Hazardous work

Walter Peacock appointed as director of
Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center

Walter Gillis Peacock, professor and former interim head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University, has been appointed director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center.

Established as part of the College of Architecture in 1988, the HRRC conducts a wide range of research in hazard mitigation, disaster preparedness, response and recovery. The center's interdisciplinary team includes experts in architecture, engineering, geography, geology, psychology, sociology, urban planning and political science.

“The HRRC was the first center in the United States to recognize that hazard reduction was all about sustainability; it was way out in front and it has become one of the top centers in this country,” Peacock said. “I came here because I wanted to work with the talented faculty and researchers associated with the center, and I consider it an honor to be its director.”

Peacock has spent years conducting hazards-related research throughout the world. He has focused primarily on natural hazards and human systems response to hazards and disaster. His research emphasizes social vulnerability, evacuation, and the socio-political ecology of long-term recovery and mitigation.

As director, Peacock said he will work to attract expand faculty collaboration with center. “The study of environmental hazards and sustainability,” he said, “demands interdisciplinary approaches.”

Peacock has spent two years on the college faculty and is a senior faculty member on Texas A&M’s Sustainable Coastal Margins Program. His work has been published in numerous academic journals and he recently completed his third book, “Hurricane Andrew: Ethnicity, Gender and the Sociology of Disaster,” which he co-authored with Betty Hearn Morrow and Hugh Gladwin.

Prior to his time at A&M, Peacock was on the faculty at Florida International University, where he served as the chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. A founding member of the International Hurricane Center, Peacock served as its director of research and co-director of the Laboratory for Social and Behavioral Research.

— The End —

January 10, 2005

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Walter Gillis Peacock