NH
Natural Hazards
Giulia Roder

Giulia Roder

My name is Giulia Roder, and I am a Research Associate at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability at the United Nations University in Tokyo (Japan). My work is related to the 'Water for Sustainable Development' project which aims to stimulate sustainable development in the Asia Pacific. I hold a PhD from the University of Padova (Italy) and my work was related to flooding and human interactions through the analysis of flood dynamics in anthropogenic landscapes, risk perception and preparedness studies in different communities worldwide. My interest in these topics raised in the remote Central Mountain Range in Taiwan when I have been hosted by one of the oldest indigenous communities. I joined the EGU Early Career Scientists of Natural Hazard division (NhET) in 2017. Since then, I have been contributing to the blog and with several activities during the Assembly.

Cyclone Fani: A success in weather forecast and disaster preparedness

Cyclone Fani: A success in weather forecast and disaster preparedness

Hurricane, cyclone and typhoon are different terms for the same weather phenomenon: torrential rain and maximum sustained wind speeds (near centre) exceeding 119 km/hour (World Meteorological Organization https://public.wmo.int/en). The terminology depends on the region (e.g. in the western North Pacific, they are called typhoons; in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea they are named as cyclones, etc). The Indian sub-continent is highly vulnerable to cyclones and the losses to life are more pronounced due to high population density (National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project, Govt of India). Studies show a decreasing trend in the frequency of cyclones over the North Indian Ocean in recent years, however, the damage and destruction from such systems do not seem to decrease (e.g. De et al., 2005). In April 2019, Cyclone Fani was the first summer cyclone to hit India’s Bay of Bengal coast in 43 years and only the third in the past 150 years. It was also the strongest tropical cyclone to hit India since 2013 and affected 137 blocks (district subdivisions for rural areas consisting of a cluster of villages), 46 municipal governments, 14,800 villages, and 15,000 km of roads. About 5 million people lost their houses, 14 million people were affected and $14 billion is now estimated for rebuilding damaged houses and public infrastructure.

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Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

Our audience on stage: new NhET blog column

The diffusion of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. in addition to traditional blogging led to a diversification in the impact of science communication. However, as Eryn Brown and Chris Woolston wrote in Nature last January, blogs continue to be effective platforms for disseminating research into the world and increase the discovery of science. This is the reason why we believe our natural hazards blog is fundamental to increase outreach activities of the EGU community with particular attention – but not limited to early career scientists. Therefore, we are happy to introduce new possibilities to interact with us.

  1. We are a community, and for this reason, we would like to give you the space to get engaged in the blog by writing articles as guest authors. We warmly welcome your ‘stories from the field’ telling us what you do, which methodologies or instruments you are using, which advantages or limitation you are facing. You can also write about your research digesting complex topics, review natural hazards related movies, comment artworks, interview senior researchers or policymakers, share your experiences in latest summer schools or workshop you have participated, etc. We offer team spirit, technical support, editing on your writing and scientific networking.
  2. We have a community, and for this reason, our knowledge and networking might help in answering your questions or curiosities. You might be curious about the natural hazards occurrence in your region, or understanding the causes of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010. You might show concern about gender inequality during disasters discovering which are the instruments researchers and practitioners can put in place to overcome these social vulnerabilities. We, therefore, encourage to freely ask your questions related to natural hazards. You can write in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, but answers will be published in English in the blog, with some highlights in your native language.

 

Whether the reason for your interest, we ask you to communicate with us via this Google Form and we will get back to you. Be patient since this blog is run on a voluntary base.

 

Job matchmaking in the water sector

Job matchmaking in the water sector

Sooner or later in your career, you have turned lunch breaks, entire weekends or nights into a job search. Looking for a job can be like dating: it can either be an easy going match, quickly finding the right job position for you, or it might be a long and unsatisfying search over millions of websites. The climax arises if you want to use your past research expertise into something new, a multidisciplinary professional experience (especially outside academia). So then, the issue: googling the keywords of your dream job, the ‘what’ and the ‘where’. Frustration, frustration and frustration. Until you find it, Josh’s Water Jobs! A collection of water-related job positions worldwide, jumping from NGOs, UN consultancies, PhD/Post-doc with a turnover of new posts almost every day.

This interview is to introduce who saved our endless searches, giving us the chance to apply for a position that, probably, we would have never found alone. I am presenting Dr Joshua Newton.

1) Hello Josh, can you please tell us something about you, your background and actual employment?

Some years ago, my Bachelor’s degree focused on international hydropolitics and I ended up working on transboundary water issues for about a decade, although I still do some work on the subject from time to time. In the middle of my PhD, which was focused on transboundary cooperation, I did what was supposed to be a short-term consultancy at UNESCO on the Ministerial Process of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul that turned into two years. During that time, I asked myself the question why this Process was the only platform we had at the global level to discuss water. So I ended up switching my PhD to focus on global water governance, macro-level thinking on how countries interact at the global level over water, basically within the United Nations system. And I’ve been working on global political processes related to water with a variety of organizations ever since.

I’m currently a half-time staff member at the Global Water Partnership (GWP) in Stockholm, Sweden and then I freelance the other 50% of the time. And, of course, my major hobby is the website.

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Combining geomorphology, geomorphometry and natural hazards research: the way forward

Combining geomorphology, geomorphometry and natural hazards research: the way forward

Today I have the honour to introduce a friend and a brilliant scientist that recently won the 2019 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists of the EGU, Dr Giulia Sofia. Dr Sofia is currently Assistant Research Professor at the University of Connecticut (USA) in the Hydrometeorology and Hydrologic Remote Sensing group. She received a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry Science, and PhD (2012) in Water Resources, Soil Conservation & Watershed Management from the University of Padova (Italy). Her area of research is geomorphology and digital terrain analysis, with a special interest in feature extraction from high-resolution topography. Her recent research interest concerns anthropogenic landscapes, incorporating the related human-induced processes. Her interdisciplinary research background is the reason behind today interview, to shed some light on the interrelation that geomorphology has with natural hazard research.

1. Hello Giulia. Can you please tell us what geomorphology and geomorphometry are?

Think about looking at a landscape, and working out how each earth surface process, such as air, water, and ice, can mould it. Think about piecing together the history and life of such a landscape place by studying landforms and sediments, and how they interact(ed). Well, this is geomorphology: the science of landforms, their processes, forms and sediments at the surface of the Earth, and sometimes other planets. Geomorphometry, on the other hand, is the science of quantitative land-surface analysis. It draws upon mathematics, computer vision, machine learning, image-processing techniques and statistics to quantify the shape of earth’s topography at various spatial and temporal scales. [Read More]