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Arnold School of Public Health

Arnold School researchers commit to investigating impact of 1,000-year rainfall

October 28, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, 

The University of South Carolina’s Office of the Vice President for Research has announced funding awards for 32 groups of interdisciplinary researchers across all USC campuses who will research the immediate and long-term impacts of the 1,000-year rainfall and resulting catastrophic floods that South Carolina experienced earlier this month. The program, which is known as the South Carolina Resilience to Extreme Storms: Research on Social, Environmental, and Health Dimensions of the October 2015 Catastrophic Flooding funding initiative, provides pilot grant awards to support research that examines aspects of community resilience, including the effects on both the natural ecosystems and built communities.

The goal of the initiative is to capture valuable data (that might otherwise be lost) during the immediate aftermath of the floods through these pilot studies with this internal funding. The investigators can then expand upon their research with extramural research proposals around the broader theme of system resilience. The findings will be used to advance the current understanding of community resilience and cultural preservation as well as inform public policy decision making.

Arnold School researchers will collaborate on seven of the funded projects, contributing to this university-wide effort to learn as much as possible about the impact of this historical and far-reaching event. With investigators convening from across the Arnold School, the studies range from social media strategies to dam failures to mold infestations. The Arnold School projects can be found below.

Investigator Names and Departments Project Titles
  • Heather Brandt, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
  • Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
  • Daniela Friedman, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
  • Delia West, Exercise Science
Examining Use of Social Media as a Response and Recovery Strategy during the #SCFlood of October 2015
  • Anindya Chanda, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Geoff Scott, Environmental Health Sciences
Investigation of mold infested USC buildings affected by October 2015 flood: comparison with original mold infested areas
  • Hanif Chaudhry, Civil Engineering
  • Jasim Imran, Civil Engineering
  • Enrica Viparelli, Civil Engineering
  • Dwayne Porter, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Robin Kloot, Environmental Health Sciences
Collection and analysis of perishable data on failure of earth dams and their impact on water quality
  • Xiaoming Li, Health Promotion, Education & Behavior
  • Shan Qiao, Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior
  • Jianjun Hu, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Sayward Harrison, Psychology
  • Bijie Bie, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Building a disaster-resilient community: A study of community social support during the 2015 flooding
  • Douglas Moore, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
  • Melinda Forthofer, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Ana Teixeira, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Maggi Miller, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Mapping and assessing the health and social resiliency of the flood-affected community-dwelling elderly across interpersonal and organizational networks
  • Sarah Rothenberg, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Mohammed Baalousha, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Michael Bizmis, Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Susan Lang, Earth and Ocean Sciences
Sewage overflows from the 1,000-year rain event and their impacts on the cycling of carbon and toxic metals in the Congaree River Watershed
  • Myriam Torres, Epidemology and Biostatistics
  • Edena Meetze, Arnold School of Public Health
Experiences of Latinos affected by the floods in Columbia, SC


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