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How can societies better predict or prevent catastrophes such as wildfires and earthquakes? How can communities be helped to recover more quickly from disasters? To help find answers to these and other questions about natural hazards, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 11 new grants adding up to $27.5 million through its Interdisciplinary Research in Hazards and Disasters (Hazards SEES) solicitation. The effort is part of NSF's Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) investment.

"Improving our understanding of the processes associated with natural hazards is of critical importance to all of us," says Roger Wakimoto, NSF Geosciences Directorate assistant director. "These events often result in casualties and can affect the infrastructure on which society relies. Improving our predictive capability while we build resilience so communities can respond and recover are key goals of the projects NSF is supporting through the Hazards SEES program."

Program goals include:

  • Advancing understanding of the processes associated with natural hazards and technological hazards linked to natural phenomena, and their interactions.
  • Improving understanding of the causes, interdependencies, and cumulative effects these hazards have on individuals, the natural and built environments, and society as a whole.
  • Enhancing capabilities for forecasting or predicting hazards, mitigating their effects, and enhancing the capacity to respond to and recover from resulting disasters.

The 2015 NSF Hazards SEES grant awards are:

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