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Dennis WengerDennis Wenger is the keynote speaker for the Planning for Disaster Resilience Symposium. He was the founding director of the HRRC in 1989 and has studied local emergency management capabilities and response, police and fire planning and response to disasters, search and rescue and the delivery of emergency medical services, mass media coverage of disasters, warning systems and public response, factors related to local community recovery success, and disaster beliefs and emergency planning. He also undertook the only empirical study of the evacuation of the World Trade Center towers after the first terrorist attack in 1993. Prior to his time at the HRRC he was at the University of Delware and is now a program director at the National Science Foundation. 



Jack Kartez is professor in the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. His research interests include mitigating natural and technological hazards and balancing rural resource land uses with community growth. Our first panel on hazard mitigation will be moderated by Jack Kartez.





Walt Peacock Walt Peacock has been on faculty at Texas A&Msince 2002 and has been the director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center since 2004. Walt's focus is in urban planning, sustainability and resiliency issues, natural hazards, hazard mitigation, long-term disaster recovery, and quantitative methods. Specifically he has studied the impacts of disasters on socially vulnerable populations particularly the affects of ethnicity and gender following Hurricane Andrew. He emphasizes the relevance of spatially locating socially vulnerable groups as a means to informing land use planning policy and development deicisons. He will be speaking on 'Understanding vulnerability to hazards.'



Phil BerkePhil Berke '81 will speak on "Smart Growth in Dumb Places." He has recently rejoined Texas A&M's faculty since his time from 1981-1994 and has been at UNC for the last 20 years. His research has focused on a range of topics including, ecological planning, sustainable land use practices, plan quality, mitigation practices in land use planning, and the social disparities in disasters. 




Wes HighfieldWes Highfield '01, is currently Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University Galveston. His research has centered on spatial analysis and the implications on hazard mitigation and environmental planning policy. He's investigated the relationships of land use change and wetland alteration, determinants of household damage, and the 100-year floodplain as a metric of risk and loss, to name a few. He will discuss "Development policies and risk." 




Sam BrodySam Brody has been on faculty at Texas A&M since 2002 and currently has a dual appointment at the College Station and Galveston campuses. His research has focused on environmental planning and hazard mitigation. He has particular interest in creating resilient coastal communities and evaulating the quality of local comprehensive plans and hazard mitigation plans. He will speak on "Structural and non-structural mitigation." 




Jen Horney recently came on faculty within the School of Rural Public Health at Texas A&M from UNC. Her research interests include evacuation decision making, community recovery, public health preparedness and response, and Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER). Jen will be the second moderator for the Disaster Preparedness & Response Planning panel.




George RogersGeorge Rogers came on faculty in 1991. His research has focused on sustainability, perceived risk of disasters, and disaster planning and preparedness. In particular, he has examined the complexities and preparedness of communities to chemical hazards. He will discuss "Communicating risk." 





Sherry BameSherry Bame has been on faculty at Texas A&M for nearly 30 years. She will discuss "Unmet Needs and Community Service Planning." She has researched the unmet needs of communities following hurricanes Ike, Rita, and Katrina, and specifically for elderly populations following various disasters. She has researched the particular service coverage of 2-1-1 and has researched extensively on environmental health risks.  




Mike Lindell, who will retire from teaching this year, has had a storied career in disaster preparedness and response. Having begun his career in psychology, his research has included mental health consequences of disasters, public perception and evacuation, and behavioral response. He has also evaluated local response planning and hazard mitigation planning among nearly every type of disaster. He will present on the complexities of evacuation planning. 




Carla PraterCarla Prater, who will retire from teaching this year, has been apart of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center since 1991. Her research has centered on preparedness and emergency response to disasters, along with assessing community risk, the socio-economic impacts of disasters, and the political and organizational structure influence in decision making. She has studied disasters from across the globe, varying in type and magnitude. She will speak on evacuation planning, along with ways to build community capacity and emergency reponse in developing countries. 




Sudha ArlikattiSudha Arlikatti '06, is currently Associate Professor at the University of North Texas.  Her expertise lies in international disasters, planning for special needs populations, sustainable land use planning, disaster response planning, and sheltering and recovery needs. She will speak on community planning for disasters in developing countries. 





