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Global Disaster Management: Workshop

This research guide is a starting point for research into the management of global disasters. It supports Pitt classes and workshops like - Building Community Resilience to Global Hazards, as well as the Hazard SEES Team members and their research.

Global Academic Partnership Workshop


 Building Community Resilience to Global Hazards:  A Sociotechnical Approac



 Tsunami Hazard Sign [Public domain] and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


HAZARD SEES  [Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability] Joint Project (2013 - 2015) is a multi-disciplinary project with teams at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Woods Hole Research Center, Northwestern University, Andalas, and Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
From Sensors to Tweeters: A Sustainable Sociotechnical Approach for Detecting, Mitigating, and Building Resilience to Hazards

Decision making in disaster environments requires a sociotechnical approach that integrates the science of the natural physical environment with analysis of the interdependent conditions among technical, organizational, cultural, and socioeconomic sub-systems in any community which, when disrupted, escalate hazard events into disasters. We explore the process of building community resilience to hazards that involves geophysical, engineered, technical, computational, organizational, communication and socioeconomic systems.

Previous Project Work:

 Tsunami-Detecting Network in Development  AP November 22, 2006, featured in: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , Washington Post, Forbes, and the International Herald-Tribune.  

Exploratory Research on Sensor-Based Infrastructure for Early Tsunami Detection  -  Website and links to the 2005 (Maui) and 2006 (Berkeley) conference documents and workshop schedule.

Secure CITI: A Secure Critical Information Technology Infrastructure for Disaster ManagementThe website links to project news, conference presentations, and publication links from 2003 -2007.  The Self-secure and robust Critical Information Technology Infrastructure project (S-CITI for short) is being developed by an interdisciplinary research group.  It aims to provide support to Emergency Managers (EMs) that are faced with management of resources and with decisions before, during, and after emergencies or disasters.

 Other Readings:

Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice - Special Issue: Designing Disaster Resilience and Public Policy: Comparative Perspectives

Call Number: DOI:10.1080/13876988.2012.687621
Publication Date: Vol 14, issues 2-3, 2012, pages 109-273

Institutions Participating


   - University of Pittsburgh (PITT) - GSPIA, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Disaster Management  

   - Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)  - Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS)

   - Harvard University, Kennedy School's Ash Center for for Democratic Governance and Innovation

   - Northwestern University  - Department of Earth & Planetary Science

   - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution the world's largest private, non-profit oceanographic research institution and a global leader in the study and exploration of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system.



   - Andalas University, Padang, Indonesia

   - Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia - Research Center for Disaster Mitigation, Institute of Technology Bandung (RCDM ITB)

   - Kobe University, Kobe, Japan - Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS)

   - Nanjing University, Nanjing, China - Center of Social Risk and Public Crisis Research

   - Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea -  Graduate School of Public Administration

Pittsburgh Institutions Participating


University of Pittsburgh (PITT)    

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)  -

Participants from Pittsburgh

Louis K. Comfort  -  (PITT) is Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director, Center for Disaster Management at the University of Pittsburgh. Her primary research interests are in decision making under conditions of uncertainty and rapid change, and the uses of information technology to develop decision support systems for managers operating under urgent conditions. She has engaged in field studies following nineteen earthquake disasters in fourteen countries. 

Asymmetric Information Processes in Extreme Events: The 26 December 2004 Sumatran Earthquake and Tsunami  appears in Communicable Crises: Prevention, Management and Resolution in an Era of Globalization.


Kathleen Carley  -  (CMU) ia Professor and Director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS).

CASOS is a CMU interdisciplinary center that combines network analysis, computer science and organization science into simulation models hat meld multi-agent technology with network dynamics and empirical data. Three of the large-scale multi-agent network models developed in the counter-terrorism area are: BioWar a city-scale dynamic-network agent-based model for understanding the spread of disease and illness due to natural epidemics, chemical spills, and weaponized biological attacks; DyNet a model of the change in covert networks, naturally and in response to attacks, under varying levels of information uncertainty; and RTE a model for examining state failure and the escalation of conflict at the city, state, nation, and international as changes occur within and among red, blue, and green forces.

