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Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research


Photo of Dennis S. Mileti


Dennis S. Mileti

Professor and Chair
Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder


Contact information:
Telephone: (303) 492-6818
Email: dennis.mileti@colorado.edu

Dennis Mileti is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Emeritus Director of the Natural Hazards Research Applications and Information Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Professor Mileti is the author of over 100 publications. Most of these focus on the societal aspects of mitigation and preparedness for hazards and disasters. His book published in 1999 titled Disasters by Design involved over 130 experts to assess knowledge, research, and policy needs for hazards in the U.S.

He has served on a variety of advisory boards, including:

  • Chairman of the Committee on Natural Disasters in the National Research Council,
  • Member of the Advisory Board on Research to the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Chair of the Board of Visitors to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Management Institute,
  • Member of the Board of Directors to the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and
  • Member of the Expert Advisory Panel to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for their study of the Evacuation of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11th.

He is the co-founder and Co-Editor-in Chief of the Natural Hazards Review which is an interdisciplinary all-hazards journal devoted to bringing together the natural and social sciences, engineering, and the policy communities.

Return to Post-Disaster Research.

Photo of William A. Wallace


William A. Wallace

Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Contact information:
110 8th Street
CII Suite 5015
Troy, NY 12180-3590 USA
Telephone: 518-276-2895
Fax: 518-276-8227
Email: wallaw@rpi.edu

Professor William (AI) Wallace is a Professor in the Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems, Civil Engineering, and Cognitive Science Departments at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently Research Director of Rensselaer's Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Studies.

Wallace has held many appointments and positions abroad, including Visiting Professor, Systems Engineering and Policy Analysis, Delft University of Technology, Visiting Professor, Polyproject: Risk and Safety of Technical Systems, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and a U.S. faculty member at the Dalian Institute of Technology, Dalian, China. He was a research scientist at the International Institute of Environment and Society, Science Center, Berlin, Germany. In addition, he has been a visiting professor at the University at Albany and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Wallace has completed assignments as Consultant, Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, National Research Council, and Expert, Civil and Mechanical Systems Division, National Science Foundation. As a researcher and a consultant in Management Science and Information Systems, Professor Wallace has over 25 years experience in and research on the development and use of information technology for industry and government. He is currently engaged in NSF-sponsored research in incident management and emergency response, and, as part of a recent Information Technology Research grant, the issue of trust and knowledge management on the Internet; and Federal Highway Administration projects on advanced travelers information systems and traffic incident management.

Professor Wallace has, since 1990, authored and edited 7 books and over 85 articles and papers – out of a total of over 200 archival publications. National and international media including Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor and Business Week have reported on his research. He is co-founder and co-editor of Computational & Mathematical Organization Theory. He received the International Emergency Management and Engineering Conference Award for Outstanding Long-Term Dedication to the Field of Emergency Management and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Third Millennium Medal, and is a Fellow of the IEEE. Professor Wallace received his bachelor's in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in management science from Rensselaer, and is a Navy veteran.

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Photo of Susan L. Cutter

Susan L. Cutter

Carolina Distinguished Professor
Director, Hazards Research Lab
Department of Geography
University of South Carolina

Contact information:
Director, Hazards Research Lab
Department of Geography
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
Telephone: 803-777-5236
Fax: 803-777-4972
Email: scutter@sc.edu

Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina. She is also the Director of the Hazards Research Lab, a research and training center that integrates geographical information processing techniques with hazards analysis and management. She is the co-founding editor of an interdisciplinary journal, Environmental Hazards, published by Elsevier.

Dr. Cutter has been working in the risk and hazards fields for more than twenty-five years and is a nationally recognized scholar in this field. She has authored or edited eight books and more than 50 peer-reviewed articles. Her most recent book, American Hazardscapes, for the Joseph Henry Press/National Academy of Sciences, chronicles the increasing hazard vulnerability to natural disaster events in the United States during the last thirty years. Other books include South Carolina Atlas of Environmental Risks and Hazards (1999); Living with Risk (1993); Environmental Risks and Hazards (1994), and Exploitation, Conservation, Preservation: A Geographic Perspective on Natural Resource Use (2003), now in its 4th edition.

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attack, Dr. Cutter led a team of researchers who examined the use of geographical information processing techniques in the World Trade Center rescue and relief efforts. She is the co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation award to the Association of American Geographers to bring the nation's geographic resources to bear on this important national and international priority. This agenda and supporting documents are forthcoming in book form, The Geographical Dimensions of Terrorism (edited by S.L. Cutter, D. Richardson, and T. Wilbanks), 2003.

