Conferences and Training

Below are the most recent conference announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of hazard/disaster meetings is posted on our web site:

Seventh Annual Fire Suppression and Detection Research Application Symposium. Sponsor: Fire Protection Research Foundation of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Orlando, Florida: January 22-24, 2003. This “bridging the gap” symposium brings together professionals in fire detection and suppression to share practical solutions for day-to-day fire problems. The conference provides a unique opportunity to learn about common issues and includes a special session on new initiatives at major North American fire suppression and detection laboratories as well as an international session on uses of new fire information. Several case studies and test results will also be presented. To obtain complete program information or to register, contact Eric Peterson, Fire Protection Research Foundation, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269-9101; (617) 984-7281; e-mail:;

Disaster Management 2003: Solutions to Enhance Your Preparation, Response, and Recovery Efforts. Sponsors: National Institute for Government Innovation and Institute for International Research (IIR). Las Vegas, Nevada: January 27-29, 2003. With a main focus on improving preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation for all natural and human-made disasters in order to save lives and reduce property damage, this conference has a special emphasis on emerging technologies in disaster management, legal and practical blueprints for emergency operations, and a variety of table-top emergency management exercises. To register, contact IIR, 708 Third Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10017; (888) 670-8200; e-mail:;

Transportation Safety and Security Workshop. Sponsors: George Washington University (GWU) Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management and The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS). Washington, DC: January 28-29, 2003. The objective of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for an international exchange in a workshop setting on topical concerns and issues regarding transportation safety and security. For additional information, including the agenda and registration specifics, please contact Greg Shaw, GWU, 1776 G Street N.W., Washington, DC, 20052; e-mail:; or Claire Rubin; e-mail:;

International Course for Managers on Health, Disasters, and Development. Sponsor: Pan American Health Organization. St. Ann, Jamaica: February 10-21, 2003. Emergencies caused by natural and human-made phenomena are becoming increasingly frequent. It is not enough simply to learn how to better coordinate humanitarian relief operations or to recognize when disasters are the result of weaknesses in development models. Current leaders and health managers must incorporate an approach to risk management and vulnerability reduction to make efficient decisions. This management course is designed to build capacity among participants to establish and manage disaster reduction (from prevention to response) and places special emphasis on the health and social sectors. Complete information and an on-line registration form are available from:;

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting. Denver, Colorado: February 13-18, 2003. This scientific meeting brings together science, engineering, and technology professionals from around the world. Select conference themes of interest to Observer readers include challenging and changing nature (hazards and disasters), public health and public risk, and many others. Full details and registration information may acquired from the AAAS Meetings Department, 1200 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 842-1065; or found at

2003 Government Risk Management Seminar. Sponsor: Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA). Las Vegas, Nevada: February 17-21, 2003. This seminar will provide a variety of educational tracks relating to risk management, ranging from “foundations” directed at those new to risk management, to sessions on emerging issues, and course offerings that lead to completion of a certificate program. For more detailed information, contact PRIMA, 1815 North Fort Myer Drive, Suite 1020, Arlington, VA 22209; (703) 528-7701; e-mail:;

Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Landslide Analysis and Mitigation Workshop. Los Angeles, California: February 20-21, 2003. This workshop is presented by members of a SCEC committee convened to develop specific slope stability analysis implementation procedures to aid local southern California city and county agencies in their compliance with review requirements of the state’s Seismic Hazard Mapping Act. It will summarize and explain recommended procedures as well as provide time for interaction among practicing engineers and geologists. For more details, contact the Southern California Earthquake Center, University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Parkway, Suite 169, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0742; (213) 740-5843;

3rd International Symposium on Aviation Emergencies: Increasing Survivability. Sponsor: Emergency Disaster Management, Inc., Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Miami Beach, Florida: March 24-27, 2003. Sessions focus on public health, evacuation strategies, integrated incident command, and airport/community planning and emergency response. For registration information, contact Emergency and Disaster Management, Inc., Airport Center, c/o 3rd International Symposium on Aviation Emergencies, 5959 West Century Boulevard, Suite 501, Los Angeles, CA 90045; (310) 649-0700;

Protecting the Public in a Hazardous Materials Emergency. Sponsor: National Institute for Chemical Studies (NICS) and Marshall University Graduate College. Charleston, West Virginia: March 25, 2003. In a hazardous materials emergency, responders need to quickly make evacuation decisions. Designed for emergency responders and other emergency management officials who want to improve their leadership skills, this workshop prepares responders to make decisions that will best protect the public during chemical emergencies. More information may be acquired by contacting NICS, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, S.E., Charleston, WV 25304; (304) 346-6264;

