Spring 2016
Volume 5 Issue 1

A Message from the Directors

Dear DRC Alums and Friends,

Welcome to the Spring 2016 edition of the DRC Dispatch!

We’re glad to bring you the latest news on DRC activities and to share some of the achievements of our faculty and students over the last few months.

The spring Dispatch is slightly later than usual because we want to introduce our entirely redesigned website:! We hope you’ll enjoy the new format and that you’ll want to check back frequently to see some of the new features, such as our new alumni pages with updates on alumni accomplishments, and expanded student pages as well.

Meanwhile, we hope you’ll have a good summer!

Best wishes,
James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf

Featured Research

Research on Critical Infrastructure

DRC, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Maryland are collaborating on research focused on infrastructure systems resilience. This project, Collaborative Research: RIPS Type 2: Quantifying Disaster Resilience of Critical Infrastructure-based Societal Systems with Emergent Behavior and Dynamic Interdependencies, is funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal is to measure the social and technical dimensions of systems resilience, recognizing that the resilience of critical systems depends on the interactions of human decisions and adaptive strategies, technical capacities of the system and the possibilities for innovation and emergence under crisis, and the connections between multiple systems. The project is using hospitals and the healthcare system as a case, and results will be informative to hospital administrators and emergency planners as well as to others interested in infrastructure resilience more broadly. Learn more about DRC Research.

DRC Director Appointment

Tricia Wachtendorf

We are pleased to announce that Tricia Wachtendorf has been appointed co-director of the Disaster Research Center! This promotion recognizes Tricia's long and successful service to the Center and a number of new initiatives she will undertake that will help to broaden DRC's reach, enhance our constituencies, and open avenues for new collaboration and research, including internationally.

From her earliest time as a graduate student and then as a faculty member, researcher, and mentor, Tricia has contributed indelibly to the success of DRC. We are looking forward to Tricia joining the line of DRC directors and to her new leadership role, beginning July 1. Congratulations!

E.L.Q. Resource Collection


DRC Leverages Library of Congress Surplus Books Program to Expand Resource Collection

One of the important ways that DRC adds to the unique materials found in the E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection is through participation in the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program. By participating in the Surplus Books Program, DRC has added nearly 700 new items to the Resource Collection over the past nine years. To the left is a picture of some of the many titles from our latest trip to acquire new materials through the program. We look forward to future trips to the Library of Congress that will enable us to add even more unique material to the world renowned E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection. Read about the Quarantelli Collection.

Publications & Presentations

Spotlight: Hans M. Louis-Charles & Sarah Gregory, DISA PhD Students & DRC Researchers

Sarah Gregory and Hans M. Louis-Charles recently gave presentations on research from their work on the DRC project (with JHU and NYC DOHMH) "Promoting Community Resilience in NYC after Hurricane Sandy." Sarah's presentation "Organizational Preparedness: Perspectives of Community Based Organizations in Post-Sandy NYC" (coauthors Sarah Sisco, Hans Louis-Charles and Nuno Martins) and Hans's presentation "Household Disaster Preparedness in New York City at the time of Superstorm Sandy: Lessons Learned" (coauthor Nuno Martins) were part of a panel session on "The Social and Organizational Aspects of Building Community Resilience Through a New York City-Academic Partnership" at the 2016 Preparedness Summit: Planning Today for Rebuilding Tomorrow: Resiliency and Recovery in the 21st Century in Dallas, April 19-22. Browse DRC Research Projects.

Get Involved!

Did you know that... Because of your generous contributions, DRC sent two graduate students and a post-doc researcher on a quick response trip to Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. Help us to continue to advance DRC's mission. Give a gift in support of DRC

DRC Alumni Engagement

Alumni are important members of our Disaster Research Center community. DRC ​offers many ways for alumni to stay involved. We encourage alumni to attend our inaugural DRC Alumni Reunion, explore networking opportunities and pass along real-world experience to our current ​students through our IAEM@UD speaker series. Read about ​DRC alum​ni engagement​​​.

Student Achievements


Spotlight: Mary Nelan, DRC Researcher, PhD Sociology & Criminal Justice

Maggie joined DRC in August 2011 as a graduate research assistant.  Her dissertation research is based on an NSF funded project - a collaboration between DRC and RPI - on materiel convergence and the disaster relief supply chain.  Maggie’s dissertation research addresses how individuals involved in the relief supply chain socially construct various aspects of disaster giving. She is using the Triple-A model (agility, adaptability, and alignment) used in supply chain management as part of her study. Maggie has found that challenges resulting from donations can be traced to the varying ways stakeholders understand and place value in the supply chain. She hopes her research will further understanding of relief supply chains, eventually helping to alleviate the challenges that donations cause in the aftermath of disasters. Following her graduation this spring, Maggie will join the faculty in the Emergency Administration and Planning program at the University of North Texas in Denton. Congratulations, Maggie!

DRC's graduate students are active in translational research and projects. Follow the Disaster Research Center on Facebook to see more Student Spotlights!

IAEM@UD Student Chapter

Each semester, IAEM@UD hosts a series of speakers on topics relevant to disasters and emergency management. This semester, IAEM@UD hosted an exciting lineup of speakers including: Josh Kelly, a Delaware Public Assistance Officer and a Natural Hazards Planner for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA)​; Anthony Cario speaking about International Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations; and Scott Graham, Emily Fortuna and Joe Prewitt from the Mid Atlantic Red Cross. The speaker series brings in practitioners and researchers from the private, nonprofit, volunteer, and government sectors to engage with students on issues in emergency management – a chapter initiative that supplements members’ coursework, and offers opportunities for networking. Interested in presenting in the IAEM@UD's Speaker Series? Join, support and participate in IAEM@UD.
DRC was well represented at at the White House's Earthquake Resilience Summit on February 2nd, 2016. DRC and DISA graduate students even ran into a few renowned disaster social scientists on site!

Successful Dissertation & Thesis Defenses

The following DRC students successfully defended their dissertations or theses. Congratulations! 
  • Juan Camilo Sánchez Gil, Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management
    "Food Aid Distribution During Disaster Response and Short-term Recovery: Enhancing Performance of Heterogeneous Humanitarian Logistics Structures"
  • Ben Wallace, M.S. Disaster Science & Management
    "Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Planning"
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