GEOG 858
Spatial Data Science for Emergency Management

Reading Assignment


The readings for this week focus on the final component of emergency management, recovery. You will read a chapter in your text and two papers that address different approaches for using spatial analysis to understand patterns of recovery after major disasters. They all touch on the challenges of using geospatial analysis to help communities and organizations cope with events having geographically distributed impacts. Such events can range from relatively localized chemical spills affecting a small drainage basin, through major events impacting hundreds of thousands of people and with substantial financial impacts (such as 9/11, the 2011 Japan Earthquake, or Hurricane Florence).


Chapter 8 – Geographic Information Systems and Disaster Recovery from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Disaster Management

This chapter from your textbook provides another overview of how GIS is used in disaster recovery. Note how it contrasts how different types of events require different types of geospatial tools. It also provides some good descriptions of where GIS response could be improved and ways that a long-term recovery infrastructure could be promoted. 

Think About

As you read this chapter, consider the following: How is the use of geospatial for recovery likely to differ for different kinds of events? What recovery-related geospatial issues does your text not cover that ended up being important in the years subsequent to a disaster like, say, Hurricane Sandy? When is recovery over?


Schumann et al. 2020. Wildfire recovery as a “hot moment” for creating fire-adapted communities. Internaional Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 42:101354. (Available on next page in Canvas)

This paper pulls together many of the topics we have consdiered so far. The authors suggest that "the period following a destructive wildfire may provide a “hot moment” for community adaptation. Drawing from literature on natural hazard vulnerability, disaster recovery, and wildfire ecology, this paper proposes a linked social-ecological model of community recovery and adaptation after disaster".


Both the journal articles focus on very different ways of using spatial data and GIS analysis to explore longer-term recovery from different types of disasters. What advantages or disadvantages do you see in both approaches? Pick one or two to share with your classmates, and try to link your points to other ideas we have covered so far in the course.


  • This week, you will be participating in a "live discussion" with some of your classmates and me! So, no written posts are required! The meeting will last one hour. 
  • We will focus on the journal articles, so come to the discussion with any points or questions you would like to raise. 
  • I will send out a Doodle poll so we can fined some times that will work for everyone. We will meet in small(ish) groups so everyone can participate. 
  • Note: You will also do a short writing assignment that will critique this article as well. This will give you a chance to reflect on what comes out of the live discussion. 

Grading Criteria

This discussion will be graded out of 15 points - pretty easy this week! Just show up and share your thoughts.