Our new paper is published online in Sustainable Cities and Society (impact factor: 7.587). Below please find the abstract:
"The use of social media platforms such as Twitter significantly increases during natural hazards. With the emergence of several social media platforms over the past decade, many studies have investigated the applications of these platforms during calamities. This study presents a comprehensive spatiotemporal analysis of textual content from millions of tweets shared on Twitter during Hurricane Harvey (2017) across several affected counties in southeast Texas. We propose a new Hazard Risk Awareness (HRA) Index, which considers multiple factors, including the number of tweets, population, internet use rate, and natural hazard characteristics per geographic location. We then map the HRA Index across southeast Texas. Utilizing a dataset of 18 million tweets, we employ Natural Language Processing (NLP) along with a set of statistical techniques to perform analysis on the textual data generated by Twitter users during Hurricane Harvey. This enables us to subdivide the tweet contents into several categories per county that would inform crisis management during the event. In all, our study provides valuable information at the county level before, during, and after Harvey that could significantly help disaster managers and responders to minimize the consequences of the event and improve the preparedness of the residents for it. Since HRA is derived based on the meteorological observations and some demographic information, depending on the availability of such dataset and the nature of the hazard (i.e., flood, wildfire, hurricane, and earthquake), this index can be calculated and employed for assessing the risk awareness of a community exposed to either of these natural hazards."
Job Summary: Postdoctoral Research Associate positions available to persons with degrees and research interests in geography, with the goal of transitioning successful candidates into tenure-track positions at the University of Alabama’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Additional Department Summary: The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Alabama and the Department of Geography seeks applications for the Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Associate positions. Successful candidates will hold terminal degrees and demonstrate a record of academic achievement in a geography-related research area. The department will establish a series of structured merit-based evaluations with the goal of transitioning successful candidates into tenure-track positions. The Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Associate positions have been established through a major College initiative begun in 2019 to promote an inclusive scholarly environment in which outstanding scholars support the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the College. We especially seek applications from candidates who would bring a diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints to the department.
Required Minimum Qualifications: Applications are encouraged from excellent candidates with research interests in geography. Joint appointments across departments are possible. The minimum requirement at the time of the appointment is a Ph.D. or other terminal degree in a geography-related field of research. Initial appointments are for one year, with renewal contingent upon demonstration of research productivity. Home departments will develop mentoring plans detailing benchmarks for possible transition of Postdoctoral Research Associates into tenure-track professorship positions. Standard university hiring practices will govern any process of transitioning Postdoctoral Research Associates into tenure-track professor positions. Review of applications will begin January 3, 2022.
The University of Alabama is an equal-opportunity employer (EOE), including an EOE of protected vets and individuals with disabilities.
Application Instructions: Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a research statement to the online portal at: https://careers.ua.edu/jobs/post-doc-visiting-scientist-geography-gy-514695-tuscaloosa-alabama-united-states
Please also arrange for three reference letters to be submitted to Leslie Wiggins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note to applicants: The College of Arts and Sciences is seeking to fill a total of two postdoctoral positions in any of its six natural science and mathematics departments (Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Geography, Geology, Physics & Astronomy, and Mathematics).
If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com.
Our new paper, entitled "Perceptions of earthquake risks and knowledge about earthquake response among movement challenged persons in Dhaka City of Bangladesh, has been published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (impact factor: 4.32). Below please find the abstract:
"Dhaka, Bangladesh is one Asian city that is at high risk of earthquakes. Persons with physical disabilities, particularly movement challenged persons (MCPs), is highly vulnerable to earthquakes because of their mobility impairment. This study aims to explore risk perceptions of earthquakes and knowledge about response to earthquakes among MCPs in Dhaka through a 2020 survey of 455 respondents. Four risk perception measures are developed: perceived probability of an earthquake, fear, perceived threat to life, and perceived damage to property in the event of an earthquake. Subsequent factor analysis reveals that these four measures are loaded on one factor named risk perception. Measures of knowledge about response to earthquakes include knowledge of where to seek shelter while being inside and outside of home during an earthquake, location of critical facilities and existence of evacuation route in the locality as well as their knowledge about National Plan for Disaster Management (NPDM) of Bangladesh. This study finds that mobility aid, age, income, education, building structure, previous experience with earthquake are significantly related to risk perceptions. MCPs who have participated in the training know what they should do in the event of an earthquake irrespective of being outside or inside of home. MCPs with more education are more likely to know about NPDM and the existence of fault lines in Bangladesh. Lack of accessibility in training centers and lack of dissemination of information about training are key reasons behind MCPs not participating in the training."
