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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
Doing Business As Name:East Carolina University
PD/PI:
  • David Griffith
  • (252) 328-1748
  • griffithd@ecu.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Hilda Llorens ~000761160
  • Carlos G Garcia-Quijano ~000640542
  • Cynthia Grace-McCaskey ~000722810
Award Date:11/27/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 35,995
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 35,995
  • FY 2018=$35,995
Start Date:12/01/2017
End Date:05/31/2018
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Rapid Response Research: The political and moral economies of recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Federal Award ID Number:1806303
DUNS ID:607579018
Parent DUNS ID:142363428
Program:CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Program Officer:
  • Jeffrey Mantz
  • (703) 292-7783
  • jmantz@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:Office of Sponsored Programs
City:Greenville
State:NC
ZIP:27858-4353
County:Greenville
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:East Carolina University
Street:2200 S. Charles Blvd, Ste 2906
City:Greenville
State:NC
ZIP:27858-4353
County:Greenville
Country:US
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

Natural disasters challenge human communities in multiple ways that go well beyond the obvious problems associated with large scale destruction of property and loss of life, some of them subtle but no less important for building sustainability, reducing vulnerability, enabling families to survive and reproduce, and decreasing dependence on external economic assistance. By destroying power grids, communication and transportation infrastructure, hospitals, water and sewer systems, and other public and private resources, Hurricanes Irma and Maria left the peoples of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico heavily dependent on external aid. This project explores a set of economic behaviors emerging in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, with the aim of improving scientific understandings of creative resilience, and identifying the principal sources of extreme vulnerability. Findings will be disseminated to organizations that explore and manage the causes, consequences, and complexities of disaster management and recovery. Funding this research also trains researchers from underrepresented groups in social science research. Findings from this have the potential to establish patterns for how people develop new economic organizational principles in the wake of catastrophe that are more sustainable than the current methods of continued debt and debt service that has plagued Puerto Rico. This RAPID award supports the collection of critical but ephemeral data in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A team of researchers led by Dr. David Griffith of East Carolina University will explore the relationship between local moral economics, vulnerability, and resilience in post-disaster recovery zones. Observational, transect walk, and comparative photographic methods will take place across five impacted communities, and a stratified (by socio-economic, educational, and other variables) sample of individuals will be interviewed, with the objective of documenting variations and similarities in labor arrangements, common facility, land, and resource use, distribution patterns, and marketing and exchange locales. how perceptions vary, how they develop over time, and how they affect the eventual mitigation and prevention plans that are produced. The research will produce a baseline for future research on vulnerability and resilience in the wake of anthropogenic disasters. Research has established that moral economies tend to emerge in response to recession, depression, austerity programs, and economies disrupted from war, environmental degradation, and natural disaster. Such systems are often critical for long-term resilience. Research conducted on the social and natural sources of vulnerability following Hurricane Mitch, for example, established that vulnerability could be linked to a social system that had encouraged deforestation and other environmentally degrading economic practices. The project will enable us to understand what variance there is with respect to the efficacy of these economic behaviors in mitigating vulnerability and improving resilience.

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