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2023 NIST-NSF Disaster Resilience Research Symposium

The Engineering Laboratory at NIST, Gaithersburg, is proud to host the 6th annual symposium featuring the Disaster Resilience Grant Research Program recipients on August 23 and 24, 2023. This will be our 4th virtual event showcasing a wide range of research topics related to Disaster Resilience.

Over this 2 day event recipients will share their insights and findings from their research related to Disaster and Failure StudiesNational Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program and Reduced Ignition of Building Components in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires Project.

Keynote Speakers

David Alexander
 Dr. David J. Alexander

Dr. David J. Alexander
Senior Science Advisor for Resilience at U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Title: Research, Development, and Innovation for Enhancing Resilience of Cyber-Physical Critical Infrastructure

Bio: Dr. David J. Alexander serves as a Senior Science Advisor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Science & Technology Directorate. In that capacity, Dr. Alexander leads the Enduring Sciences Branch of DHS S&T’s Technology Centers Division which focuses on interdisciplinary research across the physical, social and life sciences to enhance knowledge, advance state of the art, inform investments and drive actions in national threats, hazards, and risks. Other programs he has spearheaded in DHS S&T include leading the S&T Flood Apex and Hurricane Technology Modernization programs as well as an analysis of Wildland Fire Operational Requirements and Capabilities in support of FEMA, US Fire Administration and other key stakeholders.

Prior to his role in DHS S&T, Dr. Alexander served as the first appointed Geospatial Information Officer (GIO) for DHS and as Enterprise GIS Branch lead within FEMA. Before coming to DHS, Dr. Alexander acquired practical experience across the local, state, federal, and private sectors. He has more than 25 years of experience in Homeland Security related science and technology.

Dr. Shanna N. McClain
NASA Disasters Program Manager

Dr. Shanna N. McClain

Title: From Space to Solutions: Empowering Disaster Resilience through Earth System Science

Bio: Dr. Shanna N. McClain is the Disasters Program Manager for NASA’s Earth Science Applied Sciences Program. She and her team define new and innovative opportunities for applying Earth science information in fragile and crisis-affected communities in order to build a more risk-informed global society.

McClain joined NASA after working with the Environmental Law Institute since 2009 to lead policy and programming on environmental and climate-related migration and displacement and environmental conflict and peace. She previously held consultancies with the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit focused on the integration of environmental considerations in sudden-onset and protracted humanitarian crises, including developing guidelines for how to prepare for and respond to technological, industrial, and nuclear disasters.


"Bridging the Science-Policy Divide: From Resilience Thinking to Resilient Practices".

A conversation with Ms. Toni-Shae Freckleton, Chief of the New York Liaison Office of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), moderated by Sezin Tokar from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Special Panel Discussion Session (Day 2)
Theme: Disaster Data Sharing

With Panelists including:

- Garrett Layne (NASA)

- Ellen Rathje (The University of Texas at Austin)

- Adam Smith (NOAA)

- Gerard Lemson (Johns Hopkins Univ./NIST)

- Matthew Hoehler (NIST)

Session moderated by Judith Mitrani-Reiser (NIST)

NSF and NIST logos

Agenda Times

  • August 23: 10:00am - 5:45pm EDT (UTC-4)
  • August 24: 10:00am - 5:30pm EDT (UTC-4)
Created May 16, 2023, Updated September 7, 2023