Jeff Henson will join JEO Consulting Group in the Lincoln office as a full time planner upon his graduation from UNL with his Master of Community and Regional Planning. His master’s degree thesis project is one that could be of real interest in the hazard mitigation planning (HMP) world.
While at UNL, Jeff’s focus has been on hazard mitigation as a component of the community planning process. In receiving his master’s degree, he was required to complete a thesis project in which he chose to examine drought as a component of local hazard mitigation plans.
The study consisted of examining hazard mitigation plans from 62 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the United States. To date there has been little research examining how hazard planners have accounted for drought in hazard mitigation plans at the local level; most research has been aimed at understanding drought preparedness at the state level. The main research questions for the thesis are:
1) To what extent is drought accounted for in local hazard mitigation plans?
2) What tools are most often used to account for drought in the planning process?
3) Are hazard planners relying on crisis response mechanism (as research at the state level has indicated) or are they incorporating more risk management techniques?
Jeff said, “UNL has an outstanding reputation for drought related research as it is home to the National Drought Mitigation Center and is a leader in this field. In fact the director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, Dr. Hayes, is serving on my thesis committee which is headed by Dr. Z. Tang.”
Jeff has now defended his thesis and will finalize it this week. Great work, Jeff!