2007 Archive

UC Group Wins NSF Grant to Study How Organizations Learn From Disaster

Despite the traumatic and graphic impact of an event like Hurricane Katrina, many agencies and organizations fail to develop disaster response plans that would help them sustain their missions during and after foreseeable catastrophes.

To address this problem, the Human and Social Dynamics division of the National Science Foundation (NSF) has approved a $750,000 grant (read the abstract) for a three-year interdisciplinary exploration of lessons learned in New Orleans and by flood control districts surrounding the California Delta. The investigation will look at how disaster mitigation knowledge is generated and transmitted by inter-organizational networks and also how organizations integrate this knowledge into their practices – or why they fail to do so.

Grant participants will represent civil and environmental engineering experts, the Haas School of Business, the Goldman School of Public Policy, as well as Boalt. Law school participants are Professors Dan Farber, Anne Joseph O'Connell, and Ken Bamberger.