Gilbert F. White Lecture Series

BANNER

2014 Lecture

Dr. Susan Cutter, Distinguished Carolina Professor, University of South Carolina

December 4, 2014 | 6:00 PM | Room NAS 120 | National Academy of Sciences Building | 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC

In Harm's Way

Natural Hazards: Why More Knowledge Is Not Reducing Losses

It does not take an extreme event to produce extreme consequences.  The paradox of modern society explains this: we have more knowledge and abilities to manipulate nature; but  we also have increased our exposure and susceptibility to natural hazards.  This lecture explores the impacts and driving factors that produce the contemporary hazardscape and recovery after disasters.  Using examples from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, the lecture examines what makes people and places vulnerable to hazards and why vulnerability varies with location.  Such vulnerability influences recovery timing and location, producing a recovery divide between and among places and the people who live there.
The reduction in economic loss requires evidence-based policy appraisals and more progressive approaches to hazards management.  This means a re-framing of current programs and policies away from response to more pro-active and longer term emphases on hazard mitigation and enhancing resilience at local to global scales. Linking hazards research and practice to larger societal and development goals that embody the principles of fairness, equity, and sustainability is the road less traveled, but is the path toward a more resilient future.
It does not take an extreme event to produce extreme consequences.  The paradox of modern society explains this: we have more knowledge and abilities to manipulate nature; but  we also have increased our exposure and susceptibility to natural hazards.  This lecture explores the impacts and driving factors that produce the contemporary hazardscape and recovery after disasters.  Using examples from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, the lecture examines what makes people and places vulnerable to hazards and why vulnerability varies with location.  Such vulnerability influences recovery timing and location, producing a recovery divide between and among places and the people who live there.

The reduction in economic loss requires evidence-based policy appraisals and more progressive approaches to hazards management.  This means a re-framing of current programs and policies away from response to more pro-active and longer term emphases on hazard mitigation and enhancing resilience at local to global scales. Linking hazards research and practice to larger societal and development goals that embody the principles of fairness, equity, and sustainability is the road less traveled, but is the path toward a more resilient future.

Downloads:
Powerpoint Presentation (PDF - coming soon)
MP3 Recording (Coming soon)
Runtime: 1 Hour, 6 minutes, 31 seconds
(Recording begins on slide 6 of the presentation)

 

Previous Lectures:

2013 Lecture

Dr. Steven L. Stockton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

May 7, 2013 | 6:00 PM | Room 100 | Keck Center | 500 5th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Click  here to download MP3 Recording of lecture


2011 Lecture

Dr. Diana Liverman, The University of Arizona

"Geography and Global Environmental Change: Climate Risks and the Challenge of Development" (PDF)

February 10, 2011 | 6:00 PM | Room 100 | Keck Center | 500 5th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

Download the audio recording of the Lecture (MP3)

 

2009 Lecture 

Dr. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland
"Climate, Oceans, and Human Health: The Saga of a Cholera-Chaser"

2008 Lecture

Dr. Gerry Galloway, University of Maryland
"Managing American Water Resources: Recognizing the Realities of Geography"

2007 Inaugural Lecture

Dr. Robert Kates, Independent Scholar
"Gilbert F. White, 1911-2006, Great Aspirations: Local Studies, National Comparisons, Global Challenges"