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Fact Sheet

NSF's Response to the Hurricanes

Hurricane Katrina approches landfall on Aug. 28, 2005.

Hurricane Katrina approches landfall on Aug. 28, 2005.

September 27, 2005

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

NSF Commitment to Researchers, Educators and Students Affected by the Recent Hurricanes

  • Supplemental Funding for Displaced Students
    Damage from Katrina has forced the temporary closure of three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the New Orleans area: Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, and Southern University of New Orleans. Supplemental awards made through NSF's HBCU Undergraduate Program are now supporting some 250 students displaced from those schools.
  • EPSCoR Supplemental Funding
    Through its Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), NSF establishes partnerships with government, higher education and industry in jurisdictions that have historically received smaller amounts of funding from the foundation, and tries to make lasting improvements in the region's research infrastructure. In the aftermath of Katrina, NSF has awarded $200,000 apiece in supplemental funds for reconstruction in La., Miss., and Ala, the three EPSCoR states that were directly in the hurricane's path.

Disaster Research in the Field

  • Rapid-Response Grants After Katrina

    Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) support small-scale, exploratory, high-risk research, including rapid-response teams that can investigate areas affected by disasters while evidence and memories are still fresh. In the case of Katrina, SGER recipients will explore topics that range from decision-making under crisis conditions to the storm's impact on the New Orleans levee system.
  • National Hazards Center

    The center is funded in part by NSF and is headquartered at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It gives grants to teams of social and behavioral science researchers who stand ready to head into the field at a moment's notice whenever a disaster strikes.
    • Teams deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina:
  • The Earthquake Engineering Research Center at SUNY-Buffalo:

    NSF has given the center supplemental funds to send reconnaissance teams to the Gulf Coast to study structural damage and societal response in the aftermath of Katrina.

News About Research Related to Hurricanes and Other Disasters

Other Resources


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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