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RAPID Facility Resources to Support Social Science Extreme Events Research


Recorded Forum: April 7, 2023
Time: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MDT


The mission of the National Science Foundation-supported Natural Hazard and Disaster Reconnaissance (RAPID) Facility is to “enable transformative research by providing investigators with the instrumentation, software, and support needed to collect, process, and analyze perishable data from natural hazard events and from disasters.” As a national shared-use facility, based at the University of Washington, one of the RAPID facility’s aims is to increase the social sciences user base by understanding and addressing their research and support needs. 

This inaugural Social Sciences Fridays event provided a forum for information sharing and allowed RAPID Facility leadership to seek feedback from the social science hazards and disaster community. Specifically, during this one hour session, the presenters 1) informed social scientists about the RAPID Facility, its resources, and its training opportunities; and 2) provided space for discussion, ideas, and recommendations for how the RAPID Facility can more meaningfully serve social science research needs. 

The RAPID Facility leadership invites all social scientists to complete this survey by no later than May 1, 2023. 

The session opened with an overview of the RAPID Facility. The presenters then shared examples of how social scientists and interdisciplinary teams have utilized instrumentation and data from the Facility, including use of its Streetview-like imagery equipment and the RApp application for survey and interview data collection. Audience members learned how to request RAPID Facility resources, including existing social science support. The remaining time was dedicated to open discussion, where attendees were invited to provide input regarding how the RAPID Facility can support social scientists and interdisciplinary research and reconnaissance through enhanced training, resources, and technical assistance.

Nicole A. Errett, PhD, MSPH: Dr. Nicole Errett’s research focuses on the development, implementation and health impacts of policies and programs that aim to build resilience in the context of public health emergencies, disasters and climate change. She works closely with public health practitioners, emergency managers, community-based organizations, and others to design and implement policy-relevant research that contributes to real-world solutions for pressing disaster, climate and health problems. Her research leverages qualitative and survey methods, and she frequently collaborates on interdisciplinary teams.

Dr. Errett serves as the Social Sciences lead for the Natural Hazards and Disaster Reconnaissance Facility,  co-chairs the NIEHS Disaster Research Response Network Steering Committee and co-leads the Public Health Extreme Events Research (PHEER) Network). She holds a PhD in Health and Public Policy, an MSPH in Health Policy and a BA in Public Health Studies from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She completed post-doctoral training in coastal community resilience at the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, BC.

Jamie Vickery, PhD: Dr. Vickery is a disaster researcher serving as a Research Scientist for the Collaborative on Extreme Event Resilience within the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health, the Disaster Research Response (DR2) Program Manager within the Interdisciplinary Center for Exposures, Genomics, Diseases, and the Environment, and as the social sciences specialist for the UW Natural Hazard and Disaster (RAPID) Reconnaissance Facility. Her research interests focus on the social dimensions of hazards and disasters, including social vulnerability and resilience, risk perception, and risk communication. She draws upon applied research, program evaluation, and culturally responsive methods as a mechanism for bridging scholarship and practice. Broadly, her work aims to produce and translate knowledge in ways that can be accessed and used by practitioners and communities. 

Dr. Vickery specializes in the use of qualitative research methods, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, content analysis, participant observation, and participatory asset mapping, along with experience conducting and designing mixed-method research and implementation. She has engaged in multiple projects and working groups concerning the intersection of homelessness and disaster and leads a group of scholars, students, and key stakeholders titled, “Housing Precarity, Homelessness, and Disasters Network.” Dr. Vickery received her PhD and MA in Environmental Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder, with a specific focus on the Sociology of Disasters, and a BA in Political Science from Oklahoma State University.

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