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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Rachel Hunt

Rachel Hunt

Contact

IMG_0964.JPGAddress: Department of Geography, University College London, North-West Wing, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

Email: rachel.hunt.18@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @Rachel_L_Hunt

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-louise-hunt

London NERC DTP website: https://london-nerc-dtp.org/profile/huntr/

Studentship funding: London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership (Cohort 5)

Supervisors:
Professor Mark Maslin - Department of Geography
Dr Carina Fearnley - Department of Science and Technology Studies
Dr Simon Day - Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

 

 

 

Current Research

Project title: Integrating Traditional and Scientific Knowledge for Cross-cultural Tsunami Communication and Education.

Abstract: Individuals and communities are known to respond in different ways to official tsunami warnings and natural tsunami warning signs. This research seeks to understand if and how people from different cultural backgrounds and socio-economic groups also respond differently to science-based tsunami education, the ways in which scientific tsunami information can be integrated with traditional knowledge and cultural worldviews, and the dependence of such integration on the chosen methods of communication. Documents and archives will be studied to examine the nature and content of official tsunami information and the methods currently used to communicate these warnings. Participant observation will be carried out during institutional meetings to investigate any planned or ongoing changes and additions to the warning technologies, practice, and policies in operation. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted to gain an understanding of perceptions held amongst officials regarding the influence of cultural backgrounds upon the effectiveness of official warnings. International as well as national-level warning specialists and emergency managers will be asked to take part in this study. These participants will be recruited from government institutions, public agencies, and research institutes in New Zealand and the United States of America.

Policy Impact Statement: The aim of this study is to improve the understanding of cross-cultural tsunami responses to official warnings and natural warning signs, contributing to the development of tsunami-resilient communities. This research also aims to strengthen the design of education materials and methods for disaster risk reduction in culturally diverse communities worldwide that face threats from tsunamis and other natural hazards. It is hoped that this work will help to improve the understanding of cross-cultural tsunami responses to official warnings and natural warning signs in New Zealand, the United States of America, and worldwide.

Main Research Question: Can the integration of traditional and scientific knowledge delivered through a variety of hazard communication methods be used to improve the way different peoples respond to tsunami warnings?
Research Question 1: What is the nature and content of tsunami information from official national and international sources and what methods are used to communicate this information to the populations at risk?
Research Question 2: Does possession of traditional tsunami knowledge affect the ways in which populations receive and use official tsunami information?
Research Question 3: How can the integration of traditional and scientific knowledge be improved to produce more robust tsunami information?
Research Question 4: How can hazard communication methods be improved to better convey clear and easily interpretable tsunami information?

Biography

Academic Background:

University College London, 2018 - present, PhD Environmental Science
Project title: Integrating Traditional and Scientific Knowledge for Cross-cultural Tsunami Communication and Education.

University of Portsmouth, 2016 - 2017, MSc Geological and Environmental Hazards
Thesis title: The Effect of Earthquake Source Location and Moment Magnitude along the Philippine Trench on Tsunami Wave Propagation and Runup at the Eastern Philippine Coastlines.

University of Chester, 2012 - 2015, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazard Management
Dissertation title: Hazard Perception of Japanese Students in the Wake of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.