Our paper entitled "Data-driven modeling reveals the Western dominance of global pubic interest in earthquakes" has been published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (Nature Springer journal). Below please find the abstract:
"Catastrophic earthquakes stimulate information-seeking behaviors beyond the affected geographical boundaries; however, our understanding of the dynamics of global public interest in earthquakes remains limited. Herein, we harness big data to examine the dynamic patterns of global public interest, concerning 17 significant worldwide earthquakes over 2004–2019. We find that the global community shows a higher level of interest when an earthquake occurs in developed countries than in developing countries; however, they lose their interest in the former more rapidly than the latter. Regardless of the affected nation, there is a one- to two-week “golden” time window when attention can be leveraged for fundraising and humanitarian aid. Our findings suggest that European citizens who are highly interested in earthquakes emerge as a potential key community to achieve great inclusiveness in policy interventions to solicit international aid. The findings of this study hints how big data can be utilized to identify “time windows of opportunities” for international humanitarian organizations to efficiently raise donations, charities and aid resources around the world."
Fig. 1. Discrepancy between the top 10 deadliest and most recognized earthquakes since 2004: casualties (a) and initial global search activity volumes (GSAVs; (b)) of the 17 identified earthquakes. The size of circles in (a) and (b) represents the corresponding earthquake’s casualties and initial GSAVs. Black dots depict earthquakes in both categories (deadliest and most recognized). Blue and red dots depict the remainder of the deadliest and most recognized earthquakes, respectively. Areas colored in ivory depict the 62 nations that contribute to the daily GSAV data (Source: Kam et al. in press)
Our analysis article reflecting on the COVID-19 year was just published on the Conversation:
"Even though Americans shared the experience of living through a global pandemic, their individual attitudes towards it differed and evolved – sometimes dramatically...
Overall, our research shows the combination of timely information with trusting, well-connected communities, is most likely to result in collective risk mitigation behavior. Perhaps these insights can help the U.S. prepare better for the next pandemic."
Our paper entitled "Understanding American public support for COVID-19 risk mitigation: The role of political orientation, socio-demographic characteristics, personal concern, and experience" has been published the International Journal of Public Health (Impact factor: 3.38). Below please find the abstract:
"Objectives: COVID-19 is the most challenging public health crisis in decades in the United States. It is imperative to enforce social distancing rules before any safe and effective vaccines are widely available. Policies without public support are destined to fail. This study aims to reveal factors that determine the American public support for six mitigation measures (e.g., cancel gatherings, close schools, restrict non-essential travel).
Methods: Based on a nationally representative survey, this study uses Structural Equation Modelling to reveal the relationships between various factors and public support for COVID-19 mitigation.
Results: 1). Democrats are more likely than Republicans to support mitigation measures; 2).Favorability towards the political leader (Biden or Trump) can slant public support for COVID-19 mitigation measures among different segments of the public; 3). Indirect experience, rather than direct experience with COVID-19 can motivate people to support mitigation; 4). Concern for COVID-19 is a strong motivator of support for mitigation.
Conclusion: Political polarization poses an enormous challenge to societal well-being during a pandemic. Indirect experience renders COVID-19 an imminent threat."
Our new paper entitled "Understanding the effects of individual and state-level factors on American public response to COVID-19" has been accepted for publication in American Journal of Health Promotion (Impact factor: 2.87). Below please find the abstract:
"Purpose: To examine multilevel predictors on American public response to COVID–19.