2003 Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) Annual Meeting. Nashville, Tennessee: March 25-26, 2003. The theme of this year’s meeting is “communicating the earthquake risk: two decades of collaboration.” Registration and meeting information will soon be available from Kerri Hall, CUSEC, 2630 East Holmes Road, Memphis, TN 38118; (800) 824-5817; e-mail:;

Spring World 2003: 14th Annual Corporate Contingency Planning Seminar and Exhibition. Sponsor: Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ). Orlando, Florida: March 30-April 2, 2003. This conference features the latest in business continuity planning, including sessions on best practices, command post operations, crisis management planning, and the fundamentals of disaster recovery. To register, contact DRJ Registrar, P.O. Box 510110, St. Louis, MO 63151; (314) 894-0267; e-mail:;

International Workshop on Integrated Water Resource Management. Sponsor: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Denver, Colorado: April 7-11, 2003. This workshop will review and analyze developments in integrated water resource management (IWRM). Speakers will provide an overview of theory, technique, policies, and practical management issues. Discussion will focus on competing demands on a limited resource and ways to promote efficient, multiple-use management. For details, contact Leanna Principe, International Affairs, D-1520, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, Denver, CO 80255; (303) 445-2127; e-mail:

25th Annual National Hurricane Conference. Sponsors: American Meteorological Society, American Public Works Association, Coastal States Organization, the National Weather Service, the Tropical Prediction Center, and many others. New Orleans, Louisiana: April 14-18, 2003. The primary goal of this conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific. The conference is also a forum for federal, state, and local officials to exchange ideas and recommendations. Conference emphasis is on lessons learned from hurricane strikes; state-of-the-art programs; new ideas; and the ABCs of hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. For complete information, contact the National Hurricane Conference, 2952 Wellington Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32309; (850) 906-9224; e-mail:;

Midwest Sociological Society 2003 Annual Meeting. Sponsor: Midwest Sociological Society (MSS). Chicago, Illinois: April 16-19, 2003. This year’s theme is social and cultural dynamics, from social relationships through the world system. A special call for disaster-related papers has been issued, and there will be a session on disaster sociology. General information about the conference is available from the Department of Sociology, Drake University, 2507 University, Des Moines, IA 50311-4505; (515) 271-4108;

13th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Sponsor: World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Melbourne, Australia: May 6-10, 2003. This conference will address the theme of “redefining the scope of disaster and emergency medicine.” Breakout sessions include: global collaboration on research and education; standards for a variety of disaster-related disciplines; and global learning, sharing, and advancing. For more information, contact the Meeting Planners, 91-97 Islington Street, Collingwood, VIC, Australia 3066; tel: 61 3 9417 0888;

5th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Sponsor: Turkish Government Agencies. Istanbul, Turkey: May 26-30, 2003. The structural damage that has occurred due to recent earthquakes in Turkey and abroad has resulted in important advances in earthquake engineering. The objective of this conference is to build a forum for discussion about the recent advances in earthquake engineering and on methods to minimize earthquake hazards. Conference themes include seismic hazard assessment, structural analysis and design, earthquake evaluation of historical buildings, and city planning. For more information about this conference, contact the Turkish Chamber of Civil Engineers, Halaskargazi Cad. 35/1, 80230 Harbiye– Istanbul, Turkey; tel: 90 212 219 9962-63; e-mail:;

Third Regional Course on Earthquake Vulnerability Reduction for Cities (EVRC-3). Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Dhaka, Bangladesh: June 9-18, 2003. Increasing population and urban development in areas susceptible to earthquakes has increased earthquake vulnerability. However, earthquakes do not necessarily present an uncontrollable and unpredictable hazard to life and property. Greater understanding of the causes and effects of earthquakes will reduce damage and loss of life. This course focuses on mitigation strategies to reduce earthquake vulnerability. For more information contact ADPC, Asian Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel: (66 2) 524 5354; e-mail:;

World Congress on Risk 2003. Sponsor: Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). Brussels, Belgium: June 22-25, 2003. The theme of the first world congress on risk is “risk and governance.” This reflects the world-wide trend toward making better use of risk-oriented concepts, tools, and processes in public decision making and risk analysis. Goals are to stimulate dialog on risk issues worldwide; share insight on methods and decision processes; demonstrate recent advancements in assessment, management, and communication; and build an international community of individuals working on these issues. More information and an on-line registration form are available by contacting SRA, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; e-mail:;

