Disaster Study Group

Disaster Study Group – Global Earthquakes Group: Response, Recovery, and Resilience 

The mission of the Global Earthquakes Group: Response, Recovery, and Resilience (GERRR) is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the context, decision processes, and organizational interactions generated by a seismic disaster. From this analysis, students provide policy recommendations for resiliency, planning, and response and recovery through targeted research. Additionally, the group is hosting a series of dialogues throughout the year in order to provide GSPIA students and the public the opportunity to participate in conversations with experts on the character of seismic risk, as well as earthquakes that occurred in Ecuador, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, and Nepal within the past two years. This group is generously funded by GSPIA’s Fund for Student Initiatives. 

2017 Members of the Disaster Study Group include:
Seunghyun Lee, Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Policy, Student Leader 
Lucy Gillespie, Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Policy, Student Leader 
Dillon Asher, MID Candidate
Solidad Cabezas, MPPM Candidate
Cesar Gabriel Cedenor Monce, PhD International Affairs and Security
Allegra Agata Tartaglia, MID Candidate 
Alia Dwirahmani, MID Candidate
Sae Mi, Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Policy
Yoon Ah Shin, Ph.D., Public Administration and Public Policy

Upcoming Events - Fall 2017:

Dialogue on Earthquakes in Indonesia and Korea
Friday, October 27, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Posvar Hall 3800

Dialogue on Earthquake in Italy
Friday, November 17, 12-1PM
Location: 3800

Previous Events - Spring 2017:

Friday, January 20, 2017 – Discussion with U.S. Geological Survey Scientists 
On Friday, January 20, 2017, the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Disaster Management (CDM) participated in a joint discussion with members of the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) project. CDM was represented by Dr. Louise Comfort, Director, and by six student participants, Lucy Gillespie, Seunghyun Lee, Allegra Tartaglia, Alia Dwirahmani, Dillion Asher, and Cesar Cedeño. The CDM team was joined via videoconference by Dr. Kenneth Hudnut, USGS Science Advisor, and by Mr. Dale Cox, USGS Project Manager, who opened with a discussion of the mission and functions of the USGS’s SAFRR project.  

The SAFRR project was launched by the USGS as a means of demonstrating the utility of data modeling in advancing public awareness of hazards, and in improving preparedness, response, and resilience to future events. USGS researchers presented several model disasters (ShakeOut, ARkStorm, Tsunami Scenario, HayWired, and Southwest Climate Extremes) in which data from geologists, meteorologists, engineers, economists, and social scientists were used to produce informative, real-world scenarios and associated risk maps.  Their models explored hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and extreme weather events within specific locations along the U.S. west coast, and identified critical intersections between public infrastructure and risk in each case. Dr. Hudnut and Mr. Cox described how the SAFRR scenarios helped researchers better understand where vulnerabilities existed, and provided a practical way to communicate risks to community members, public officials, and policy makers. The scenarios demonstrated the importance of disaster modeling, and how the method can be employed elsewhere to identify, anticipate, and mitigate against future hazards.      

CDM’s video conference with the USGS also provided an opportunity for student members to present their own individual research interests, to ask questions, and to gain valuable insight from experienced scientific researchers.  Comments provided to students revealed the extensive knowledge of SAFRR project members on a broad range of topics, as they thoughtfully discussed CDM student research initiatives in Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Nepal, and Ecuador. The group’s interactions with USGS staff demonstrated the value of interdisciplinary communication in the context of disaster management, and was a revealing exercise in the exchange of information and ideas. 


Center for Disaster Management
3807 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260