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Jennifer F. Helgeson

Research Economist

Dr. Jennifer Helgeson is a research economist in the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She currently leads the office's work on the "Economics of Community Resilience Planning."  

Her research interests are focused around survey assessments and economic analyses that consider behavioral aspects and approaches to dealing with environmental issues. Dr. Helgeson’s research revolves around resilience to hazards (shocks and stressors) in the built environment, with consideration for cost-effectiveness of community- scale mitigation and adaptation efforts.
At present, Dr. Helgeson is a member of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Technical Investigation of Hurricane Maria and its impacts on Puerto Rico. The NIST Hurricane Maria Program also includes NIST’s National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) Study to better understand recovery processes in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Under this NWIRP study, Dr. Helgeson leads a project to determine the impacts to and recovery of small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs), and retail and service industries.

Also, as part of her business resilience research, Dr. Helgeson leads a primary data collection effort in partnership with NOAA. This study focuses on decision-making processes for small- and medium-sized businesses in response to hurricane events and extreme flooding in South Carolina, Texas, and other areas.
In the past, Dr. Helgeson was a researcher at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Norway and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, France. Following the completion of her B.A. Degree in Economics at Brandeis University in, she spent a year researching Environmental Economics issues on a Fulbright Grant to Norway. She earned her M.S. Degree in Environmental Change and Management with a focus on Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford, UK.  Dr. Helgeson holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Developmental Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE), where she was awarded a Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research Scholarship and was also supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. 


Quantifying Macroeconomic Resilience Dividends in Cedar Rapids

Juan F. Fung, Jennifer F. Helgeson, Cheyney M. O'Fallon, David H. Webb, Harvey Cutler
Cedar Rapids, Iowa offers a unique case study in planning for increased resilience. In 2008, Cedar Rapids experienced severe flooding. Rather than simply

The Lumberton, North Carolina Flood of 2016: A Community Resilience Focused Technical Investigation

John W. van de Lindt, Walter G. Peacock, Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Nathanael Rosenheim, Derya Deniz, Maria K. Dillard, Tori Tomiczek, Maria Koliou, Andrew Graettinger, Shane Crawford, Kenneth W. Harrison, Andre Barbosa, Jennifer Tobin, Jennifer F. Helgeson, Lori Peek, Mehrdad Memari, Elaina Sutley, Sara Hamideh, Donghwan Gu, Stephen A. Cauffman, Juan F. Fung
In early October 2016 Hurricane Matthew crossed North Caroline as a category 1 storm with some areas receiving 15-18 inches of rainfall on already saturated

A Computable General Equilibrium Model of Cedar Rapids

Jennifer F. Helgeson, Juan F. Fung, Cheyney M. O'Fallon, David H. Webb, Harvey Cutler
This report presents the development of a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model for the regional economy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The general approach that
Created September 10, 2019