UHCL geographer receives Department of Homeland Security Fellowship
HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has awarded University of Houston-Clear Lake Assistant Professor of Geography Deanna Schmidt a summer 2012 Research Fellowship through the Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions Program.
Schmidt and her team will be conducting research titled “Housing Recovery and Resilience: Assessing the Constraints and Facilitators of Post-Disaster Housing Recovery in Vulnerable Coastal Communities.” The research will identify the resources and knowledge that small coastal communities – with relatively-limited internal resources – need to more successfully and equitably achieve post-disaster housing recovery. Through a comparative study of soundside coastal communities in North Carolina and Galveston Bay communities in Texas, the research will identify the federal, state, and local policies, resources and capabilities that facilitate housing recovery efficiently and justly. Outcomes of the research will provide community leaders, public officials, planners and emergency managers practical suggestions to improve resilience to coastal storms.
This award provides more than $14,000 to Schmidt to conduct research in North Carolina in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence, affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award also provides funding for two UH-Clear Lake students to join the research team in North Carolina. Henry Hodde, UHCL graduate student in Environmental Management, will receive more than $7,500 to work with Schmidt in North Carolina. In addition, Carlton Porter, an undergraduate student in Environmental Management, will receive more than $6,500 as a team member tasked with gathering Galveston Bay community data. This award provides the UHCL research team with nearly $30,000 in funding.
In parallel to Schmidt’s research in North Carolina, UHCL Lecturer of Environmental Management Kathleen Garland will guide data collection in Texas supported by UHCL’s Office of Sponsored Programs. Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters Gavin Smith and Research Associate Dylan Sandler, of the UNC Coastal Hazards Center, will assist with data collection in both North Carolina and Texas.
The fellowship establishes a long-term coastal hazards collaboration between UHCL and the UNC Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence. The UHCL/UNC team will apply for additional funding up to $50,000 for follow-on collaborative research during the 2012-2013 academic year. The research program also will build collaborations with the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Texas Sea Grant, Texas A&M and organizations in North Carolina.
For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Geography Deanna Schmidt by emailing SchmidtD@uhcl.edu or calling 281-283-3394.