Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards
as seen from a ridge to the west. Orting is one of many
communities that are in lahar-prone areas below the
flanks of Mount Rainier. Photograph: Nathan Wood.
The objective of this project is to develop methods to characterize and communicate the vulnerability of coupled human-environmental systems to natural hazards. This project seeks to integrate understanding of past, current, and potential land-surface change with hazard scenarios to characterize the spatial dynamics of societal vulnerability. Research efforts include catastrophic hazards (for example, tsunami, earthquakes, and volcanoes) and chronic hazards (for example, coastal erosion and sea level rise). Research has included the use of landcover data for documenting community variations in exposure to natural hazards, for regional monitoring of vulnerability, and for modeling pedestrian evacuations from sudden-onset hazards. Results of this research have been used to focus local risk-reduction strategies, State and regional outreach efforts, national preparedness exercises, and national science policy. Methods developed in this project have been replicated in foreign countries and geospatial tools are being developed to facilitate the transferability of these methods.
Principal Investigator: Nathan Wood, email@example.com, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA