Ricardo A. Alvarez
PHONE:  931-0871 ; Mobile:  332-3664
FIELDS OF EXPERTISE
Ricardo Alvarez is recognized as an expert, educator, researcher and consultant in the fields of:
(a) Vulnerability Assessment,
(b) Hazard Mitigation,
(c) Risk Analysis and Risk Management,
(d) Emergency Management, and
(e) Adaptation of the Built Environment to Climate Change and Extreme Events.
This expertise has been developed over more than thirty years working on projects related to damage caused by natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, and the potential for damage from climate change viewed as a slow acting hazard, in several countries. In addition Ricardo Alvarez has professional experience and academic background in architectural design, environmental design, city planning and in construction project management, with expertise in industrialized building construction systems.
In May 2007 Ricardo Alvarez introduced the concept of Adapting the Built Environment to Climate Change through Building Design Criteria at a climate change conference in Tampa, Florida hosted by the Florida Center for Environmental Studies. This concept was reinforced at the 8th Annual National Conference on Science, Policy and Environment – Climate Change Science and Solutions hosted by the National Council on Science and Climate Education in Washington D.C. in January 2008. The main objective of this effort is to use building design criteria and new approaches to building design, especially in coastal and other vulnerable locations, as tools for risk management. Another objective is to highlight the need to give adaptation to climate change attention that is at least equal to that placed on mitigation.
In November/December 2005 Ricardo Alvarez lead a team that conducted an assessment of damage in the aftermath of hurricane Wilma’s impact in Cancun and the surrounding tourism region in Mexico, at the invitation of the Governor and Civil Protection authorities. Based on findings from this effort Mr. Alvarez and his team delivered a report and recommendations for mitigating the potential for damage from future impacts to this critically important tourism destination. Prior to this Mr. Alvarez had conducted studies and related projects, including workshops for the tourism and emergency management sectors, in Cancun, Cozumel and Chetumal in 1998, 1999 and 2001 as well as in 1988 in the aftermath of hurricane Gilbert.
Ricardo Alvarez has been involved in more than 1,200 actual hazard mitigation projects, valued at over $350 million, over the past 15 years both as a private consultant and under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA]. These projects involve numerous facilities ranging from hospitals, schools, housing projects, marinas, roadways, bridges, communications towers and many others type of buildings and structures throughout Florida and abroad.
In 1997 initiated research on climate change and potential linkages to tropical cyclones and other extreme events. Ricardo was principal investigator, managing director and author of the white paper for the Regional Workshop on Climate Change Impact on the South Atlantic and U.S. Caribbean Region of the United States, one of several similar conferences held around the country as part of the National Assessment of Climate Change Impact in the United States required by the U.S. Congress and led by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USCGRP). Following this Mr. Alvarez contributed to the National Assessment Report submitted to the Congress in 2000. Since 1999 Mr. Alvarez has focused on climate change as a slow acting hazard that has the capability for damaging the built environment in coastal locations.
In 1996 Ricardo Alvarez completed a Vulnerability Assessment study for Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida that lead to his pioneering proposal of the concept of Sheltering in Place for major hospitals. This assessment was used by the hospital to obtain a hurricane evacuation-waiver from Miami-Dade County through a Category 4 hurricane. This led to the establishment of “Sheltering-in-Place Requirements and Guidelines” by the Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management. Said Vulnerability assessment was complemented by a comprehensive hazard mitigation project, coordinated by Mr. Alvarez, where the hospital implemented more than $3 million worth of hurricane mitigation measures to protect its facility. Mr. Alvarez has also provided vulnerability and mitigation expertise to several other hospitals including Baptist Hospital of Miami, Mercy Hospital, South Miami Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Tampa General Hospital and Holmes Medical Center [Health First] in Melbourne.
Mr. Alvarez practical expertise in these fields is complemented by an academic background and professional experience in architecture/city planning, construction project management and advanced business administration, with a solid background of applied scientific research focusing on the development of hurricane loss mitigation methods and techniques involving improvements in building design criteria and methods of construction. Also his work and expertise extends to the mitigation of other natural hazards such as earthquakes and flooding. In addition Mr. Alvarez has taught on these topics continuously from 1994 through 2009 at the graduate level at FIU and FAU.
PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC BACKGROUND
Private Consultant: Vulnerability Assessment; Hazard Mitigation; Emergency Management; Climate Change Impacts 1995 to the present.
- Research Affiliate: Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Boca Raton, Florida
- Degree in Architecture and Environmental Design/City Planning. California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, California
- Undergraduate studies: College of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley
- Advanced Business Management (MBA). Central American Institute of Business Administration, Managua, Nicaragua
- Certificate in Management of Information Systems (MIS ) from the IBM Systems Science Institute, Beverly Hills, California
- Certificate in NEPA (National Environmental Protection Agency) Documentation, FEMA and EPA
- Adjunct Professor – Master in Construction Management Program, Dept. of Construction Management, College of Engineering, Florida International University – Teaching Vulnerability Assessment, and Hazard Mitigation, 1995 – 2009
- Visiting Professor – Crisis Management MBA, Dept. of Finance, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University – Teaching Risk Analysis and Risk Management, 2003 – 2006
- Research Associate – College of Engineering, Florida International University (2004)
- Deputy Director International Hurricane Center, Florida International University 1999-2004
- Director and Founder Laboratory for Structural Mitigation at Florida international University 2000-2004
- Consultant (SDATE Contract) to FEMA in charge of the Hazard Mitigation [both 404 and 406 programs] Program 1993-1995
PARTIAL LIST OF PUBLICATIONS, PAPERS, POSTERS AND PRESENTATIONS
- Reviewed article August 2013: Theoretical and Conceptual Basis of Science of Risks in Geography: A Brief Discussion by Lutiane Queiroz de Almeida, Dept. of Geography, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil. As member of the Editorial Board and Scientific Advisor for Territorium , journal of the Portuguese Association on Risk, Preparedness and Security, Lousa, Portugal; www.nicif.pt/riscos
- Lessons Learned from Hurricane Andrew and Other Florida Storms. Presentation as an invited panelists at the Alliance for Response Forum, an initiative of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, sponsored by Heritage Preservation with funding by Fidelity Foundation. The Wolfsonian-FIU, Miami Beach, Florida, June 12, 2013.
- Sea Level Rise: Can we keep the sea away? Presentation as a guest speaker for the Lecture Series sponsored by the St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Boca Raton, Florida. March 4, 2013 at Harris Hall, Sr. Gregory’s Episcopal Church.
- Hurricane Andrew: Summary of Lessons Learned and Future Applications presentation as an invited panelists at the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy Working Meeting. Florida International University – International Hurricane Research Center. September 19, 2012.
- The Coastal Built Environment in Southeast Florida and Sea Level Rise: Prognosis for Potential Damage and Needed Change paper presented as a panelist in the “Risk and Response: Sea Level Rise Summit” sponsored by CES in Boca Raton, Florida, June 2012.
- Mitigation through Hurricane Resistant Building Design conference given during event at the Universidad del Caribe, Cancun, QROO, Mexico on 21 May, 2012, to officially launch the book Paraiso Protegido: Hacia una Cultura de Mitigacion [Paradise Protected: Toward a Culture of Mitigation], by Ricardo A. Alvarez [ISBN 978-607-401-556-0]. Event was organized by Grupo Quintana Roo.
- STORM SURGE: A Dangerous and Neglected Hazard presentation as a panelist in the workshop Current Trends in Mitigation of Essential Facilities during the 26th Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference, May 13-18, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Paraiso Protegido [“Paradise Protected”] Ricardo A. Alvarez, 2012 Miguel Angel Porrua Publishers, Mexico DF, Mexico, 243 pp. ISBN 978-607-401-556-0.
