Jeannette Sutton, senior research associate at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs Trauma, Health and Hazards Center, recently travelled to the White House to give a presentation to the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction.
Sutton was one of three presenters invited to discuss social media’s growing role in disaster management. As one of the few social scientists to focus on technology use in disasters, Sutton was invited to address ongoing research in the field. Other speakers included Mark Keim, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Lea Shanley, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who spoke about the practical use of social media and some of the challenges of the medium.
Sutton said social media is a topic that is receiving a lot of buzz at the federal level. The Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction is part of the National Science and Technology Council and facilitates national strategies for reducing disaster risks and losses that are based on effective use of science and technology. Members include scientists and other representatives from 27 federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Defense-Networks and Information Integration.
Sutton is a disaster sociologist currently conducting academic research related to community resilience, disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Her research primarily focuses on the evolving role of information exchange and communication technology, and more specifically, on the uses of social media in crises and disasters. The Trauma, Health and Hazards Center is one of four centers that make up the National Institute of Science, Space and Security Centers at UCCS.