Multi-campus research center formed to study natural hazard risks and improve resilience

Jan 22, 2019

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

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The Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center includes 37 researchers, from six Southern California research institutions, with expertise in engineering, science, public policy and economics.

Three dozen researchers from six Southern California institutions have joined together to study how to mitigate risks from deadly natural disasters, and how to improve responses to them.

The new Natural Hazards Risk and Resiliency Research Center, or NHR3, includes faculty and research staff members from UCLA, Caltech, the Southern California Earthquake Center, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and USC.

The group will look at a broad range of threats, including wildfires, earthquakes, drought, landslides, sea-level rise, flooding, hurricanes, and tsunamis. They will investigate how those natural hazards could adversely affect populations, destroy infrastructure, and disrupt the economy and society. Then, they will study how to best mitigate those impacts, and develop strategic responses to improve communities’ resilience during and after such events.

Research aligned with these objectives is not a new concept, and has been undertaken by investigators across the United States and globally. However, as the scale of the threats from natural disasters grow, as evidenced by the recent wildfires for example, the center’s members felt there is a clear and urgent need to accelerate and better coordinate such efforts in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary manner.

“The members of NHR3 came together because we share a common passion for impactful research in natural hazards risk characterization and mitigation,” said Ali Mosleh, a distinguished professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and the director of the Garrick Institute. “Collectively, we are looking to offer new rational, science-based assessments of risks from these hazards, then offer strategies to help improve our responses during and after them.”

NHR3 is housed at  UCLA under the B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences. Please visit https://www.risksciences.ucla.edu/nhr3 to learn more.

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