  Jody Rosenblatt-Naderi, previously on faculty with Texas A&M, is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Ball State University. Among a diverse set of design investigations, she explores how to integrate design into response and disaster recovery. She will dig deeper into the more recent wave of "Designs in Disasters".




Jaimie Hicks Masterson is currently program coordinator of Texas Target Cities at Texas A&M University and works closely with the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center's outreach and training initiatives. Her interests include urban and regional planning, community resilience, flooding, social vulnerability, and designing spaces and places for response and recovery to reduce social impacts. She, along with Jody Rosenblatt-Naderi will speak on "Designs in Disasters". 



Michelle Meyer, a recent graduate of Colorado State University--who received her first NSF grant before graduating--has been a researcher within the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center since January of 2013. She will also soon join the ranks of the Sociology Department at Louisiana State University in the fall. Her expertise is in sociology of disaster, environmental sociology, social capital and collective efficacy in disaster resilience, and survey and qualitative research methods. Michelle will moderate the "Recovery & Adaptation" panel. 




Yang ZhangYang Zhang '06, will discuss "Long-term Housing Recovery." Currently, he is Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and has focused research on environmental planning, climate change adaptation and sustainable development, particularly in the areas of disasters, hazard mitigation, and disaster recovery. 





Shannon Van ZandtShannon Van Zandt '93, has been on faculty since 2005 and will be speaking on the 'Impacts of vulnerable communities.' Her principle interest has been in homeownership and affordable housing and is one of the few housing researchers focused on disasters and its impacts on communities. In particular, she has focused on housing recovery, social vulnerability, and community resilience.




Yu XiaoYu Xiao has been on faculty with Texas A&M since 2008. Her research has focused on the disaster impacts of businesses, intergovernmental frameworks for recovery, and has most recently been a part of the Hurricane Sandy recovery process. She will discuss "Business recovery." 





Himanshu GroverHimanshu Grover, graduate of Texas A&M, is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo. His research has focused on environmental policy, climate change (both mitigation and adaptation strategies), natural hazard mitigation, disaster management, coastal planning, and community resilience across spatial scales (local to global). His research interests also include design and development of planning tools for online geographic data sharing (web-GIS), and scenario planning. He will speak on 'Hazards and climate adaptation.'




 Ken Topping will moderate the fourth and final panel, "Interpretations for Practice". Ken is a president of Topping Associates International, a city planning firm, and lecturer at the City and Regional Planning Department, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, California Polytechnic State University. He has extensive experience in urban and regional planning and his interests are in what planners can do through smart design and mitigation planning to reduce long-term impacts of global warming and climate change. 




Zhenghong TangZhenghong Tang, a graduate of Texas A&M, is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a fellow in the Water Center and the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies. His research focuses on the integration of local land use planning tools with strategic environmental management and hazard mitigation. He will speak on 'Incorporating hazard mitigation into the local comprehensive planning process.' 




Gavin SmithGavin Smith, graduate of Texas A&M, will discuss "State responses to recovery." He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters and the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence-Coastal Hazard Center. He is currently on faculty at UNC and specializes in emergency management, holistic disaster recovery, risk management, and the role the state plays in disasters.




Laurie JohnsonLaurie Johnson is a graduate of Texas A&M's Master of Urban Planning program and was recently honored with the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award within the College of Architecture. With roots in geophysics, Laurie has research and consulting expertise in earthquake hazard reduction and is most notable for her land use and risk, disaster recovery and reconstruction, and the economics of catastrophes efforts after the 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2011 Tohoku Japan, 2010 and 2011 Christchurch NZ, 2010 Chile and 2008 China earthquakes and 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Laurie will discuss "Recovery Planning in Cities."



John CooperJohn Cooper Jr. '92, joined the faculty in 2012. His expertise lies in building public support and increasing disaster awareness in disadvantaged communties. His experience with emergency management, planning, and non-profit organizations, makes him particularly effective at community outreach. He will discuss the 'Engagement of communties in disaster planning.'