RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Catherine T. Lawson

Associate Professor in Geography and Planning

University at Albany, State University of New York


havidan rodriguez photo

Dr. Catherine T. Lawson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, and Affiliated Faculty in the Information Science Ph.D. Program in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany, State University of New York.  She is the Director of the Lewis Mumford Center/Albany Visualization and Informatics Labs (AVAIL) at the University at Albany.  AVAIL recently received a grant from FEMA to be a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP), in order to provide Hazard Mitigation Planning Technical Assistance to federal government partners, local and state agencies, and tribal jurisdictions across the Nation. In 2018, Dr. Lawson and the AVAIL research team, in partnership with  New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and FEMA, produced MitigateNY (https://mitigateny.availabs.org/), New York State’s 2019 FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan, which is the nation’s first web-based Statewide Hazard Mitigation Plan. AVAIL is currently in its second year of that DHSES and FEMA-HMGP funded project, extending mitigation planning software tools to local planning efforts by providing high-resolution risk mapping and hazard mitigation planning tools for every county in New York State.