Contracts and Grants

Below are descriptions of recently awarded contracts and grants for the study of hazards and disasters. An inventory of contracts and grants awarded from 1995 to the present (primarily those funded by the National Science Foundation) is available from the Natural Hazards Center's web site:

Urban Stream Corridor Management in the United States: The Interaction of Ecology and Policy. Funding: National Science Foundation, $208,820, 24 months. Principal Investigators: Rutherford Platt, Center for Public Policy and Administration, Ecological Cities Project, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003; (413) 545-2499; fax: (413) 545-1200; WWW:; and Timothy Beatley, School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 982-2196; e-mail:
This award will be used to investigate current practice regarding the incorporation of ecological knowledge into public policies concerning urban stream corridors, wetlands, and estuaries. The researchers will undertake a survey of recent experiences in selected U.S. metropolitan areas, conduct regional workshops, and examine case studies related to the approaches identified from the survey and workshops. They hope to show the relative contributions of ecological and political factors in managing urban land-water resources. The study will incorporate elements of physical and natural sciences, urban geography, law, economics, and public policy research.

Turning to Digital Government in a Crisis: Coordinating Government, Business, and Nonprofit Services in Response to the World Trade Center Attacks of September 11, 2001. Funding: National Science Foundation, $100,931, 12 months. Principal Investigator: Sharon S. Dawes, Center for Technology in Government, 1535 Western Avenue, State University of New York-Albany, Albany, NY 12204; (518) 442-3027; e-mail:
Through interviews with key participants, this project will examine what government agencies did in the midst of and immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center as well as how information technologies were used. Starting at Pier 92, where New York City's Emergency Operations Center was re-established after being demolished in the collapse of the Trade Center towers, this study will document the relationships, information flows, and actions in response to this tragedy.

An Integrated Transportation Network Reliability Analysis Framework. Funding: National Science Foundation, $375,000, 48 months. Principal Investigator: Anthony Chen, Department of Civil Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322; (435) 797-7109; e-mail:
Resilient transportation infrastructure is critical to restoration normalcy following earthquakes and other natural or human-caused disasters. Nonetheless, reliability analysis has received very little attention in transportation research. The investigator in this project will develop a reliability analysis framework that will include estimating maximum capacity of a transportation network and route choice models that account for both traveler perception error as well as the uncertainty of network travel times.

Earthquake Center Announces New Research Program

Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) has established the Information Technology Research Program to create an on-line collaborative system to organize information about earthquakes and allow scientists to conduct their research interactively and more efficiently. The $2 million grant is part of the SCEC base funding of $36 million per year for the next five years.

Founded in 1991, SCEC was created as a research partnership between the state of California and the earthquake scientific community. The center's membership consists of 14 core academic institutions that contribute to SCEC's research objectives. The center has worked both to understand earthquakes in southern California and to improve public awareness and preparedness for quakes.

For more information about SCEC and its recent funding, contact the center at the University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Parkway, Suite 119, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0742; (213) 740-5842; fax: (213) 740-0011; e-mail:; WWW:

NATO to Fund Catastrophe Research

A program of scientific and technological cooperation between NATO and Russia has recently been developed under the NATO-Russia Joint Science Technological Cooperation agreement. Funding has been made available for research in three areas, one of which is "Forecast and Prevention of Catastrophes: Safety in Natural and Industrial Aspects."

The goal of NATO and the Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology of the Russian Federation is to develop tools and knowledge that will:

  • Decrease vulnerability and impacts of catastrophic events on natural, social, economical, and technical systems; and
  • Improve forecasting and enhance management of risks for these complex systems.

Specific opportunities include research and new applications in hazard identification, risk analysis, and risk reduction.

Further information about this new program can be found on-line at To apply for support, an application form should be submitted jointly by scientists from Russia and one or more NATO countries. The deadline for receipt of applications is September 15, 2002.

EERI Expands Its Learning from Earthquakes Program

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) recently received a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand its Learning from Earthquakes program (see the Observer, Vol. XXIII, No. 5, p. 1), which supports postearthquake investigations to understand the effectiveness and failures of earthquake engineering. Following a recent one-day training session regarding postearthquake investigation skills and an invitational workshop to develop damage data collection protocols, four research projects were selected for funding. They are:

  • 2001 Nisqually, Washington, Earthquake: Business Recovery and Reconstruction. Principal Investigator: Kurt McMullin, San Jose State University, California.
  • 2001 El Salvador Earthquakes: Appropriateness of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Response. Principal Investigator: Dominic Dolwing, University of Technology, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 1999 Kocaeli, Turkey, Earthquake: Evaluation of Earthquake Performance of Highway Bridges and Viaducts, Immediate Post-EQ Actions and Retrofit Applications. Principal Investigator: Mustafa Erdik, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • 1994 Northridge, California, Earthquake: Re-assessing Earthquake Losses in Woodframe Houses. Principal Investigator: David Bonowitz, Consultant, San Francisco, California.

Further information about this expanded research effort can be obtained from Marjorie Green, EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612-1934; e-mail:

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