Articles Comments

Tufts Crisis Mapping Class » Entries tagged with "thoughts"

Group Dynamics, Volunteer Management, and Crisis Mapping

Moroccan Red Crescent The inherent collaborative nature of crisis mapping and its reliance on a network of both professional and civilian workers has both its benefits and its challenges.  From our practical experiences working on class assignments and our crisis simulation, as well as from accounts drawn from the blogs of more established crisis mappers, we have quickly become familiar with the advantages, as well as the drawbacks, of a multi-member response team. One advantage of the cooperative nature of crisis mapping is the efficiency that results from the ability to mobilize a mass of volunteers, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands, who can respond to crises immediately.  In his blog post, Patrick Meier describes this massive force: …in the wake of the Haiti earthquake…more than a thousand Creole-speaking volunteers in no … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Disaster Management, Headline

Blog 1 – Why Crisis Mapping?

I am an exchange student from Germany and studying at Tufts for two semesters. Since I only get one credit transferred from Tufts to my German university, I am in the lucky position to be able to take only those classes that genuinely interest me. So far those have ranged from Swahili to Snowboarding, and now I added Crisis Mapping to my ‘collection’. I skimmed through the Tufts ExCollege catalog when I stumbled across the description of this Crisis Mapping class. I have to admit that in the beginning, I had absolutely no idea what it was about, but after reading the syllabus it became a little bit more clear to me. I think I took the course because I really wanted to learn more about the field of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping, Featured

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 »

Filed under: Crisis Mapping