discussion on community safety issues. Visit

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11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Various Positions
Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response; New Haven, Connecticut

The Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response (YNH-CEPDR) has openings for Network Development Specialists; Drills and Exercises Specialists; Regional Education Specialists; and a Grant Research Specialist.

Contact YNH-CEPDR at (203) 688-3224 or for more information, or apply online at

Assistant/Associate Professor of Meteorology and Geography
University of Tennessee at Martin; Martin, Tennessee

Assistant/Associate Professor tenure-track position beginning August 2008. Ph.D. in Meteorology Geography, or related discipline. We may consider individuals who are ABD at the time application; the Ph. D. must be completed before the time of appointment. Potential candidates must demonstrate an ability to teach undergraduate courses in meteorology, climatology, geographic information systems, and world- regional geography. Evidence of effective teaching in English is required.

Primary responsibilities include the teaching of introductory geography courses and the development and teaching of upper-division undergraduate courses in geography, meteorology, climatology, and geographic information systems. The candidate will also be expected to develop a research program involving undergraduates and to participate in the development of a new concentration in Geosciences based on the candidate's field of expertise. Additional responsibilities include undergraduate advising, committee service, and public service.

Complete applications include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, teaching philosophy, copies of transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

All materials should be sent to: Chair, Geography Search Committee; Department of Geology, Geography, and Physics; 215 Johnson EPS Building; The University of Tennessee at Martin; Martin, TN 38238-5039. Telephone: +1-731-881-7430.

For more information about the department, see

Assistant or Associate Professor of Climate, Society, and Environmental Change
Rutgers University; Rutgers, New Jersey

Description of Position: The Department of Human Ecology is a dynamic group of social scientists within the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers the State University of New Jersey. We wish to hire an active scholar and effective teacher in the area of climate, society, and environmental change. This person will be expected to develop courses that support and complement the offerings of the Department of Human Ecology and to take a leading role within an emerging multi-disciplinary Climate Change, Social Policy, and Politics Initiative at the University. Disciplinary area is open; the Human Ecology Department currently consists of anthropologists, communication researchers, psychologists, and sociologists and has strong linkages with geography, public policy, and ecology and natural resources. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D degree, show ability to teach and to work across disciplines both within the social sciences of the environment and with physical and life scientists working on environmental problems, and have experience obtaining competitive grants and/or working with diverse organizations and publics, as appropriate to a Land-Grant Institution.

This is an academic year tenure-track position at the assistant to associate professor levels. Salary will be competitive and commensurable with qualifications. Excellent personal benefits package is provided, including one month of annual leave per year, health insurance, retirement program and other institutional benefits. Interested persons should submit a letter of application and curriculum vitae and arrange to have letters of recommendation sent directly by three (3) professional references. The deadline for applications is December 5th, 2007 or until a suitable candidate is found. Nominations are also invited. The position is expected to be filled by September 1, 2008, pending university approval.

Applications should be sent to: Dr. Bonnie J. McCay, Chair of Search Committee, Chair, Department of Human Ecology, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, 55 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, Tel: 732-932-9153 x 314,

Visiting Professor of International Environmental Policy
Monterey Institute of International Studies; Monterey, California

The professor would be responsible for teaching courses in protected areas policy, natural resource management, and a third course in a related field. The courses would stress policy relevance, the international dimensions and challenges of conservation, and would approach the topics from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

For more information, please contact Prof Jason Scorse,

Post-doctoral Researcher
University of California at Davis; Davis, California

A postdoctoral position is available to join an interdisciplinary team to study agricultural responses and potential adaptation strategies to climate change, with emphasis on cropland and wildland biodiversity, crop productivity, nutrient cycling, water use, and public policy and planning. The postdoc will work with a diverse group of faculty in biophysical and socioeconomic disciplines at the University of California at Davis to understand mitigation and adaptation options for a representative agricultural landscape in California. There will also be a field-oriented research component that involves restoration practices to increase biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in riparian corridors, hedgerows, and other types of farm margins.

We are seeking an individual who has expertise in at least two of the following areas, and a desire to engage in cross-disciplinary analyses: landscape ecology, agroecology, soil science, hydrology, geography, economics, and community development. Some expertise in GIS or simulation modeling is a plus. Good writing skills are essential. The position is immediately available.

Please send a CV, a list of relevant coursework or transcripts, and names and contact information of three references to Dr. Louise Jackson, University of California at Davis,

Computer Information Technologist
Association of State Floodplain Managers; Madison, Wisconsin

ASFPM is seeking to hire a Computer Information Technologist to be responsible for analysis, design, programming, administration, and configuration of computer hardware and software in a moderately complex microcomputer environment. This position will support the Association’s computer needs in areas such as web based applications, cyber security, internet, operating systems, applications, database, and network administration. Please view the full job posting at:

This is a full time position which will be located in the Executive Office in Madison, Wisconsin. Application closing date is Friday, December 21, 2007.

ASFPM is a national, nonprofit, professional membership association with 11,000 members and 26 State Chapters throughout the United States.