- Proposing an empirical approach to risk management focusing on damage reduction. Ricardo A. Alvarez, 2012, article in Territorium 18 – 2011 pp 5-22, journal of the Portuguese Association on Risk, Preparedness and Safety. ISBN 978-989-96253-2-7; ISSN 1647-7723
- Characterization of Site and Impacts: Practical tools for hurricane-resistant design. Keynote address during general assembly at the First National Conference of the Mexican Federation of Associations of Civil Engineers. March 1-3, 2012, Playa del Carmen, QROO, Mexico.
- Storm Surge and Climate Change: the forgotten factor. Poster presentation at the State University System of Florida Climate Change Taskforce workshop. November 14-15, 2011, Emerson Alumni Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
- Sand, Wind and Water. Keynote address at the Installation of Operational Committee in Case of Hurricanes for the Municipality of Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, Mexico. June 2, 2011, Playa del Carmen, QROO, Mexico
- Buildings and Climate Change: Adaptation or Consequences: Poster presented at the Climate Change Symposium, Tuesday, October 26, 2010, Florida Atlantic University, Live Oak Pavilion, Boca Raton, Florida on the occasion of the inauguration of Dr. Mary Jane Saunders as FAU Sixth President.
- Synergy under Climate Change: the Coupled Everglades-Urban Coastal Florida System. Paper presented at the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Annual Conference 2010. Sponsored by U.S. Army Core of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. National Park Service, South Florida Water Management District, and University of Florida – IFAS. Naples, Florida. July 2010
- Characterization of Impact: A Tool for designing for Disasters. Paper presented at the Tour of the Disaster-Survival House: American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 Annual Convention, Miami Beach, Florida, June 2010
- Proposing an Empirical Approach to Emergency Management Focusing on Damage Reduction. Paper presented as the keynote address, II International Congress on Risks, and VI National Meeting on Risks. Sponsored by Portuguese Association of Risks, Prevention and Safety. Hosted at the University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. May 2010
- A Climate Change Primer. A special report of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council for the Florida Climate and Energy Commission. Contributing author (Section on Sea Level Rise and Coastal Infrastructure) Alvarez, R., April 2010
- The Effects of Climate Change on Florida’s Ocean and Coastal Resource – A Special Report to the Florida Energy and Climate Commission and the People of Florida. Florida Oceans and Coastal Council, Tallahassee, Florida. Contributing author Alvarez, R., June 2009
- Do We Need a New Hurricane Impact Index: Presentation to the National Safety Council – Monthly Breakfast Meeting – South Florida Chapter, Deerfield Beach, FL, August 2009
- Characterizing the Impact of Hurricanes – Role of the Media: Presentation at the Disaster Survival House – Hurricane Warning Media day, Deerfield Beach, FL, July 2009
- There is a Link Between Climate Change and Hurricanes: Letters – Natural Hazards Observer, Vol XXXIII – Number 5, May 2009
- Adapting the Built Environment to the Impact of Climate Change: Presentation to the Florida Engineering Society – Quarterly Meeting, Deerfield Beach, FL, January 2009
- Climate Change Adaptation through Building Design Criteria: Poster presented at the 8th National Conference on Science, Policy and Environment – Climate Change, Science and Solutions; Washington DC, January 2008
- Building Design Criteria for Climate Change in Florida: Presentation to the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy – Working Group Quarterly Meeting, Miami Beach, FL, June 2007
- Climate Change, Global Warming, Sea Level Rise: We Must Take Action Now!: Poster presented at the Climate Change Conference, Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Tampa, Florida 2007
- Protecting our Vulnerable Communities from the Impact of Climate Change: Presentation – Built Environment Adaptation Subcommittee – Miami-Dade County Climate Change Task Force; July 2007
- Hazard Eevents and the 2008 Summer Olympics: Alvarez, R.A., Problem Contribution for the 2007 TEAMS Competition, Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS)
- Characterizing Hurricane Impact on the Central Oxygen Supply Facility at Tampa general Hospital: Alvarez, R. Principal Investigator. 2006 Tampa general Hospital, 2 Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL 33606
- Mitigation Alternatives for the Central Oxygen Supply Facility at Mercy Hospital: Alvarez, R., Principal Investigator. 2006 Mercy Hospital, 3663 S. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33133
