A $350,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will fund additional research regarding Galveston’s Hurricane Ike recovery – research begun last year by the The Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center at Texas A&M University.
In December, 18 graduate students and four faculty members from the College Station and Galveston campuses of Texas A&M collected approximately 1,500 damage assessments and completed almost 300 household surveys with funding from the NSF.
With the new grant, says Shannon Van Zandt, the project’s lead investigator, center researchers will build on the December 2008 sample. Four units of analysis will be established: the households (meaning the people living in a residence), the residential buildings, businesses and the businesses’ structures.
“Recognizing that some households will stay in the housing units and other people will have left, and new people will be there or no one will be there, we want to track both the structures as well as the occupants to see what they’ve done, how they’re doing, if they’re recovering from the storm and how that recovery is going,” Van Zandt said.
The project is titled “Developing a ‘Living Laboratory’ for Examining Community Recovery and Resilience After Disaster.”
Van Zandt will be joined by Wes Highfield, a postdoctoral research associate with the HRRC, and the following faculty members in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning: Assistant Professor Yu Xiao, Associate Professor Samuel D. Brody, Professor Walter G. Peacock and Associate Professor Sherry Bame.
“Recovery has only just begun,” states the project’s abstract. “Follow-up data collection on structures, businesses, households and policy decision-making is needed to capture long-term recovery trajectories for households, housing and businesses and adaptive decision-making and management.”