2011 Summer Institute


The mini-Summer Institute is a hands-on exploration of the science, engineering, education, and practice of Emergency Informatics: real-time collection, processing, distribution, and visualization of information for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery from emergencies.

We believe that systems research should be grounded in fieldwork and an understanding of the practice. Therefore, the mini-Summer Institute series emphasizes multi-disciplinary messiness of real world scenarios based on collaboration with the responders from the Texas Engineering Extension Service, (the state agency that hosts Texas Task Force 1), law enforcement professionals, policy experts, and other subject matter experts at the 52-acre Disaster City complex along with social networking volunteers at Corpus Christi. It is the time that we learn about new domains, envision new uses of technologies, evaluate our existing technologies, and generate new directions.

The mini-Summer Institute consists of two parts, a walkthrough of the entire response process followed by fieldwork with the experts and agencies where researchers and industry work to insert technology using the learning lab format created at the Cognitive Engineering Laboratory at Ohio State. The Summer Institute isn’t scripted demos of individual widgets, this is about working together, trying out solutions (“hey, what if we use X’s technology with K’s algorithm?”) and learning from failures and successes. It is more informative to learn where the bottlenecks and workarounds are occurring than to “declare victory.” The domain experts have significant experience in evaluating technology and are looking to influence development, not expecting a sales pitch.

The Learning Lab for this year will focus on what happens with the various agencies and stakeholders have explicit shared resources for remote assessment of a disaster (such as UAVs) and implicit resources (such as wireless networks) and have the potential for crowd sourcing. The goal will be for the US&R, NGOs, Medical, and Law Enforcement domain experts to correctly assess the situation at Disaster City by working with the participants and the participant’s technologies to enable decision makers.


All participants must bring a hardcopy of their completion certificates for the following online courses (which take about 1 hour to complete, despite the “3 hour” designation):
1. FEMA IS100 Introduction to Incident Command System (http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is100b.asp)
2. FEMA IS 700 National Incident Management System Introduction (http://training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/IS/is700.asp)

In addition, participants are recommended to read the California Recovery Manual at www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/PDF/Recovery%20Manual/$file/RecovManual10-04.PDF

Groups wishing to insert information technologies into the Learning Lab should contact Dr. Robin Murphy directly (murphy@cse.tamu.edu)


Day 1 May 19 Disaster Overview & Breakout Session
0800-1730 Introduction to disasters
Large Incident Response Overview, Chief Bob McKee TEEX
Structural Assessment, Dr. Pete Keating, Texas A&M/TXTF-1
Disaster law enforcement, Detective Phil Pietrunti, NYPD
National Guard WMD Civil Support Teams, TBD, 6th WMD CST
Environmental response, Mr. Jeff Kunze, TCEQ
Disaster Medicine & Public Health, Dr. Matt Minson, TXTF-1
American Red Cross, Mr. Rick Schofield
Disaster Emergency Management, Mr. Hank Lawson
Emergency Operations Center tour
1800-2100 Breakout discussions on lessons learned from recent disasters
Robots at Fukushima & Japan Tsunami, Dr. Robin Murphy, Texas A&M
New Zealand Earthquake, Dr. John Mander, Texas A&M

Day 2 May 20 Learning Lab
0800-1000 Introduction to Participating in Deployments (for members of CRASAR), Chief Martin, TEEX
0800-1600 Learning Lab: Remote Assessment of a geographically diverse disaster (earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado)
1600-1700 Hot wash
1800-2200 Social dinner

Day 3 May 21 Learning Lab and Proposal Work
0800-1100 Learning Lab: continued
1100-1500 Wrap up, working lunch, and discussions on NSF STC proposal