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
“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.
Walter Gillis Peacock