Project Updates

Brief Video Documents PASI's Results

posted May 20, 2011, 8:41 AM by Patricia Solis

A twelve-minute video has been created about the June 2010 PASI event in Panama City.  The short documentary gives an overview of the process of collaborating among international and interdisciplinary scholars around the themes of Climate Change and Hazards and points out some of the key themes and lessons learned from the experience. Watch it online here.

Research Agenda Released

posted Jan 18, 2011, 5:36 AM by Patricia Solis


The final report, in the form of a document that outlines research directions, has been released and is

posted online for public viewing.   Authored by the interdisciplinary team of 50 participants of the PASI program, it compiles the Intellectual contributions to how spatial analytical approaches can aid in integration of interdisciplinary approaches to improve understanding of the dynamics of climate change and expected hazard impacts.  It is organized into disciplinary and interdisciplinary sections that identify appropriate sets of questions and recommendations for how the knowledge necessary to address those questions can best be produced within an interdisciplinary setting.
Exploration of tensions among an advanced scholarly program on hazards, the uncertainty of climate change science, communication theories around various cultural audiences, and differences among disciplinary perspectives presented a unique opportunity to advance knowledge individually and collectively. Working through these tensions has been instructive for effectively integrating multi-disciplinary knowledge on the subject.  The main contribution of this pieces is the articulation of further questions for advancing understanding and addressing educational and communication needs around complex scientific knowledge of climate change and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
Versions in both English and Spanish are available for download.

White Papers identify interdisciplinary contributions

posted Aug 11, 2010, 6:59 AM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Aug 11, 2010, 7:10 AM ]

A set of five manuscripts that document various interdisciplinary contributions to important themes relating to the intersection of Climate Change and Hazards have been released.  During the June 2010 event, PASI Participants self organized into five different working groups to generate ideas about existing and potential future studies integrating institute focal themes. Working groups were composed of individuals from different parts of the Americas and from different disciplines. Each of these five groups prepared a draft research manuscript from these ideas and presented them publicly on the Technological University of Panama campus. 
The draft research manuscripts identified existing and mapped our new areas of research in geography, urban planning, engineering, communication, and other disciplines. Among the critical topics that were explored, participants addressed building local resilience, visualization, adaptation planning, mapping local knowledge, informing policy and practice in the hemisphere, relationships between land use and hazards in the context of climate change, vulnerability, and mitigation.  Many employed case studies to illustrate the concepts under discussion.  Among the results, the group emphasized that “community participation is very important in hazards mitigation and adaptation to climate change” and elaborated methodologies and practices towards engaging stakeholder participation from the beginning of scientific endeavors in ways that are culturally relevant.  The urgency of hazards preparation was seen as one way to overcome inaction that may be precipitated by the uncertainty involved in climate change science.  They explored links on how mitigating the effects of climate change are closely related to ways of living and developing more sustainably anyway.

The white papers are posted online for public viewing.  An integrated research agenda based on these manuscripts and on the discussions that ensued over the two-week institute will be published and made available to the public in the fall.

Institute Event Wraps Up as Success

posted Jun 29, 2010, 6:56 AM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Jun 29, 2010, 7:06 AM ]

After two weeks of hard work, the Climate Change and Hazards institute participants successfully finished the event's activities in Panama. The teams were committed to collaborating across disciplinary, cultural, and linguistic boundaries.  Overcoming a ubiquitous wave of the flu, their focus and patience paid off in the end in the form of five creative white papers and approximately six pages of research agenda questions.  The outcomes and documents will be polished and edited in the coming weeks for broader distribution.  In addition to those attending with support from the NSF, broader participation was achieved through the knowledge environment's structure.  Preliminary metrics indicate 10,000+ page views coming from 446 unique visitors from 20 countries during the institute in June. Many thanks to all for their essential participation.

Participants form working groups

posted Jun 18, 2010, 6:08 AM by Patricia Solis

The PASI participants have self selected their working group teams to focus on generating the institute outcomes.  Each of these working groups are comprised of a mixture of expertise (e.g. geography, GIS, communication experts) and perspectives (North America, Caribbean, Central America, South America).  They will be identifying the emerging cutting edge themes and drafting research-based white papers around innovative and transformative subjects.  From these draft white papers, the outline for the institute's research agenda will be derived.

