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Remote Sensing for Disaster Response Workshop Focuses on Multi-Hazard Applications

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The Third International Workshop on Remote Sensing for Disaster Response took place at Chiba University, Japan, on September 12-13, 2005. Hosted by Professor Fumio Yamazaki, the event was sponsored by Chiba University, MCEER, the EERI Learning From Earthquakes Program, and the University of California at Irvine (UCI).

More than 30 invited participants from the US, Europe and Asia attended the workshop. Papers had a multi-hazard focus that spanned earthquake, tsunami, wildfire and landslide/debris flow, and hurricane. The Day 1 keynote address by Professor Masanobu Shinozuka, MCEER Executive Committee member and Distinguished Professor and Chair of UCI’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, endorsed this multi-hazard theme, with his overview of the ‘Application of Remote Sensing Technology in Natural Hazard Assessment.’ The Day 2 keynote address by Professor Shun’ichi Koshimura of Tohoku University provided an impressive overview of how ‘Remote Sensing, GIS and Modeling Technologies Enhance the Synergistic Capability to Comprehend the Impact of the Great Tsunami Disaster.’

Presentations during the workshop sessions addressed technical, theoretical, and applied remote sensing research being conducted for events including: the 2001 Arequipa (Peru), 2003 Bam (Iran), and 2004 Niigata (Japan) earthquakes; the Indian ocean tsunami; and hurricane Katrina. Research areas included the implementation of high- and moderate-resolution imagery for post-disaster damage assessment and recovery monitoring, the development of disaster management decision support systems, the implementation of the ImageCat/MCEER VIEWS™ field reconnaissance tool, and furnishing risk assessment models with remote sensing-derived hazard and exposure data.

Dr. Rick Watson from the University of New Mexico Center for Rapid Environment and Terrain Evaluation (CREATE) led an animated group discussion on the emerging research needs for disaster response. Findings were integrated into the broader workshop resolutions presented by Ron Eguchi (ImageCat) and Professor Fumio Yamazaki, which include: the establishment of a “benchmark” dataset for comparing and validating emerging approaches; and increased outreach by participants to involve the international emergency response community.

Proceedings from this workshop will be available on a website hosted by Chiba University. Proceedings from the second workshop are available at and the first workshop at

The Fourth International Workshop is planned for September 2006, and will take place in the UK.

Submitted by Beverley Adams, ImageCat, Inc.

The Bulletin is a free publication offering articles on Center research, cooperative ventures, reports from conferences, educational activities, upcoming events, and reviews of new MCEER publications Summer 2005

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