Disastrous Doctorates takes its expertise to Christchurch


Caption: The three day programme included three-minute thesis sessions, workshops, and presentations focusing on this year’s theme of South Island earthquakes particularly on damage from shakes in recent years centred around Christchurch, Kaiapoi,  Kaikoura and Seddon.

Earthquakes centred in the South Island was the focus of the annual Disastrous Doctorates 2017 programme for post doctoral emergency management students.

Damaging natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones and tsunami that have hit the Pacific Rim in recent years have also led to an increase in postgraduate students studying emergency management – and presenting their research in the annual workshop held at Canterbury University in late March.

This is the first year the event has been hosted outside of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University in Wellington and attendance numbers swelled to over 50 participants. 

The three-day programme included three-minute thesis sessions, workshops, and presentations focusing on this year’s theme of South Island earthquakes – in particular damaging shakes centred around Christchurch, Kaiapoi,  Kaikoura and Seddon.

The speakers for the presentations came from a variety of areas including seismologists, geo-technicians, engineers, and social scientists.

Lead organiser and JCDR doctoral student Miles Crawford said the presentations were an opportunity to create connections between technical experts and the community.  

“The linkages are key to understanding how complex geophysical data can impact communities and the way they live, including everything from policy drafting to disaster preparedness in homes, and education in schools.”

The workshop’s overall aim was to provide a space for disaster doctoral students to build relationships and create networks within the disaster-research field,” Mr Crawford says.

“The event is designed so that the students feel comfortable sharing information with each other about the challenges involved in completing a PhD.”

“These conversations covered topics such as research gathering, methodologies, funding, and how candidates plan on capitalising on their PhD’s when completed,” he says.

There were several changes to the format this year including a field trip introducing participants to the hazardscape and recovery efforts in and around Christchurch.

Disastrous Doctorates 2017 was hosted by the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, and organised by PhD students from Massey University, University of Canterbury, and the University of Auckland, with support from the Earthquake Commission, Resilient Organisations, QuakeCoRE, GNS Science and NIWA.



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