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Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Archive

Wen’s blog post

Why did I choose to take this class, and what do I want to get out of it? I had actually wanted to take this class before knowing much about it, because my cousin had come to Tufts last year, for a seminar on crisis mapping. That triggered my interest in it, and once I found out more, I was sold. The main reason that I choose this class is because I’m considering a career in the developmental field, possibly coupled with policy work. Crisis mapping seems to me to be crucial to the effective implementation of programs, particularly disaster relief operations, particularly to minimise unintended consequences. In carrying out projects, it isn’t simply about the work and effort that you make, but the outcome that you achieve. The road to hell … Read entire article »

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Post 1: Why Crisis Mapping?

In April 2009, I was a responder during Tufts’ now infamous “Mass Casualty Incident.” To an outsider, this label might seem too melodramatic for a group of drunk college kids at an outdoor concert, but for responders to the chaos, “Mass” was no exaggeration.  We were faced with 33 patients in about 3 hours, and that number doesn’t address the police incidents that simultaneously ensued. I had been an EMT for about 2 weeks. I was sent alone to treat an unconscious person on a sidewalk.  Every ambulance unit in Medford and Somerville was pulled from the two towns to transport students from the event, and we received calls from local hospitals telling us that their Emergency Rooms could not accommodate any more patients.  Though the concerted effort of several pubic safety agencies … Read entire article »

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Miriam’s take on crisis mapping

I have been involved in social action and humanitarian aid in a variety of different forms over the years, searching for methods that are both meaningful to me and can have the greatest impact on others. Immediate crisis relief intrigues me – as a sociology major with a concentration in social inequalities and social change, a lot of my experience has been in studying and combating longer-standing issues such as poverty, economic inequality, and human rights abuses. The collection and integration of data after a about an area is an important process in working both with disaster relief and more elongated problems that I have never really thought about. I hope to learn the theoretical as well as practical concepts and skills of crisis mapping. Utilizing mapping technologies to study various … Read entire article »

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Why take a class on crisis mapping?

So, why am I interested in taking a course on Crisis mapping? It’s not something I knew a lot about from the get go-I had to Google the term when it first popped up in the course catalog. And even then, I was leery to say the least. My skills as a computer programmer are nonexistent, and the jargon filled summaries I read of the field made it seem useful in some aspects, but also esoteric and decidedly hands off. After the information session, however, my concerns were completely allayed by was what the course itself promised: to teach a skill. Rather than simply feeding us information, Crisis Mapping would be about learning a toolkit, and nurturing the organizational savvy to put it into action. Regardless of how difficult the computer … Read entire article »

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Why I am taking this class

As an eight-year-old, I told my father that I wanted to be a doctor and volunteer with Doctors without Borders so that I could save lives all over the world. As an eighteen-year-old, I am hoping to graduate from college with an Environmental Studies major and ensure that the world is a cleaner and greener place. Obviously, my goals have changed but I’m still attracted to the opportunity to contribute to humanitarian aid and relief. My parents were both born in Vietnam and thankfully escaped much of the ravages of the Vietnam War by attending college in the United States. Unfortunately, much of my family wasn’t as fortunate. Although crisis mapping is popularly associated with humanitarian relief after international disasters, it also has applications with improving living conditions in slums and … Read entire article »

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Why I’m in a crisis mapping class

Why did you choose to take this class? I heard so much about the Ushahidi Haiti Project last year and it really fascinated me conceptually. Taking a few anthro courses here and there has made me interested in what people think about the interventions in their lives, and the power of this technology to help affected populations shape the responses geared towards them is unprecedented. I’m excited by the subject matter and I wanted a change of pace from exclusively theory based subject matter. What do you want to get out of it? As a semi-useless IR major, I’m excited to learn real skills that actually have the potential to be useful in the “real world.” Joking aside, I’m hoping to gain a familiarity with the technology but more importantly, a familiarity with … Read entire article »

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Ben’s thoughts on crisis mapping

My name is Ben, and I am a first-year undergraduate here at Tufts University. During the summer of 2008, I took on a volunteer opportunity in the city of Mianzhu, near the epicenter of China’s Wenchuan Earthquake. The Wenchuan Earthquake was the 21st deadliest earthquake in known history, measured at 8.0Ms, taking the lives of almost 70,000 people. I arrived with a few friends approximately two months after the initial shock, as a member of the Jiangsu Province relief team, and we were put in charge of interacting with some child survivors at a temporary tent school on an abandoned street in the city. At the time, I was a high school student attending an expensive international school in the affluent suburbs of Shanghai, the largest and probably one of the most … Read entire article »

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Why Crisis Mapping?…

So I’d graduated from college, moved a few miles away into Cambridge, started dabbling with the whole “working-world” thing… and it was a lot of fun! To have free time to explore, to try new things, and generally just to live life for myself was both exciting and exhilarating. I was meeting new people, discovering new coffee shops, going to ICA gallery openings, checking to-dos off the bucket list, and able to listen to NPR every morning. It was incredible to feel how seemingly overnight — now that I could be described by both the titles ‘BA’ and ‘Marketing Manager’ — I had been inducted respectfully into the world of adulthood. With all of the newness I really felt myself grow. Well, about three months later the newness started to wear … Read entire article »

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Why learn about crisis mapping

Being a Senior, I spent much of winter break searching job listings on iNGO websites. I’m looking for a field position in the Middle East. One of the listings I considered was an entry level field volunteer position,  The online application included questions about training in and knowledge about disaster response procedures and technologies. When I found myself answering “none” to every single question, well… it was sad. When I saw this crisis mapping class listed on the Excollege website in early January, I knew I wanted to take it. I didn’t even know what crisis mapping was, yet I was excited for this class. It sounded very hands on and geared towards acquiring practical skills. I am currently feeling like I’ll only be qualified to write a paper when I … Read entire article »

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Blog post 1: It has so many applications

I wanted to take this course mostly because it is the type of work that I want to go into. At Tufts I am a sophomore double majoring in International Relations and Community Health. Over the past few years, I have found that my interests lie in the field of global development, with a specific focus on global health. While humanitarian aid is different from development in a couple different ways, there is definitely an overlap between the two. I think that crisis mapping is an excellent method that can be used to really help people that are in need The technology that can be used from such a grass roots base can go a long way towards tackling a number of different things. I think that this class will be … Read entire article »

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