Woman stands in wreckage of natural disaster

Emergency management pros choose hazard center scholars’ projects for funding

A group of expert emergency management professionals, who plan and lead natural disaster and emergency response at all levels of government, have chosen to fund six research proposals by scholars affiliated with the Hazard Reduction Recovery Center, Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, and Texas Target Communities.

The funding, provided by the Texas A&M University System, will support research on   Hurricane Harvey-related business disruption and recovery; optimizing volunteer efforts in disaster response; rapid, disaster-related building assessment using satellite imagery, and more.

The grants were awarded following a recent symposium hosted by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. At the symposium, emergency managers listened to 17 research proposals from scholars hailing from a wide range of institutions. The emergency managers chose to fund 10 proposals that scored the best in terms of the value to the field of emergency management, impact on the public, feasibility of implementation, clarity of language, and scalability across jurisdictions.

“I look forward to working with local and state officials as well as leaders in science and academics to operationalize the important projects presented at this symposium,” said Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. “I thank the researchers whose work, knowledge, and innovation will benefit Texans in the years to come, and I am grateful for the expertise provided by emergency management professionals who scored these proposals.”

Researchers in or affiliated with the Texas A&M School of Architecture who are involved in the funded proposals include:

  • Alexander Abuabara, postdoctoral research associate with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (LAUP) and the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center (HRRC);
  • David Bierling, HRRC-affiliated senior research scientist at the Texas Transportation Institute;
  • Matthew Malecha, HRRC core faculty and instructional assistant professor of urban planning;
  • Jamie Hicks Masterson, HRRC core faculty and director, Texas Target Communities;
  • Michelle Meyer, director of the HRRC;
  • Ali Mostafavi, HRRC faculty fellow and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering;  
  • Walter Gillis Peacock, senior HRRC fellow and professor of urban planning;
  • J. Carlee Purdum, HRRC researcher;
  • Joy Semien, HRRC-affiliated Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Sciences student;
  • Doug Wunneburger, HRRC core faculty and instructional professor in LAUP, and
  • Siyu Yu, HRRC core faculty and assistant professor of urban planning.

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