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Public forum at Rice with mayor and county judge marks 6-month Ike anniversary

To mark the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Ike during a free public forum at Rice University March 12, Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will discuss the leadership challenges they had to overcome to guide Houston through the hurricane. "Leadership in Crisis: Guiding Houston through the Storm" will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in Sewall Hall, Room 301, on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St.

In conjunction with the forum, Robert Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science at Rice, and a team of Rice researchers will release a new report that explores evacuation decision-making during severe weather. This report could enable policymakers and leaders to be more effective in getting their constituents to comply with evacuation orders. An embargoed copy of that report will be made available to members of the media Monday, March 9, upon request to Jessica Stark, or 713-348-6777.

The report details the results of a survey conducted between Oct. 6 and Nov. 11 of more than 1,500 Harris County residents. The survey assessed people's experience before, during and after Hurricane Ike's landfall. The report specifically addresses what factors influenced and determined Harris County residents' responses to the hurricane and when and if they evacuated. The report also compares Hurricane Ike responses with those during Hurricane Rita in 2005.

Stein and his co-authors -- Leonardo Dueas-Osorio, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and Devika Subramanian, professor of computer science and in electrical and computer engineering -- will be available to take questions before and after the March 12 campus event.

The event is sponsored by Leadership Rice and Houston Enriches Rice Education (HERE.). Through the Center for Civic Engagement, of which Stein is the faculty director, Leadership Rice encourages and equips Rice students to exercise meaningful leadership on the campus and beyond. The HERE project aims to build an intellectual infrastructure by creating a model for integrated learning and collaborative research that brings together unique sociopolitical Houston research and Rice learning environments.


Contact: David Ruth
Rice University

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