Ann Lesperance is a member of the Committee on Applied Research Topics for Hazard Mitigation and Resilience of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that recently published the first of two reports focused on the theme of social capital and connectedness for resilience. The report, titled “Enhancing Community Resilience through Social Capital and Connectedness: Stronger Together!” explores important applied research topics within the natural hazard mitigation and resilience realm.
“In the past year, more than ever, we saw the drastic effects that disasters have on families and communities. As we recover, we also see the valuable role that social capital and connectedness play in our ability to face different threats and hazards,” said Lesperance. She is the director of PNNL’s Northwest Regional Technology Center for Homeland Security located in Seattle and is currently on a joint appointment to Northeastern University, Seattle, serving as the director of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.
The report is part of the committee’s effort to identify applied research topics, information, and expertise that can inform action and collaborative opportunities within the natural hazard mitigation and resilience fields. In particular, the report explores three important applied research topics within the natural hazard mitigation and resilience realm:
- Inspiring communities to create and sustain social capital and connectedness
- Bolstering community-created digital and public spaces
- Building social capital through financial investment strategies.
“From the pandemic to wildfires to a changing climate, there is a lot we can learn from the past year about what helps our communities recover, grow, and build resilient futures,” Lesperance said.
The committee plans to host a summer workshop to provide an overview of the report and answer questions from applied researchers and funders interested in further investigating these topics. To learn more, visit the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine website here.