Jocelyn West's collaborative research proposal "Assessing Social Vulnerability to Landslides in Rural Puerto Rico" was approved for funding ($49,764) from the Public Health Disaster Research Award Program: Research in U.S. Territories, Tribal Areas, and Rural Communities, which is administered by the Natural Hazards Center with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This funding will support Jocelyn and an interdisciplinary team of colleagues and students in Puerto Rico who will work together to conduct mixed methods research to understand the population exposed to landslide hazards. The proposal title and project abstract are included below.
Assessing Social Vulnerability to Landslide Hazards in Rural Puerto Rico
Jocelyn West, University of Colorado Boulder
Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz, USDA Caribbean Climate Hub
K. Stephen Hughes, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez
Although landslides frequently affect mobility and health across rural Puerto Rico, it is still unknown how many people live in high-risk areas for landslides. This study will first estimate the population exposed to landslide hazards based on a high-resolution susceptibility map. Then, this study will quantitatively analyze social vulnerability among the exposed populations. Finally, we will validate the quantitative analysis through qualitative fieldwork with key rural communities, resulting in a map-based public health tool in both Spanish and English for understanding and addressing the needs of populations at risk to landslides in Puerto Rico.