Tue, 16 Jul 1996 09:50:18 -0400

This message is in response to the ANTHRO-L discussion and comments about
the lack of interest by anthropologists/social scientists in
hurricanes/disasters like hurricane Bertha. I might note that following a
disaster those in the affected area are so involved in the recovery process
that it is difficult to find time/energy for academic discussion about
the topic.

The literature on disasters is vast, Anthony Wallace was the earliest
anthropologist to be involved in research and policy issues of Tornados
and disasters. This formed a basis of his work on revitalization theory.
A classic anthropology text on disasters is "Natural Disasters and Cultural
Responses," Edited by Anthony Oliver-Smith, 1986, Studies in Third World
Societies #36.

Practically every AAA and SfAA meeting for the past 10 years has had a
session on disasters, usually led by Tony Oliver-Smith of the University
of Florida. In 1992 I led a session at the Society of Applied Anthropology
meetings titled "Social and Cultural Responses to Hurricane Andrew."

The devastating effects of Hurricane Andrew on South Florida in 1992
stimulated the development of a large number of faculty here at Florida
International University to focus their research on hurricanes. (FIU web
page is WWW.FIU.EDU) This past year the Florida legislature funded
the International Hurricane Center which "through initiation of basic
and applied research, will mitigate through education the social,
economic, environmental and psychological damage cause by hurricanes
and tropical systems in all phases of the life cycle." Tom David is
the Director of the Center, phone (305) 348-1607)
Email = HURRICAN@SERVMS.FIU.EDU. This is an interdisciplinary center
involving faculty at FIU, in the state university system, or elsewhere.

Also, following hurricane Andrew the US national weather service's office
in Miami was damaged, so they moved to the campus of FIU where they built
a state of the art facility this past year. The weather predictions of
hurricane Bertha came from this facility. You can access the web page
of the National Hurricane Center at WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV. The faculty of the
FIU International Hurricane Center benefit from the direct collaboration
with the staff of the US government's National Hurricane Center.

The FIU Sociology/Anthropology Department has a cadre of faculty and
students that specialize in disasters and hurricanes and are leaders
in FIU's International Hurricane Center. Students interested in
disasters and hurricanes can receive the M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative
Sociology in this combined department. The most involved anthropologist
is Hugh Gladwin, who is also the director of the FIU's Institute for
Public Opinion Research. He can be contacted through the center's

Dennis Wiedman, Provost Office, PC 526
Assistant to the Provost/Director of Planning for Academic Affairs
Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA. 33199
Phone: (305) 348-2262; FAX: (305) 348-2994