"Community Disaster Recovery: Moving from Vulnerability to Resilience" by Deserai Crow

Deserai Crow

Disasters can serve as focusing events that increase agenda attention related to issues of disaster response, recovery, and preparedness. Increased agenda attention can lead to policy changes and also to learning. The degree and type of learning that occur after a disaster within a government organization can matter to policy outcomes related to individual, household, and community-level risks and resilience. Local governments are the first line of disaster response, but also bear the burden of performing long-term disaster recovery and planning for future events. In this seminar, Dr. Crow will present a framework for understanding if, how, and with what effect communities and local governments learn after a disaster strikes. Drawing from analyses conducted over a five-year period following extreme flooding in Colorado, USA., she will discuss her forthcoming book (authored with Dr. Elizabeth Albright) titled Community Disaster Recovery: Moving from Vulnerability to Resilience.


Prof. Deserai A. Crow is Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. She is an affiliate with the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at CU-Boulder. She also spent eight years on the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder in both Journalism and Environmental Studies from 2008-2016. Crow earned her PhD from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Environmental Policy. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver’s School of Public Affairs and a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Crow researches local and state-level environmental policy, including stakeholder participation and influence, information sources used, and policy outcomes. Her work often focuses on natural disaster recovery and risk mitigation in local communities and natural resource agencies. Dr. Crow’s natural hazards work includes a study of community flood recovery and policy learning in the aftermath of the 2013 floods in Colorado that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Another project analyzes the role of agencies and individuals in promoting wildfire risk mitigation on private property in the Wildland Urban Interface across the West. Prior to her academic work, she worked as a broadcast journalist and for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Sponsored by the Environmental Change Initiative.