Western's Scott Miles Wins National Award from the Western States Seismic Policy Council
Contact: Scott Miles, WWU assistant professor of Environmental Studies, email@example.com.
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Scott Miles has received a 2012 National Award in Excellence in the Research category from the Western States Seismic Policy Council.
Miles, who is also the director of Western’s Resilience Institute, won the prize for his research, “Washington Policy Gap Analysis.” The study, completed with research assistant and Western graduate student Brian Gouran and commissioned and funded by the Washington State Emergency Management Division, evaluates earthquake risk-reduction policies across the United States. It received the award for raising awareness regarding state-level earthquake risk-reduction and providing a valuable resource to develop new policies.
Miles’ study found that California leads the country in the amount of earthquake risk-reduction policies. Despite their low level of earthquake risk, Missouri, Oregon and Nevada are also national policy leaders. The states of Alaska and Washington were found to have few earthquake risk-reduction policies given their high earthquake risk.
“I think the results of this study will be a surprise to some people,” Miles said. “It is important to note, however, that some states, like Washington, take a different approach to risk-reductioon policies than using formal legislation and executive orders.”
Miles’ project identified and cataloged legislation and executive orders for all states except for Delaware, Kentucky and Tennessee that promote earthquake risk-reduction. A database was created with the number of earthquake risk-reduction policies for each state, in addition to indicators describing earthquake risk. The database was analyzed to determine the policy coverage for each state relative to the amount of earthquake risk, and the result was a ranked list indicating which states have greater or fewer policies in comparison to other states with similar earthquake risk. The study did not look at the quality or success of policies.
“The study highlights the fact that states have more to do to minimize damaging effects of future earthquakes,” Miles said.
For more information on his award, contact Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Western's Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College's academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs. The Resilience Institute mission is to create and disseminate practical knowledge and tools that promote resilient human and ecological communities in the context of natural hazard risk.