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Crowdsourcing Approaches to Building Inventory Development

Leads: Dr. Jeffrey Weidner, Dr. Aaron Velasco, and Dr. Marianne Karplus

Goal: Pilot Project #5 (PP5) is focused on establishing a relationship with a local school in order to address to specific goals. First, we raise awareness in the community about seismic hazard, risk mitigation, and preparedness by embedding and engaging with a cohort of students over the full duration of the project – a school year. Second, we want to understand how crowdsourcing can support development of building inventory in high impact, low probability seismic regions. 

Personnel: The funds for PP5 will be dedicated to supporting a PhD student, Amirhossein Chegini, at UTEP. Amir will mentor an undergraduate researcher, Angelica Littles, who will hopefully be funded via the UTEP Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI). Her application for summer funding is in review and we will apply for AY23-24 in August 2023. 

Tentative Approach:

Jun. 1, 2023 to Aug 15, 2023

  • Development of a custom FEMA Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) application to create the database

  • Establish a relationship with a local school (Harmony School of Science or HSS) and identify key stakeholders (teachers, administrators, etc.) to facilitate collaboration

  • Develop a shared vision with HSS staff for the activities in the coming year

  • Develop lesson plans, etc. to support classroom activities

  • Develop instrument to assess a priori awareness of seismic hazard

  • Seek and secure IRB approval

Aug. 16, 2023 to Oct. 31, 2023

  • Be a regular presence in the classroom (1x a week) and develop rapport with students and staff

  • Collect initial data on awareness of seismic hazard

  • Support HSS staff in class as appropriate

  • Learn how the students learn 

  • Develop/modify lessons plans related to earthquakes and seismic hazard in the classroom style 

  • Develop a gamification strategy that aligns with classroom positive reinforcement techniques

  • Lead a school-wide participation in Great Shakeout

Nov. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2023

  • Begin building data collection effort through crowdsourcing

  • Focus on initial gamification approach – who in the class can collect the most buildings

  • Host an event near the end of the year to recognize students efforts in citizen science – invite families and award certificates or similar 

  • Continue attending weekly classes and supporting HSS

Jan.1, 2024 to Feb. 28, 2024

  • Analyze and identify outcomes in support of full C-CIES proposal

  • Organize a team of volunteers from UTEP to judge science projects for HSS

  • Continue attending weekly classes and supporting HSS

Mar. 1, 2024 to May 31, 2024

  • Report back to HSS staff and students of the efficacy of the effort 

  • Work with HSS to identify success and failures and look for ways to improve

  • Collect summative data on awareness of seismic hazard 

  • Publish and report results 

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