Western Geographic Science Center

WGSC Staff

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Nathan Wood
Research Geographer
Portland, OR
nwood@usgs.gov
503-251-3291
Detailed Professional Page: https://profile.usgs.gov/nwood
Project Skills: Hazards - Community vulnerability assessments to tsunamis, volcanic lahars, hurricane storm surge, coastal storms, and sea level rise
Climate Change - Assessing future community vulnerability to climate-change-enhanced natural hazards (e.g., storm surge, erosion)
Land Use/Land Cover Studies - Use of landcover data for approximating community vulnerabilityto natural hazards
Tools and Techniques - Statistical approaches for summarizing data
GIS - Spatial analysis for vulnerability research
Geographic Regions: Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Florida.
Current/Recent Projects: Detailed project information can be found at  [http://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/vulnerability/index.htm].

1) Community vulnerability to tsunamis: Past research has included USGS reports summarizing variations in community exposure to tsunamis in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington and journal articles describing various geospatial techniques to assess societal vulnerability to tsunamis. Wood was also a committee member for a National Research Council review of the nation's tsunami warning system and national preparedness for tsunamis. Current research focuses on developing geospatial approaches to characterize pedestrian evacuations from tsunamis and to develop societal-risk metrics for tsunamis.

2) Community vulnerability to climate change and coastal storms: Research focuses on assessing current and future community vulnerability to coastal storms, sea level rise due to climate change, and increasing urbanization of hazard-prone areas. Past research has focused on Sarasota County (Florida) and Kauai Island (Hawaii). Current research focuses on community vulnerability on the Oregon and Washington coast to climate-change-enhanced coastal erosion in collaboration with Oregon State University, via a grant from the NOAA Climate Change Program.

3) Community vulnerability to volcano hazards: Research focuses on assessing community vulnerability to volcanic hazards, such as lahars, in the Cascade Range. Research efforts also include development of societal-exposure metrics for national volcano monitoring and preparation of a textbook on volcano-hydrologic processes with USGS colleagues in the Volcano Hazards Program
Collaborations: Community vulnerability to tsunamis: Hawaii State Civil Defense, Hawaii Office of Planning, Pacific Disaster Center, The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of South Carolina, Washington State Emergency Management Division, Washington State/Local Tsunami Working Group, Hawaii Tsunami Technical Review Committee, National Research Council, Oregon Sea Grant, Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup, Pacific Risk Management 'Ohana

Community vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal storms: The Pennsylvania State University, Oregon State University, Oregon Sea Grant, NOAA Climate Change Program

Community vulnerability to volcano hazards: Washington State Emergency Management
Recent Publications: Peters, J., Wood, N., Wilson, R., & Miller, K. (2016). Intra-community implications of implementing multiple tsunami-evacuation zones in Alameda, California. Natural Hazards, 1-21.

Jones, J.L., Jamieson, M.R., and Wood, N.J., 2016, Community exposure to tsunami hazards in Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigation Report 2016–5053, 32 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165053.

Priest, G., Stimely, L., Wood, N., Madin, I., Watzig, R, 2016, Beat-the-wave evacuation mapping for tsunami hazards in Seaside, Oregon, USA, Natural Hazards, 80 (2): 1031-1056 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-015-2011-4

Apatu, E., Gregg, E., Wood, N., and Wang, L., 2016, Household characteristics as evacuation impediments and facilitators in American Samoa during the 2009 Samoa Islands Tsunami, Disasters, 20 p, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/disa.12170/abstract

Wilson, R., Wood, N., Kong, L., Shulters, M., Richards, K., Dunbar, P., Tamura, G., and Young, E., 2015, A protocol for coordinating post-tsunami field reconnaissance efforts in the USA, Natural Hazards, 75(3): 2153-2165. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-014-1418-7

Wood, N., and Peters, J., 2015, Variations in population vulnerability to tectonic and landslide-related tsunami hazards in Alaska, Natural Hazards, 75(2): 1811-1831 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-014-1399-6

Baron, H., Ruggiero, P., Wood, N., Harris, E., Allan, J., Komar, P., Corcoran, P., 2015, Incorporating climate change and morphological uncertainty into coastal change hazard assessments, Natural Hazards, 75(3): 2081-2102 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11069-014-1417-8

Schmidtlein, M., and Wood, N., 2015, Sensitivity to tsunami evacuation modeling to direction and land cover assumptions, Applied Geography, 56: 154-163. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622814002690#

Diefenbach, A., Wood, N., and Ewert, J., 2015, Variations in community exposure to lahar hazards from multiple volcanoes in Washington State (USA), Journal of Applied Volcanology, 4:4 http://www.appliedvolc.com/content/4/1/4

Wood, N., Jones, J., Spielman, S., and Schmidtlein, M., 2015, Community clusters of tsunami vulnerability in the US Pacific Northwest, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (17): 5353-5359. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/09/1420309112

