New Semester, New Challenges

The Fall semester starts in one week, and it’s going to be a very challenging one for myself and the Center.  In addition to teaching two courses online, I will be developing a new classroom course, travelling to China (again), and working to transform the DIRT and FSU VOST concepts into reality.

The China trip will be in conjunction with College of Social Sciences faculty (including the Dean of the College) to the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan with the purpose to explore opportunities for HUST students to partner with FSU students on research and writing.  I’ve never been to Wuhan, so I’m very excited to get an opportunity to see a different part of their country.

On the home research front, it is time for DIRT and the FSU VOST to go from ‘ideas’ to ‘operational’.  The Disaster Incident Research Team concept takes our students out of the classroom and lecture environment and into a disaster or incident area to conduct field research.  We are developing an array of research projects that can be dropped into the DIRT framework for deployment, ranging from case studies to network and communication analysis of responders.

The FSU VOST (Virtual Operations Support Team) is a local and student based implementation of the VOST concept.   This will give FSU EM students the ability to volunteer and make a difference in disasters and incidents around the state, all while being flexible in regards to class and work schedules.  We are in the process of shopping this concept to a variety of state and local entities, and in the next few months we hope to formalize an arrangement.

Both of these opportunities are valuable additions for our EM students, and I can’t wait to get them off the ground.


Author: David Merrick, II

I'm a geek that works in academia and emergency management. A little more detail is available at:

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