Modeling Community Containment for Pandemic Influenza: A Letter Report ( 2006 )   from the National Academy of Sciences is online.

On the evolution of social and organizational networks  from KM Carley - Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 1999 


Sera Linardi  -  (PITT)  is an Assistant Professor in GSPIA, economist, and former computer scientist who teaches game theory, microeconomics, behaviorial and experimental economics.  She is interested in organizational issues in the nonprofit and public sector and collaborates on projects and experiments such as how social environment affects motivation.  

No Excuses for Good Behavior: Volunteering and the Social Environment with  Margaret Anne McConnell. Journal of Public Economics (June 2011), 95, 5-6, pp 445-454.


Daniel Mosse  -  (PITT) is Chair of the Department of Computer Science of University of Pittsburgh. His research interests encompass allocation of resources (computing and network resources) in the realm of real-time, power management, security, and fault tolerance. He received his BS  in Mathematics from the University of Brasilia, Brazila, and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Efficient Scheduling for Sensor Networks, by Andreea Berfield and Daniel Mossé,  in Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Advances in Sensor Networks (IWASN 2006) ,July 2006, San Jose, California.


Kent Harries  -  (PITT)  is an Associate Professor in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering specializing is Structural Engineering and Mechanics.  His research interests include the use of non-traditional materials (FRP, HPC, RPC, bamboo) in civil infrastructure, the seismic design and retrofit of building structures, the design and behavior of high-rise structures, and the applications of full-scale structural testing  

Seismic Design of Hybrid Coupled Wall Systems: State of the Art.  by El-Tawil, S., Harries, K., Fortney, P., Shahrooz, B., and Kurama, Y. Journal of Structural Engineering, 136(7), 755–769,(July 2010).    Permalink:


Jürgen Pfeffer  -  (CMU) is an Assistant Research Professor at CMU's Institute for Software Research, His research focus lies in the computational analysis of organizations and societies with a special emphasis on large-scale systems. It generally combines visual analytics, geographic information systems, system dynamics, and data mining.

The Importance of Local Clusters for the Diffusion of Opinions and Beliefs in Interpersonal Communication Networks by Jürgen Pfeffer & Kathleen Carley (2013).  International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management 10 (5), DOI: 10.1142/S0219877013400221.

Multi-modeling and Socio-cultural Complexity:  Reuse and Validation" by Kathleen Carley G Morgan, M Lanham & Jürgen Pfeffer, (2012). In: D. D. Schmorrow, D.M. Nicholson (eds), Advances in Design for Cross-Cultural Activities Part II. CRC Press, 128-137.


Taieb Znati - (PITT) - is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests encompassHis current research interests focus on the design of network level channel abstractions for real-time communication networks to support multimedia environments. 

Challenges and Research Directions in Large Scale Sensor Networks, Taieb Znati, Keynote speech at the 2nd International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Networks (MSN 2006) - December 2006 - Hong Kong, China. 

CMU Participants

CMU participants may visit Hillman Library's service desk on the ground floor to get a temporary logon.  It will permit you to access our ebooks and databases while in Hillman Library. 

Pitt affliates should be able to access all material from on campus or remotely.  Our Ezproxy server will prompt you to log in from with your email user name and password when you access paid licensed content (databases and ebooks).  

Participants from China, Japan and Korea

Zhang Haibo - (China) is an Associate Professor at Nanjing University"s School of Government, and the Deputy Director of the Center of Social Risk and Public Crisis Research. He is an expert on risk governance, crisis management, and disaster and emergency management. He earned his bachelor degree in economics, master degree in sociology, and doctoral degree in public management.

Haibo Zhang - What has China Learnt from Disasters? Evolution of the Emergency Management System after SARS, Southern Snowstorm, and Wenchuan Earthquake - in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice - Special Issue: Designing Disaster Resilience and Public Policy: Comparative Perspectives, Vol 14, issues 2-3, 2012, pages 234-244. DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2012.687621   LINK:


Keiichi Ogawa (Japan - Kobe proflle) is Professor/Department Chair at at Kobe University"s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies.  He specializes in economics of education, education finance, and education policy/planning, with extensive research experience in the continents of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.   His professional experience includes serving as Education Economist at the World Bank, Senior Advisor at the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Advisor at the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and as a Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank and UNESCO.