Final institute schedule stirs expectations

posted Jun 2, 2010, 10:34 AM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Jun 2, 2010, 10:57 AM ]

With less than two weeks until the PASI institute event is held in Panama City, instructors and organizers finalize the program agenda.  The impressive set of multimedia lectures, group discussions, interactive panels, laboratory training, collaborative work sessions, social activities, and local site visits are all listed in the onsite program.  The pages comprising this schedule of events contain the individual session abstracts which will become a repository of real-time comments by participants to generate an interaction space that will develop the framework for this knowledge environment. 


Attend a Webinar Orientation

posted May 13, 2010, 10:09 AM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Jun 2, 2010, 10:58 AM ]

Participants were introduced to how to use this project wiki and other communication technologies to generate the collaborative research outcomes of the program.  This session was held using GoTo Meetings free webinar service and a recording of one of the sessions is posted online for those unable to attend the times and dates.
The use of social technologies and advanced communication systems forms part of the unique aspect of this institute, with goals to maximize collaboration and input from instructors and participants alike, to create peer mentoring networks, and to encourage broader participation in these research efforts.

Informal Pre-PASI Gathering at AAG Annual Meeting

posted Apr 21, 2010, 7:13 AM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Jun 2, 2010, 10:58 AM ]

Approximately fifteen instructors and participants met in person at an informal venue during the recent AAG Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, as a preview of the PASI activities ongoing towards the June event in Panama.  Besides getting to know each other in person, which was the main goal of the gathering, we also previewed the agenda and addressed some logistical questions.  As part of the publicity around the program, PI Patricia Solis also gave a presentation in another session outlining the goals and expected outcomes of the PASI.  The powerpoint is available for viewing in the attachments to this page - check it out!

Plans underway for institute event ...

posted Oct 19, 2009, 10:41 PM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Mar 16, 2010, 12:09 PM ]

Reservations have been made at the Country Inn and Suites Amador in Panama City for selected participants as the lodging and lecture venue for the Climate Change & Hazards PASI.  Located near the canal entrance, the
hotel provides a view of the Bridge of the Americas, a well-known symbol for linkages across the hemisphere.  Additional lectures, group discussions, and laboratory sessions will be held at the UTP on their Tumba Muerto campus, serving as the local host institution for the institute.

Listserv and website launching soon ...

posted Oct 19, 2009, 9:47 PM by Patricia Solis   [ updated Mar 16, 2010, 11:41 AM ]

Most of the selected participants have confirmed participation, and the listserv and website are under final stages of construction.  The online venue will be launched as more than just a webpage.  It will of course provide up-to-date information on the PASI, with specific details on current and upcoming activities, lecture topics, institute agenda, and links to related initiatives. During the two-week long training, participants will use this website as a source for notes, presentations, and instructional materials, as well as links to external data and methods of analysis.  The site uses web-based collaborative social technologies to create an online virtual learning and research facilitation environment that serves multiple functions and is developed via open co-authoring software tools. Functions include a semi-private Wiki system that allows mass co-authoring of the site and content contribution, storage, and exchange functionalities. The final objective is to create a knowledge-environment that can be transformed into a long-term sustained vehicle for the preservation and dissemination of the institute’s outcomes. In addition to research community resources, the C2HEKE site will provide mentoring information and an opportunity for graduate students and early career researchers in the field to connect with each other and with expert mentors beyond the group of lecturers.
The C2HEKE adds to the impact of the institute itself, structuring time and activities to its development in an integrated schedule with the PASI event. For example, participants will be tasked with posting research questions, contributing to a common bibliography, and engaging with pre-event discussions to be used as a self-organizing framework for identification of workgroups that will emerge from the institute. As such we envision that it will play a significant role in preparing and optimizing participants’ attendance. With reading assignments posted prior to the event, and lecture notes available before each presentation participants will have a much richer and productive experience during the two weeks on-site. In our experience, participants who are structurally engaged in such work ahead of workshops have a significant head start in forming working relationships and remain engaged well after the event concludes. During the actual institute, the C2HEKE will record summaries of discussions and will maintain an archive of research questions that the group does not have time to sufficiently address during the sessions. It will help to establish a common terminology, important for interdisciplinary work, and to support multilingual treatments of topics (e.g., autotranslators). After the event, the site will spotlight publications, seminars, and collaborative research arising from the PASI.
Thanks for contributing to it!

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