Design: Multilevel study.
Setting: A national survey was conducted by Qualtrics from August 24 to September 11, 2020. The state-level variables were constructed on data from multiple sources.
Subjects: 2,440 respondents 18 years and older from all 50 states and D.C.
Measures: The outcome variable is the public response to COVID–19 measured by threat perception, behavioral adjustment, and policy support. The predictors include individual-level sociodemographic factors and state-level indicators about public health conditions, political context, and economic recovery.
Analysis: Multilevel structural equation modeling is used for statistical estimation.
Results: People from states with more COVID–19 cases (β=0.020, p<0.1), mandatory face mask policies (β=0.069, p<0.05), and liberal governments (β=0.002, p<0.05) are more likely to respond while people from states whose economies have recovered closer to the pre-pandemic level are less likely to do so (β=-0.005, p<0.05). Regarding individual-level predictors, older people (β=0.005, p<0.001) and people with better education (β=0.029, p<0.01), leaning toward the Democrat Party (β=0.066, p<0.001) and liberal political ideology (β=0.094, p<0.001), and have stronger generalized trust (β=0.033, p<0.001) are more likely to respond than their counterparts.
Conclusion: Differences in the public response to the pandemic stem from variations in individual characteristics and contextual factors of states where people live. These findings contribute to the rapidly growing literature and have implications for public health policies."
2/15/2021 0 Comments
Our new paper in Health and Place
Our new paper entitled "Understanding the influence of contextual factors and individual social capital on American public mask wearing in response to COVID-19" has been published in Health and Place (Impact Factor: 4.078) . Below please find the abstract:
"The COVID–19 pandemic poses unprecedented risks to the health and well-being of the entire population in the U.S. To control the pandemic, it is imperative for individuals to take precautionary behaviors (e.g., wearing a mask, keeping social distance, washing hands frequently, etc.). The factors that influence individual behavioral response thus warrants a close examination. Using survey data for respondents from 10 states merged with state-level data, our study represents a pioneering effort to reveal contextual and individual social capital factors that explain public mask wearing in response to COVID–19. Findings of logistic multilevel regression show that the COVID–19 death rate and political control of government at the state level along with one’s social capital at the individual level altogether influence whether people decide to wear face masks. These findings contribute to the rapidly growing literature and have policy implications for mitigating the pandemic’s devastating impact on the American public."
Our new paper has been published in Energy Research & Social Science (Impact factor: 6.834). Below please find the abstract:
"Climate change poses unprecedented risks to human society. Ample scientific evidence suggests that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary contributor to climate change. Large-scale greenhouse gas emissions are mainly caused by the consumption of fossil fuels. Thus, promoting renewable energy is one key strategy to mitigate these emissions and combat climate change. In this study, we investigate some potential driving forces of renewable energy deployment. We analyze panel data for 118 countries worldwide from 1995 to 2015. Results show that countries that are more vulnerable to climate change and have less carbon-intensive economies consume higher shares of renewable energy in their total energy consumption. We have explained the effects of the carbon tax even though its influence is statistically insignificant. Thus, this study complements the literature by identifying the impact of these three factors on renewable energy deployment. The findings also imply that countries would become more supportive of renewable energy when their economy is less intertwined with fossil fuels and there are relevant policies that offer incentives on renewables."
10/13/2020 1 Comment
My analysis article on the Conversation
I just published one analysis article on the Conversation. Below please find the last section:
"Hope for shrinking the power of misinformation
The success of slowing the spread of COVID-19 hinges largely on people taking precautions, particularly wearing face masks and social distancing, until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available.
One study on attitudes toward climate change offers some hope. It found that a large number of Republicans and conservatives actually hold more unstable views about climate change over time. This instability may mean they could be more open to listening to the evidence and changing their minds.
If this is also the case with COVID-19, strategic science communications and community engagement activities may be able to make a difference and stop the rising death toll."