A Comparative Analysis of Universal Primary Education Policy in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Uganda  by Mikiko Nishimura and Keiichi Ogawa, with 7 others...  CICE Hiroshima University  - Journal of International Cooperation in Education, Vollllume 12, Number 1 (2009) pp.143 - 158.

(UPE) policy in the form of fee abolition has become popular in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the mid 1990s in order to achieve Education for All (EFA). Effective policy implementation would require considerable consultation with key stakeholders and a baseline survey that will enable systematic implementation and consideration of equity. Mutual accountability and a responsibility mechanism between the government and parents/communities is also a key to the sustainability of the UPE policy.


Kilkon Ko  -   (Korea)  is an Associate Professor at Seoul National University's Graduate School of Public Administration.  His Phd. is from GSPIA.  His research interests include: Quantitative Analysis, Research Methods, Policy Analysis, Decision Making Theory, Chinese Administrative Reform and Corruption

Public Administration and Development Special  Issue: Knowledge – Building in Asian Public Administration Research, Education and Practice: Current Trends & Future Challenges;  Volume 33, Issue 4, October 2013 

1. The Conference on “ Knowledge –Building in Asian Public Administration Research,“ M. Shamsul Haque and Kilkon Ko, pages 239–242,

2.   Knowledge Accumulation in Asian Public Administration Research:  A Critical Review by Kilkon Ko, page 320-324,

Participants from Indonesia

Febrin Anais Ismail - is a Professor in the Civil Engineering Department of Andalas Univerity in Padang.  He is interested in earthquake research and how the level and intensity affect the community. 

Earthquake Damage intensity Relationship for Residential houses in West Sumatra by Febrin Anas Ismail, Abdul Hakam, and Fauzanpublished in Makara Seri Teknologi , volume 16 #1, April 2012:93-98 and available in the Open Access Library Online.

Risk and Vulnerability Assessment to Tsunami Hazard Using Very High Resolution Satellite Data: The Case Study of Padang, Indonesia   Multiple authors, 2008 conference proceeding from European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories - EARSeL eProceedings, Volume 8 #1, 53-3, 2009.  


Harkunti Rahayu  - specializes is Disaster Mitigation.  His 2012 thesis from the Kochi University of Technology was titled: integrated Logic Model of Effective Tsunami Early Warning System.  

Logic Model of People’s Mind Toward Tsunami Early Warning  conference paper (in English) published by the Society for Social Management Systems Internet Journal, Sept. 2011.

Participants from Turkey

Suleyman Celik  - is an assistant professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Dr. Celik received his master's from CMU and his Phd from Pitt's GSPIA. His research centers on emergency and disaster management, network analysis, and comparative public administration. His 2006  thesis from Pitt  is titled:  (2006) Socio-technical Approaches to Complex Phenomena: An Analysis of the Turkish Disaster Management System under Stress. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.  This  research analyzes and assesses the major issues regarding coordinated response operations in destructive earthquakes. The research examines the decision making process in the context of seismic risk to exemplify how public managers can utilize the information and communication systems in order to create collaborative actions in managing an extreme event.

Other Participants from United States

Lee Freitag  is Principal Engineer for Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. 

The WHOI micro-modem: an acoustic communications and navigation system for multiple platforms  by Lee Freitag, M Grund, S Singh, J Partan, P Koski, K BallOCEANS, 2005. Proceedings of MTS/IEEE, 1086-1092  2005 -

Emile Okal, a professor of Earth & Planetary Science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, earned his Ph.D. in Geophysics from  California Institute of Technology and has a Doctorat d'Etat from the Université Paris VII.  He researches all areas of Seismology including Tsunamis and Volcanism.

Seismology: Speed and size of the Sumatra earthquake  by S Stein, Emile A. Okal - Nature, 2005 -

Newest:  From earthquake size to far-field tsunami amplitude: Development of a simple formula and application to DART buoy data, by Emile A. Okal, D. Reymond, and H. Hébert in Geophys. J. Intl.,196, 340-356, 2014.