- Mitigation Alternatives at the Tampa General Hospital: Alvarez, R., Goodridge, S., Principal Investigators. 2006 Tampa General Hospital, 2 Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL 33606
- Assessing the Potential Impact of Flying debris on the De Hirsch-Meyer Building at Mount Sinai Medical Center Based on As-Built and proposed Retrofit Conditions: Alvarez, R., Reinhold, T. 2006 Mount Sinai Medical Center, 4300 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33140
- Characterizing the Impact of Hurricanes: Alvarez, R.A., Problem Contribution for the 2006 TEAMS Competition, Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS)
- Characterizing Hurricane Impact on the West Pavilion 2nd Floor Bridge to the Rehabilitation Center at Tampa general Hospital: Alvarez, R. Principal Investigator. 2006 Tampa general Hospital, 2 Columbus Drive, Tampa, FL 33606
- Wind Pressure Tests on Opening Protected by the ‘Storm Shield’ Perforated Steel Hurricane Barrier: Alvarez, R., Reinhold, T., Rodriguez, L., principal investigators. 2005 Exeter Architectural Products, Inc. Wyoming, PA 18644
- Preliminary Report- The Impact of Hurricane Wilma in Cancun – December 2005: Office of the Governor, State of Quintana Roo, Mexico
- Vulnerability Assessment – Report of Visual Inspection at the Eden Springs Facility: Alvarez, R. Principal Investigator. 2005 DOS Healthcare Inc. – 4679 Crawfordville Hwy., Crawfordville, FL 32327
- Research and Education in Mitigation – Role of the Public Universities in Florida; 2004 Governor’s Hurricane Conference, Tampa, Florida
- Report of Visual Inspection to assess Hurricane Vulnerability at the Tampa General Hospital: Alvarez, T., Rodriguez, L., Principal Investigators. 2004 Tampa general Hospital, 2 Columbus Dr., Tampa, FL 33606
- Building Location and Design in Hurricane Mitigation: Alvarez, R.A., Problem Contribution for the 2003 TEAMS Competition, Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS)
- Vulnerability Assessment as a Tool for Hazard Mitigation, SUBMARINE LANDSLIDES AND TSUNAMIS pp 303-313, Alvarez, R.A., Williams, A.; 2003 Kluwer Academic Publisher
- Mitigation from Regulation to Practice – A historical Perspective: 2003 South Florida Hurricane Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- The Storms of ’98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch: IMPACTS, INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE AND DISASTER POLITICS IN THREE COUNTRIES: Alvarez, R.A., Baird, B.P., Estrada, A., Gawronski, V.T., Olson, R.S., Sarmiento., J.P. Special Publication #38, 2001 Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center
- Hurricane Loss Reduction for Residences and Mobile Homes in Florida, Final Reports for fiscal years ending June 30th of 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, submitted to the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
- Improving Roof Performance under Hurricane Winds, Alvarez, R.A., Mitrani, J.D., Reinhold, T.A., Sutt Jr., E.G.; 2002 Governor’s Hurricane Conference, Tampa, Florida.
- Developing a Culture of Mitigation through Education: 2002 Hurricane Andrew 10th Anniversary Summit & South Florida Hurricane Conference
- Trouble in Paradise – The Impact of Climate Change of Florida’s Environment and Ecosystems, Alvarez, Ricardo reviewer. 2001 World Wild Life Federation.
- Feeling the Heat in Florida – Global Warming on the Local level. Alvarez, Ricardo contributing author. National Resources Defense Council, Florida Climate Alliance. October 2001
- Assessment of Vulnerability to Hurricanes at St. Gabriel Catholic Church Campus: Alvarez, R., Principal Investigator. 2000 St. Gabriel Catholic Church, 713 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33062
- Tropical Cyclone – HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL HAZARDS: NATURAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT pp 34-37, Alvarez, R. contributing author 1999 Tudor Rose Holdings Ltd., Leicester, England. ISBN 0 9536140 0 X
- Report of Visual Inspection to Assess Hurricane Vulnerability at the Miami Children’s Hospital: Alvarez, R., Principal Investigator. 1999 Miami Children’s Hospital, 3100 SW 62nd Ave., Miami, FL 33155
- Hurricane Vulnerability in the Northeastern USA: Alvarez, R.A., Boston Society of Civil Engineers Annual Conference, 1999 Coastal Storms in New England – Impact and Protection
- Alternatives for Hurricane Hazard Mitigation on the 1986-1992 Building: Alvarez, R., Rodriguez, L., Principal Investigators. 1999 Miami Children’s Hospital, 3100 SW 62nd. Ave., Miami, FL 33155
- Climate Change and Extreme Events – A Concept Paper for the “Climate Change and Extreme Events” conference funded by NOAA OGP, July 1998. Alvarez, Ricardo author.
