Coffee Hour with Elizabeth Wentz '97g, Dean & Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University
Empowering community resilience through a university-community knowledge exchange
About the talk
The goal of this presentation is to introduce a Science to Solutions activity at Arizona State University (ASU). ASU’s new Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER) aims to build capacity both within the university and to broader civil society to address real, current issues of community resilience. We conceptualize community resilience in broad terms, that is: in terms of people responding to profound social, economic, and environmental change. This might come in the form of shocks (disasters, economic crashes) but more often we look at it in terms of long-term stresses, like from vulnerability to hazards, or chronic poverty. For this, we need better and more accessible data and, more importantly, a better models of working collaboratively. The collaborative model focuses on eliciting civil society throughout the scientific process from problem identification, acquisition and analysis of data, shared decision making over what is possible. In sum, we build upon the strengths of organizations to elicit new ideas and new solutions. I will showcase the collaborative model through a case study on heat resilience in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
About the speaker
Elizabeth A. Wentz is Dean of Social Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Associate Director for the Institute of Social Science Research, and Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the development and implementation of geographic technologies designed to establish better understanding of the urban environment. In particular, she has been involved in geographic tool development, urban remote sensing, and urban environmental analysis. Her research record includes over 35 peer-reviewed publications in high caliber journals and has primarily been funded (through single PI and collaborative projects) from NIH, USDA, NASA, and the NSF. Her research is highly collaborative with researchers across a broad range of social, physical, and computational disciplines through collaborative research both and ASU and other academic institutions including the University of Rhode Island, Yale University, The Polytechnic University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and NASA. In 2015-16, she served as President of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science. She earned her Ph.D. in Geography from the Penn State, her M.A. in Geography from The Ohio State University, and her B.S. in Mathematics from The Ohio State University.