In 1999, Dr. Cutter was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a testimonial to her research accomplishments in the field. Her stature within the discipline of geography was recognized by her election as President of the Association of American Geographers in 1999-2000.

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Photo of Alice Fothergill


Alice Fothergill

Assistant Professor
University of Vermont

Contact information:
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT 05405
Telephone: (802) 656-2127
Email: Alice.Fothergill@uvm.edu

Alice Fothergill is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Vermont. Previously, she was a researcher at University of Colorado-Boulder's Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center and was a contributing author to Disasters by Design: A Reassessment of Natural Hazards in the United States. A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. Fothergill conducted research for several years on the 1997 flood in North Dakota and Minnesota. Her findings are presented in her book, Heads Above Water: Gender, Class, and Family in the Grand Forks Flood (SUNY Press), due out this summer.

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Photo of David A. McEntire

David A. McEntire

EADP Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Administration University of North Texas

Contact information:
Emergency Administration and Planning
Department of Public Administration
University of North Texas
P.O. Box 310617
Denton, Tx 76203-0617
Telephone: (940) 565-2996
Email: mcentire@unt.edu

Dr. McEntire teaches in Emergency Administration and Planning (EADP) where he serves as the undergraduate Program Coordinator. Prior to coming to the University of North Texas in the Fall of 1999, McEntire attended the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. While pursuing his degree, he worked for the International and Emergency Services Departments at the American Red Cross. McEntire has received several Quick Response Grants (funded by the National Science Foundation through the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado) which allowed him to conduct research on disasters in Peru, the Dominican Republic, Texas, New York and California. Dr. McEntire's academic interests include emergency management theory, international disasters, community preparedness, response coordination, and vulnerability reduction. His research has been published in Public Administration Review, the Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Disasters, the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, the Journal of Emergency Management, Sustainable Communities Review, the International Journal of Emergency Management, the Towson Journal of International Affairs, the Journal of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners, and the Journal of International and Public Affairs. Dr. McEntire has received highly commended awards for his research in Disaster Prevention and Management and he has received grants to conduct terrorism response training for FEMA in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He has been a contributing author for a study of Texas Homeland Security Preparedness for the Century Foundation as well as two IQ Reports for the International City/County Management Association. McEntire has presented papers in Mexico and Norway, and at the Higher Education Conference at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is a member of Congressman Burgess’ Homeland Security Advisory Board and has reviewed books for Delmar Learning. Dr. McEntire is currently developing an instructor guide on disaster response operations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Photo of William A. Wallace


Rae Zimmerman

Professor of Planning and Public Administration and Director the National Science Foundation-funded Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS)
at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Contact information
Telephone: (212) 998-7432
Email: rae.zimmerman@nyu.edu

In 1997, Rae Zimmerman was president of the 2,400 international Society for Risk Analysis and co-chaired the First World Congress on Risk (Brussels, 2003). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Risk Analysis. She currently represents NYU on the consortium for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's first Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Risk and Economic Modeling for Terrorism Events with the University of Southern California as the lead institution.

Dr. Zimmerman's teaching and research interests focus on infrastructure and the environment from the perspectives of planning, management and institutions, policy, risk assessment and communication, equity, and security. Particular areas of specialization with applications to transportation include extreme events associated with global climate change, floods, catastrophic structural failures, and terrorism; security systems for water resources and transportation; and risk management and public perceptions of complex technologies and environmental health risks. In the environmental field, the U.S. EPA funded her work on Superfund sites and farmer attitudes toward pesticide management alternatives.

She is the PI for a number of NSF-funded projects including ICIS and research on infrastructure performance and response capabilities before, during, and after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. With NSF funding, she has also directed a number of workshops whose results have been published as books. These include building research agendas for the WTC attacks (published in Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research by the University of Colorado-Boulder, 2003), the role of information technology in infrastructure (a co-edited book, Digital Infrastructures: Enabling Civil and Environmental systems through Information Technology, Routledge, 2004), and social and technological networks (a co-edited book, Sustaining Urban Networks: The Social Diffusion of Large Technical Systems, Routledge 2004).

Dr. Zimmerman has been a consultant to U.S. EPA's Superfund program (Region II) on equity and hazardous waste sites, water resources management, and environmental impact assessment, and has served on government and National Academy of Sciences expert committees.

Education: B.A., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley; M.S., City Planning, University of Pennsylvania; and Ph.D., Planning, Columbia University.

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