Peacock tells The National Academies of
need for resiliency, vulnerability network


Participants at the The National Academies’ Sept. 23 sustainability forum heard Walter Gillis Peacock, a Texas A&M urban planning professor, lecture on the resiliency and vulnerability of Texas coastal communities and make a pitch for the creation of RAVON, a proposed Resiliency and Vulnerability Observatory Network.

Such a network, he said, would connect hazard scientists with policy makers and thus provide the latest knowledge and predictive understanding needed to reduce vulnerability and enhance the resiliency of individuals and communities struck by natural hazards. The network is needed, he said, “to facilitate long-term data collection, research and monitoring of the sustainability of our nation's urban systems.”

Peacock, who also serves as director of Texas A&M’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, was an invited speaker and panelist at the Washington, D.C. forum, “Transitioning to Sustainability: The Challenge of Developing Sustainable Urban Systems.” The event was the second sustainability forum to be sponsored by The National Academies, a group comprised of representatives from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

The idea for RAVON emerged from discussions between leading natural hazard and disaster researchers at a 2008 conference hosted by the HRRC at Texas A&M. Details from that discussion are available online at

The National Academies bring together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public.

- Posted: Oct. 5, 2009 -

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Walter Gillis Peacock

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