NSF Convergence Accelerator Workshop: Integrated Research on Societal Infrastructure Resilience to Stressing Events through Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Convergence

Lead PI: Dr. Marco Tedesco

Unit Affiliation: Marine and Polar Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

April 2021 - March 2022
Project Type: Research Education

DESCRIPTION: This project will organize and host a virtual workshop focused on developing resilience and adaptation tools that can help society cope more effectively with extreme stressing events. The stressing events are called “shocks” and include natural hazard events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, pandemics, and wildfires. The premise of the workshop is that decision-making and resilience will be improved through development of a “societal shock resilience framework” that more effectively quantifies and visualizes hazard risks, vulnerabilities, responses, and recovery paths. The goal of the workshop is to develop a potential future topic (track) of the NSF Convergence Accelerator. The workshop will identify the potential scope of the topic, the potential deliverables that could result from supporting that topic, the disciplinary expertise that could come together under a convergence research approach, and the partnerships that could be engaged across academia, industry, non-profit organizations, and government if the topic were supported.

Society regularly faces “shock” events such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and earthquakes and the nation is now facing the possibility that many of these shocks may become more frequent. Existing resilience and adaptation tools are inadequate or not implemented. A key challenge are the socio-cultural-economic barriers that exist between the many groups working to improve shock resilience. A future Convergence Accelerator research track on societal shock resilience can only be realized by leveraging the collective expertise of multiple disciplines, including hazard assessment, ecologic and environmental sciences, engineering disciplines, mathematics and statistics, computer science and software engineering, sociology, psychology, economics and financial stress modeling, public health, public policy, public administration, urban planning, disaster management and emergency response. Expertise in these disciplines spans a wide range of sectors including academic institutions; local, state, and federal government entities; and for-profit and non-profit organizations in the private sector. This workshop seeks to bring together the breadth of disciplinary and sector expertise needed to define the scope of research for an NSF Convergence Accelerator track. The scope defined by the workshop will define efforts that could produce tangible deliverables in less than three years that would improve communities’ resilience to a range of potential shocks. Importantly, the workshop seeks to also define a framework for any set of stakeholders to improve their community’s shock resilience.