- Preliminary Hurricane Impact Study for Mount Sinai Medical Center: Alvarez, R., Goebel, J., Brill, L., Bray, N., Granata, M. Principal Investigators. 1996 Mount Sinai Medical center, 4300 Alton Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33140
PARTIAL LIST OF RELEVANT PROJECTS
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program proposal –State of Florida Division of Emergency Management – Federal Emergency Management Agency: Surgical Mechanical penthouse – Wind Retrofit, Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida, 2010
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program proposal –State of Florida Division of Emergency Management – Federal Emergency Management Agency: South Wing Building – Wind Retrofit, Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida, 2010
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program proposal –State of Florida Division of Emergency Management – Federal Emergency Management Agency: St. Lawrence Day Care Center Hardening of Building Envelope, North Miami Beach, Florida, 2010
- Launched BLOG: www.mitigat.com on hazard mitigation, adaptation to climate change and related topics April 2010.
- Launched Twitter service: “IMITIGATE” offering timely commentary relative to current natural hazards, climate change and related topics June 2010.
- Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation consultant – Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida, 2006 – 2011.
- Pre-disaster Mitigation Program proposal – State of Florida/Division of Emergency Management – Federal Emergency Management Agency: South Wing Bldg., Mercy Hospital, Miami, FL 2009
- Vulnerability Assessment – Hazard Mitigation Planning – Florida Atlantic University Main Campus, Boca Raton, Florida 2008-2009
- Project Director –“Residential Construction Mitigation through Demonstration and Outreach”. Hurricane Warning, Deerfield Beach, Florida. 2007-2008
- Recommendations for Mitigating the Impact of Hurricanes on the Built Environment in Cancun, Mexico – Grupo Quintana Roo, Cancun, Mexico. 2006-2007
- Hurricane Vulnerability, Mitigation, Loss Reduction, Science and Education consultant – Hurricane Warning Project, Deerfield Beach, FL. 2006
- Vulnerability Assessment/Hazard Mitigation consultant – Mount Sinai Medical Center. Miami Beach, FL. 2006 – 2008
- Preliminary Assessment of Vulnerability – Conceptual Mitigation Plan. Various Hotels in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera region, Quintana Roo state, Mexico. Grupo Nacional provincial (GNP), Mexico D.F., Mexico. 2005.
- Preliminary Damage Assessment and Identification of Mitigation Opportunities for the tourism infrastructure in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera, Quintana Roo state, Mexico – By invitation from the Office of the State Governor. 2005.
- EMPA and Mitigation Grants writing support for Memorial Healthcare System, South Broward Hospital District, Broward County, FL.
- PDM Grant writing support – Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. November 2005.
- Vulnerability Assessment – Hazard Mitigation – Tampa General Hospital, Davis Island, Tampa, FL, 2004-2006
- Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation study for DOS Health Care, Inc. – ALF and Senior Housing project in Crawfordville, Wakulla County, FL, 2005
- Hazard Mitigation – Holmes Medical Center, Melbourne, FL 2004-2005.
- Vulnerability Assessment/Hazard Mitigation consultant – Miami Children Hospital, Miami, FL 2002-2004 Developed “Encapsulation” Concept of hazard mitigation for this facility.
