Spring 2015

A Message from the Director

We hope that you enjoy the new design of the DRC Dispatch!  As we strive to keep you up-to-date on all of DRC's activities, research initiatives, outreach and achievement, we encourage you, our alumni and supporters, to tell us what you've been up to. Email, find us on Facebook, and share DRC Dispatch with friends and alumni we may have missed.

Best wishes,
James Kendra 

DRC Mourns the Loss of Joe Scanlon

DRC was saddened by the passing of friend and colleague Joe Scanlon. Long thought of as an honorary DRC alum, Joe was a frequent visitor to DRC. He particularly enjoyed working with students and sharing stories about his work and many passions. He will be missed. We remember Joe in greater detail on the DRC website.



Risk and Stigma in Ebola Crisis Managament

Recent Ebola cases in the US, though few in number, presented public officials with decision dilemmas in a number of jurisdictions. On a larger scale, the cases have generated a crisis of legitimacy for public health institutions. The Disaster Research Center is working with colleagues in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on research about the management of the Ebola crisis in NYC earlier this year.

UD investigators James Kendra and Tricia Wachtendorf and DOHMH investigators Jeffery Escoffier and Sarah Sisco will utilize three avenues of data collection (telephone survey, focus groups, and social media analysis) focusing on evaluating public health risk communications and on the generation of stigma in epidemic or epidemic threatened environments. Read more about the DRC/NYC DOHMH project.

Call for Chapters for Edited Book

The New Environmental Crisis: Hazard, Disaster, and the Challenges Ahead. 
Edited by James Kendra, Scott Gabriel Knowles, and Tricia Wachtendorf.

The editors welcome a broad range of contributors from various disciplinary and professional perspectives and from all career levels to participate. We are looking for a collections of essays, bold in their approach, that will differ somewhat in style and content from that expected in anthology.

Abstract Deadline: July 1, 2015  |  Abstract Details & Submission 

The Preservation Preparedness Alliance

IAEM@UD Student Chapter in partnership with Delaware Disaster Assistance Team

The Preservation Preparedness Alliance (PPA) is a new partnership between IAEM@UD and the Delaware Disaster Assistance Team (DDAT). The Preservation Preparedness Alliance supports disaster preparedness initiatives impacting public safety and cultural property collection preservation in the state of Delaware. Several projects are currently underway, and students are actively facilitating emergency planning for museums, libraries, archives and historical societies throughout the state. Join, support and participate in IAEM@UD!

E.L. Quarantelli Resource Collection

New Acquisition: Buffalo Creek Data Set

DRC coordinated with disaster researcher T.P. Schwartz-Barcott to recently acquire his Buffalo Creek data set. Schwartz-Barcott, author of After the Disaster: Re-creating Community and Well-being at Buffalo Creek, donated study materials gathered during his follow-up research on Kai Erikson’s groundbreaking book Everything in Its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood. Interested in Collection acquisitions? Check the E.L.Q. Resource Collection page.

New Book Release

Critical Issues in Disaster Science and Management: A Dialogue Between Researchers and Practitioners. 
Edited by Joe Trainor and Tony Subbio

A number of DRC alumni and friends contributed to this volume which brought together more than twenty disaster researchers and professional emergency managers to explore issues in contemporary emergency management. The book is unique in that each issue is explored from both practical and research perspectives, and each chapter includes a "bridging the divide" section focused on what we can learn by bringing practice and research together around each issue.

FEMA Higher Education Program |  Download Book for Free

Presentations & Publications

Spotlight: Dr. Sarah DeYoung,
DRC Post-Doctoral Researcher

On March 20th 2015, Dr. Sarah DeYoung presented research on "Infant Feeding and Disasters: Wet Nursing Improvisation and Material Convergence of Formula after Hazard Events" at the Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. DeYoung's research explores how past disasters impacted maternal choices for infant feeding. 

To learn more about Dr. DeYoung's research 
and other DRC projects, presentations and publications, visit DRC Research
James Kendra with several members of the International Advisory Board of the National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management (CIGIDEN), the Dean of the College of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and researchers from CIGIDEN.

Student Achievement


Spotlight: Mei Johnson, DRC Researcher,
M.S. Disaster Science & Management Candidate

DRC graduate students apply their disaster science and management knowledge in community outreach. On Tuesday, April 14th, graduate student Mei Johnson facilitated a tabletop exercise at the Spring Program for the Delaware Disaster Assistance Team (DDAT). Mei provided attendees with an opportunity to learn and experience the value and mechanics of running tabletop exercises specifically designed to test the effectiveness of an organization's disaster plan and to identify potential weaknesses in advance of an emergency or disaster.

DRC's graduate students are active academically and in the greater disaster community. Follow the Disaster Research Center on Facebook for more Student Spotlights!

Successful Dissertation & Thesis Defenses

The following Univeristy of Delaware DRC students successfully defended their dissertations or theses and will graduate this May 2015. Congratulations! 
  • Ryan Burke, Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management
    "The Dual Status Commander and Hurricane Sandy: Maturing Military Response with Process Improvement"
  • Zephi Francis, M.S. Disaster Science & Management 
    "Tornado Safety Education in Public Schools
  • Alex Greer, Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management
    "Household Residential Decision-Making in the Wake of Disaster: Cases from Hurricane Sandy."
  • Danielle Nagele, Ph.D. Disaster Science & Management
    "Evolution of Culture among Warning System Organizations"
  • Lucia Velotti, Ph.D. Urban Affairs & Public Policy
    "Accountability in Decision-Making Processes for Vertical Evacuation Adoption"
DRC Website
Disaster Research Center
166 Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
Phone: (302) 831-6618   

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