I’m currently conducting qualitative research exploring disaster preparedness and resilience among Native American communities across the United States. This work includes insights that form the foundation for my dissertation, which explores the roles of tribal emergency managers as “Cultural Brokers” and the process through which they address preparedness challenges that are rooted in culture, by empowering Native American youth to build community resilience. I recently presented a portion of this work at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Working closely with tribal leaders throughout this research journey has provided rich insights far beyond my dissertation topic, which will meaningfully contribute to scholarly literature. This additional work includes theoretical contributions in the area of social capital and methodological insights into the importance of culturally competent assessment practices, and much needed descriptions of the state of disaster preparedness in Indian Country.
This research is part of a larger ongoing project, funded by the NSF, that seeks to introduce much needed scholarship on Native American communities into the canon of disaster scholarship. In addition to the work described above, this project is the first to offer a methodical description of the state of disaster preparedness in Indian Country.
I recently had the privilege to present the overall findings of this research at the 44th Annual Natural Hazards Workshop, hosted by the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder (you can view or download the full poster below). The interest that was generated there has resulted in invitations to present this research among groups of tribal emergency managers, where I have had the opportunity to refine and build on the preliminary findings presented here.