- Vulnerability Analysis – Hazard Mitigation Study – St. Gabriel Catholic Church, Pompano Beach, FL (1999-2000)
- Vulnerability Assessment – Hazard Mitigation – Mercy Hospital, Miami, FL 1997-1999
- Vulnerability Assessment – Hazard Mitigation – Baptist Hospital of Miami, Miami, FL 1996-1998
- Vulnerability Assessment – Hazard Mitigation – Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, FL 1996-1997
- Hazard Mitigation Consultant – South Miami Hospital, South Miami, FL 1997
- Hazard Mitigation Analysis Homestead General Hospital , Homestead, FL 1994
- Hazard Mitigation Manager at Miami-Dade DFO (1993-1996) – responsible for both 404 and 406 Hazard Mitigation programs. Directed and/or participated in more than 1,200 mitigation projects worth $350+ million throughout the state under four declared major disasters. SDATE contract with FEMA.
APPLIED RESEARCH WORK AND RELATED ACTIVITIES
- Applied Research: Characterization of Wind Impact on Sailing Cruise Ship. For MALTZMAN & PARTNERS, PA, Coral Gables, FL 33134. 27 February 2012 – 27 March 2012.
- Invited Participant: Hydrology of the Everglades in the Context of Climate Change. Workshop sponsored by: United States Geologic Survey [USGS], Florida Sea Grant Program, and Florida Center for Environmental Studies [CES] at FAU. Florida Atlantic University Davie Campus, 29-30 March 2012.
- Participant and presenter: “Synergy under Climate Change – The Coupled Everglades-Urban Coastal Florida System”. Concurrent sessions: 2010 Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference (GEER 2010). Naples, Florida, July 2010.
- Invited presenter and tour guide American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2010 Annual Convention, Miami Beach, Florida. June 2010.
- Invited participant. Developing a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Framework for South Florida: Indicators, Metrics and Models. Workshop sponsored by Florida Atlantic University; FAU Visual Planning Technology Lab; United States geological Survey (USGS). Fort Lauderdale, FL, June 2, 2010.
- Keynote Speaker Second International Conference on Risk held at the University of Coimbra, in Coimbra, Portugal, May 22-25, 2010.
- Invited participant Sea Level Rise Workshop: Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. Sponsored by Sea Grant Florida, the U.S. Geological Survey, Florida Center for Environmental Studies, FAU College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Camp Dresser & McKee Inc., Balfour Beatty Construction, Inc., February 16-17, 2010.
- Member Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy Steering Committee, 2009 – PRESENT
- Member Integrative and Collaborative Climate and Energy Research Program (ICCE), Florida Atlantic University, 2009 – PRESENT
- Member Google Discussion Group on “Are We Ready for a New Hurricane Impact Index” organized and managed by the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado: 2009
- Panelist: “Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation, or Preparedness”; Concurrent Session, C Cutting Across Disciplines and Cultures Track – 34th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Broomfield, CO, July 2009
- Panelist: “Are We Ready for a Hurricane Impact Index”; Concurrent Session, Characterizing and Assessing Risk Track – 34th Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Broomfield, CO, July 2009
- Panelist: “Urban Response to Climate Change in Coastal Cities” – Concurrent Workshop – 8th Annual National Conference on Science, Policy and Environment – Climate Change Science and Solutions, Washington DC, January 2008
- Member Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection Technical Work Group on Adaptation to Climate Change in support of the Governor’s Climate Action Team. 2008 – 2009
- Board Advisor – Hurricane Warning Project a 501 (c3) organization based in Deerfield Beach, Florida. 2007-2008
- Panelist: “Adaptation to Climate Change” – Climate Change Conference – Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Tampa, Florida, May 2007
- Keynote Speaker: “The Impact of Climate Change”; The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change – A Briefing, Diocese of Orlando, March 2007
- Serves on the Florida Dept. of Emergency Management State Hazard Mitigation Advisory Committee (since April 2003)
- Member the Miami-Dade County Task Force on Climate Change, constituted by resolution of the Miami-Dade County Commission. 2006 – PRESENT
- Member Florida State Hazard Mitigation Plan Advisory team (SHMPAT) working with the State Division of Emergency Management in designing the Enhanced Mitigation Plan. (2003-2005)
- Serves on the Miami-Dade County Local Mitigation Strategy Working Group, 1998 – PRESENT
- Served on the Miami-Dade County LMS Terrorism Mitigation Committee since 2002-2007
- Served on the Board of Directors of the City of Deerfield Beach Hurricane Warning Project 2003-2007
- Has served on the Broward County South Florida Hurricane Conference Steering Committee.