Johnson, F. A., M. J. Eaton, G. McMahon, R. Nilius, M. R. Bryant, D. J. Case, J. Martin, N. J. Wood, and L. Taylor. 2015. Global change and conservation triage on National Wildlife Refuges. Ecology and Society 20(4):14 http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss4/art14/

Wood, N., Schmidtlein, M., and Peters, J., 2014, Changes in population evacuation potential for tsunami hazards in Seward, Alaska, since the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, Natural Hazards, 70:1031-1053. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-013-0859-8

Wood, N., Jones, J., Schelling, J., and Schmidtlein, M., 2014, Tsunami vertical-evacuation planning in the U.S. Pacific Northwest as a geospatial, multi-criteria decision problem, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 9, 68-83. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420914000387

Wood, N., Ratliff, J., Schelling, J., and Weaver, C., 2014, Comparing population exposure to multiple Washington earthquake scenarios for prioritizing loss estimation studies, Applied Geography, 52, 191-203 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622814001088

Fraser, S., Wood, N., Johnston, D., Leonard, G., Greening, P., and Rossetto, T., 2014, Variable population exposure and distributed travel speeds in least-cost tsunami evacuation modelling, Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Sciences, 14, 2975-2991. DOI:10.5194/nhess-14-2975-2014, 2014. http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/14/2975/2014/nhess-14-2975-2014.html

Jones, J.M., Ng, P., Wood, N.J., 2014, The pedestrian evacuation analyst—Geographic information systems software for modeling hazard evacuation potential: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 11, chap. C9, 25 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/tm/11/c09/

Pierson, T., Wood, N., and Driedger C., 2014, Reducing risk from lahar hazards: concepts, case studies, and roles for scientists. Journal of Applied Volcanology, 3:16. http://www.appliedvolc.com/content/3/1/16

Wood, N., Ratliff, J., and Peters, J., 2013. Community exposure to tsunami hazards in California. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5222, iv, 49 p.http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5222/.

Mathie, A., and Wood, N., 2013. Residential and service-population exposure to multiple natural hazards in the Mount Hood region of Clackamas County, Oregon. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1073, iv, 48 p.http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1073/.

Wood, N., and Schmidtlein, M., 2013, Community variations in population exposure to near-field tsunami hazards as a function of pedestrian travel time to safety, Natural Hazards, 65 (3): 1603-1628http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-012-0434-8.

Coletti, A., Howe, P., Yarnal, B., and Wood, N., 2013, A support system for assessing local vulnerability to weather and climate, Natural Hazards, 65 (1): 999-1008http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-012-0366-3.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-012-0366-3

Howe, P., Yarnal, B., Coletti, A., and Wood, N., 2013, The participatory vulnerability scoping diagram - deliberative risk ranking for community water systems, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103 (2), 343-352.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00045608.2013.754673#.Uad9SHWHJ8E.

Wood, N., and Schmidtlein, M., 2012, Anisotropic path modeling to assess pedestrian-evacuation potential from Cascadia-related tsunamis in the US Pacific Northwest. Springer , 26 p.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11069-011-9994-2.

Wood, N., and Ratliff, J., 2011. Population and business exposure to twenty scenario earthquakes in the State of Washington. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1016, v, 13 p.http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2011/1016/.

Wood, N., 2011. Understanding risk and resilience to natural hazards. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3008, 2 p.http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2011/3008/.

Wood, N., 2011, California's tsunami threat--Japan's disaster serves as a reminder to the West Coast to be prepared, Los Angeles Times, Opinion-Editorial section, March 17, 2011, A17http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/17/opinion/la-oe-woods-tsunami-20110317.

Frazier, T. G., Wood, N., Yarnal, B., Stakeholder perspectives on land-use strategies for adapting to climate-change-enhanced coastal hazards: Sarasota, Florida, Applied Geography (2010), doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.05.007

Frazier, T., Wood, N., Yarnal, B., Bauer, D., Influence of potential sea level rise on societal vulnerability to hurricane storm-surge hazards, Sarasota County, Florida, Applied Geography (2010), doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.05.005

Baron, H., Wood, N., Ruggiero, P., Allan, J., and Corcoran, P., 2010, Assessing societal vulnerability of U.S. Pacific Northwest communities to storm-induced coastal change, Proceedings of The Coastal Society Annual Meeting, June 7-11, 2010, Wilmington, NC, 5 p.

Wood, N., Burton, C., and Cutter, S., 2010, Community variations in social vulnerability to Cascadia-related tsunamis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, Natural Hazards, 52(2), 369-389

Academic Background: Oregon State University, Geography, Ph.D., 2002
University of South Florida, Marine Science, M.S., 1996
Duke University, Geology, B.S., 1992