Deputy Director of Emergency Management
Office of Emergency Management; Seattle, Washington

Position Duties: Manage the general programs and services of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM); Work in partnership with the OEM Director to achieve emergency management goals and objectives; Assist in developing the OEM budget and oversee the Section’s operating budget, spending accountability and grant awards; Supervise professional staff, manage work assignments and work load for OEM and plan for the professional development of staff in tandem with the OEM Director; Develop a formal program designed to engage citizens, interns, students and volunteers in key emergency preparedness missions; Seek and manage grant revenues and other partnerships to support the missions of emergency management; Develop and manage capital project proposals addressing emergency management program needs; Identify and resolve policy issues concerning emergency management programs and functions; Evaluate various elements of the City’s emergency management program according to established standards;; Monitor the Disaster Management Committee work program; Act as a City advocate for emergency management issues with the federal, state and regional agencies including the drafting of appropriate legislation; Serve as emergency management liaison with other government agencies and public and private agencies; Manage program interactions with other jurisdictions – local, state, federal and other outside agencies and organizations; Ensure that federal, state and local requirements governing emergency management functions (NIMS, NRP, etc.) are adhered to locally; Serve as the City’s primary National Incident Management System compliance coordinator; Serve in a variety of key management capacities in an activation of the City’s EOC, performing emergency management duties that directly support the OEM Director and Mayor; Serve as the City’s applicant agent in Presidentially declared disasters involving Stafford Act individual and public assistance; Manage contracts and mutual aid agreements including the City’s participation in the state-to-state Emergency Management Assistance Compact; Share the role of serving as Staff Duty Officer (24/7) on a rotating basis. Respond on-site or at the EOC to support City Departments in response to emergency situations.

Required Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in emergency management, public administration, public policy, planning or related field. A minimum of five years of progressively higher levels of supervision/management in emergency management, public administration, business administration or planning. Established expertise in managing sophisticated and high profile community mitigation, community preparedness, public response and recovery programs are necessary as is a demonstrated capability to work in an interdisciplinary environment. NOTE: The selected candidate must successfully undergo a thorough SPD background investigation.

Desired Qualification: An advanced degree or certification in Emergency Management, Urban Planning, Public Affairs, or Public Administration is highly desirable. The most competitive candidates will have direct experience in high level management in the public or private sector, policy analysis, budget management, successful background in employee development and training and other experience that demonstrates professional insight into the new dimensions of emergency management caused by terrorism. Previous experience working with grant programs, and a strong background in the implementation of disaster technology systems is highly desirable.

Position Requirements:

  • Candidates selected for this position will be required to provide a conviction history.
  • A background check will be required for candidates selected for this position.

How to Apply: Apply online at http://selfservice/jobs/,

Assistant Professor of Geological Engineering and Sciences
Michigan Technological University; Houghton, Michigan

The Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech seeks applications for a tenure-track appointment at the Assistant Professor level. A Ph.D. in engineering or science is required. Candidates with demonstrated achievements commensurate with appointment at Associate or Full Professor will also be considered. The ideal candidate would conduct research in quantitative and/or engineering aspects of natural hazards, such as modeling, monitoring, forecasting, mitigation, or communication and response. However, we will consider outstanding applicants who can either complement our department’s strengths (remote sensing, volcanology, hydrology, petroleum geology, and geophysics) or can help expand our department into new directions that show promise of future development. Applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to obtain outside funding, publish scholarly research, and succeed in teaching.

Michigan Tech has a total student population of about 6300 and is located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a pristine area on the south shore of Lake Superior. The department is committed to a strong educational focus and values basic and applied interdisciplinary research. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in Geology, Geological Engineering and Applied Geophysics. Interested candidates can learn more about the department faculty, research, and educational programs at .

Applicants should send a single PDF document containing a detailed curriculum vitae, a statement of research capabilities and interests, a statement of teaching experience and interests, and the names and complete contact information for at least three professional references. Applications should be e-mailed to Candidates who also identify themselves as interested in a broader Michigan Technological University faculty hiring initiative in Sustainability are invited to send a separate application as described at . Applications received by February 15, 2008 will receive the fullest attention. Michigan Tech University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer.

Postdoctoral Fellowship
University of Alaska; Fairbanks, Alaska

This is an interdisciplinary project using quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the resilience and vulnerabilities of three indigenous rural Alaskan communities to social-ecological change.

We seek a postdoctoral fellow who will join our team of researchers, work with partner communities, and take leadership implementing key aspects of the study. The project combines social network analysis, ethnographic methods, and group interviewing to document current conditions and possible futures in three villages. The use of social network analysis to study indigenous community resilience represents a novel approach in the assessment of possible impacts of global change. Researchers an leaders of participating communities will compare their vulnerabilities with other communities through the international meetings of the Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions (CAVIAR) Project, an initiative of the International Polar Year. Applicants should hold a PhD in a related field an be prepared to base from Fairbanks and tribes to villages and international meetings.

For further information contact: Gary Kofinas, Dept of Resources Management and Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907 474 7078

Postdoctoral Fellowships
Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) Program in the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan seeks to fill up to two postdoctoral fellow positions (each for two years in residence.) Fellows will be expected to perform research in some aspect of science and technology policy, teach courses in science and technology policy (one course in Year 1 and two courses in Year 2), help to organize a seminar series, and work with faculty to develop the STPP program. In addition to working with colleagues in STPP and the Ford School, fellows will find a wide range of programs at University of Michigan that provide opportunities for enrichment and collaboration, including leading programs in law, business, public health, medicine, engineering, the sciences, and science & technology studies. Prospective applicants can learn more about the STPP Program via our website: .

Applicants should be recent recipients of the doctoral degree, with demonstrated interest in science and technology policy. Areas of specialization and disciplinary approaches are open. These fellowships are made possible through a generous gift from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Salary is competitive and includes benefits. Modest funds will also be provided for moving, conference travel, and research. The start date for this position is August 2008, although this date is flexible. Awardees will be expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the time of their award and be an active colleague within UM.

Applications received by January 15, 2008, will be given first consideration, although we will continue to accept applications after that date. Please send application materials in electronic form to

Applications should include a CV, letter describing research and teaching interests, a statement outlining the proposed research project, teaching evaluations, and three letters of reference to:

STPP Fellow Search
Attn: Bonnie Roberts
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan
735 S. State Street, 4204 Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3091 USA
(734) 615-6942

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