Maria's previous employment includes: NOAA's National Ocean Service/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (Charleston, SC), the VA's Veterans Health Administration/Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (Pittsburgh, PA), and the University of the Virgin Islands' Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (St. Thomas, VI).
PhD in Sociology, University of Pittsburgh
MA in Sociology, East Carolina University
Dr. Maria Dillard is a Research Social Scientist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Community Resilience Group. Maria is also a member of the National Construction Safety Team for the Technical Investigation of Hurricane Maria’s Impacts on Puerto Rico and serves as a project lead in the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program’s Study of Hurricane Maria Impacts and Recovery in Puerto Rico. Her project focuses on the recovery of the services provided by schools and hospitals and the role of these social institutions in the recovery of communities following disasters.
Maria’s research is focused on community response to hazards and chronic stressors and the development of methods for measurement and modeling community resilience, recovery, well-being, and vulnerability. This research is aimed at providing science to strengthen the ability of communities to plan for and respond to natural and technological hazard events. Her work includes development and application of a measurement model for community well-being following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, integrated assessments of community vulnerability to climate change for climate adaptation planning, and quantification of human use and dependence on natural resources. In her current role, Maria is working to expand NIST’s research on community resilience with a particular emphasis on the social dimensions of disasters and recovery.
Previously, Maria was a Social Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science. Maria has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh with a focus on the measurement of social-ecological resilience for coastal and island communities. Maria is adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston. Maria has more than ten years of experience in social science research within academic and applied settings. This experience includes interdisciplinary research for federal agencies – the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Additionally, Maria has professional experience in community engagement through positions focused on communications, public education, and community outreach for environmental, healthcare, and social issues.