13th World Conference on Disaster Management. Sponsor: Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP). Toronto, Canada: June 22-25, 2003. This conference emphasizes “emerging trends in disaster management: new threats, new approaches,” and is aimed at bringing professionals from a variety of emergency response, risk, information technology, and health fields together. Conference details are available from Adrian Gordon, CCEP, 1005 Skyview Drive, Suite 202, Burlington, ON L7P 5B1, Canada; (905) 319 4034; e-mail:;

Catastrophic Risks and Insurability Conference. Sponsor: Aon Australia. Queensland, Australia: August 17-19, 2003. This conference will address the issues of the limits of risk insurability, including what should be insured, the extent to which community expectations contribute to the state of the risk industry, and current limits to risk modeling. Conference details will soon be available from Aon Australia, Level 29, Aon Tower, 201 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia; tel: 61 (2) 9253 7000;

Fourth International Conference on Earthquake Resistant Engineering Structures (ERES). Sponsor: Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) and University of Ancona, Italy. Ancona, Italy: September 22-24, 2003. ERES 2003 is the fourth international conference in a series on earthquake-resistant engineering structures. The objective of the meeting is to provide a forum for discussion of both basic and applied research in the various fields of engineering relevant to earthquake resistant analysis and the design of structural systems. Registration information will be available in the near future at

3rd International Wildland Fire and Exhibition Conference. Sponsors: Erickson Air-Crane, North American Forest Commission Fire Management Working Group, and many others. Sydney, Australia: October 3-6, 2003. Conference objectives are to bring together the leading fire management professionals and practitioners from around the globe; present a range of contemporary and future fire management issues relevant to nations and organizations with fire management capacities; and enhance global and regional networks of fire management professionals, industry leaders, and policy makers. Complete conference information may be obtained from the Conference and Exhibition Managers, GPO Box 128, Sydney, NSW, Australia 2001; tel: 61 2 9248 0800; e-mail:;

Safer Sustainable Communities: 2003 Australian Disasters Conference. Sponsor: Emergency Management Australia (EMA). Canberra, Australia: September 10-12, 2003. Abstracts are due by February 14, 2003, and must be submitted under the broad theme of “community safety is everyone’s business.” Specific themes include working with communities, understanding risk and uncertainty, implementing consequence management, protecting critical infrastructure, and enhancing information and communication. For complete information, contact EMA, P.O. Box 1020, Dickson, Australian Capital Territory 2602, Australia; tel: 61 (0) 2 6232 4240; e-mail:; Document.

GDIN2003. Sponsor: Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN). Washington, DC: November 4-7, 2003. GDIN is an organization dedicated to improving the flow of information before and during natural disasters. Conference themes include: emergency telecommunications, disaster manager needs, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, information management (including homeland security), urban search and rescue, and many others. Information about abstract submission (due by February 28, 2003), chairing session presentations, and more is available from GDIN, 26128 Talamore Drive, South Riding, VA 20152; (202) 647-5070; e-mail:;

The 32nd Session of the International Geological Congress. Sponsors: International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), and member countries of the Mediterranean Consortium. Florence, Italy: August 20-28, 2004. The conference has been designed as a forum for a broad debate of the most significant advances in the geological sciences, as well as to promote discussion of the congress theme: “from the Mediterranean area toward a global geological renaissance—geology, natural hazards and cultural heritage.” For more details, contact Chiara Manetti, Borgo Albizi, 28, 50121 Firenze, Italy; tel: 39 055 2382146; e-mail:;

Catastrophe Preparedness and Response Center Finds Home in New York City

New York University has announced that it has been selected as the site of a new, federally funded center to improve responses to major terrorist attacks and natural catastrophes. The Catastrophe Preparedness and Response Center will make use of university scholars to help analyze best practices in preparedness and response, as well as develop case studies and training materials for emergency services personnel worldwide. Other center goals include developing techniques and policies that will enable health systems to respond to large-scale emergencies and bioterrorism; assessing early warning systems; and conducting a review of the psychological and legal implications of terrorist attacks.

The center was conceived in New York during the months following September 11, 2001, to work with city, state, and federal governments to look beyond the terrorist attacks and prepare for future emergencies, catastrophes, and disasters. The center will take an integrated approach to counter-terrorism studies that includes applications in health, biomedicine, mental health, public service, urban planning, information technology, public policy, communications, and law. This cross-discipline approach matches the philosophy of New York University and will help provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary analyses for many of these issues. More information about the Catastrophe and Preparedness Response Center may be obtained by calling John Beckman; (212) 998-6848; or visiting

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