- Lead researcher for the “Researching Needs for Emergency Response Coverage in Remote Schools” project funded by DCA through the Florida Department of Education with funds from the Department of Homeland Security: 2004-2006
- Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program research project, funded by DCA from July 1, 2000 through June 30, 2004. This project covered the following three specific areas of research: a) Eliminating State and Local Barriers to Upgrading Existing Mobile Homes and Communities, b) Research and Develop Program for the Recycling if Existing Older Mobile Homes, c) Program of Research and Development Relating to Hurricane Loss Reduction Devices and Techniques for Site-built Housing, and d) Total funding provided reached $3 million.
- Principal Investigator at FIU’s Laboratory for Structural Mitigation, which he founded and directed, that lead to the modification of the Florida Building Code/High Velocity Hurricane Zone prescribing the ring-shank nail as the new standard for roof sheathing effective as of January 1, 2005. This new roofing standard improves the performance of roof sheathing under hurricane loads by a factor of up to 130% without increasing the cost of construction.
- Project Director and Principal Investigator for the “Developing a Culture of Mitigation through Education” an educational program focusing on K-12 schools in Florida. Program was launched in 2002 and continues today. The program was recognized as an example of “Best Practices in Mitigation” by FEMA and the State Division of Emergency management at the 2005 Governor’s Hurricane Conference. (Total funding of $230,000 over 3 years)
- Managing Director and Principal Investigator for the “Hurricane Andrew 10th Anniversary Summit” conference hosted by FIU in May 2002. (Funding $100,000 from U.S. Office of Naval Research through USF’s Center for Emergency Management and Humanitarian Assistance, the International Hurricane Research Center, the Broward County Office of Emergency Management, and SWISS RE Insurance)
- Managing Director for the “National Hurricane Hazard Reduction Act – Working Meeting” hosted by FIU in February 2001.
- Keynote speaker and panelist Climate Change and the Vulnerability of Small Island Nations conference, East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii. November 2000.
- Contributor [author and reviewer] “National Assessment of Climate Change in the United States [NAS]”, U.S. Global Change Research Program [USGCRP]: 1998-2000
- Managing Director and Principal Investigator for the “Climate Change and Extreme Events Workshop” hosted by FIU in July 1998, funded by NOAA (Office of Global Programs $100,000) and sponsored by the USGCRP and the White House Office of Technology.
- Developed and launched the “Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation certificate Program” as a continuing education effort through a joint venture with FIU Division of University Outreach. This program consisted of five two-day seminars offered over a period of approximately 90 days. The program ran successfully three times, “graduated” fifteen individuals and saw more than 200+ participants enroll in one or more seminars. The program was 100% self-sustained through tuition receipts and in-kind donations of time by invited faculty from public and private agencies.
- Managing Director for the “Hemispheric Congress on Disaster Mitigation” hosted by FIU in November of 1996.
- Frequently invited speaker or workshop chair at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference, the South Florida Hurricane Conference and the National Hurricane Conference from 1996 to the present.
- Developed and introduced “Topics in Vulnerability Analysis” (BCN 5906) as a 3-credit hour special topics course for the Master in Construction management program at FIU College of Engineering. This course is still being taught under FIU Catalogue # 5588 as “Vulnerability Assessment”
Developed and introduced “Topics in Hazard Mitigation” (BCN 5906) as a 3-credit hour special topics course for the Master in Construction management program at FIU College of Engineering. This course is still being taught under FIU Catalogue # 5589 as Hazard Mitigation.
- Frequently interviewed by the electronic and printed media on the topics of hurricane mitigation, housing construction, vulnerability, hurricane, flooding and earthquake disaster events, and others.