Understanding Community Resilience - Updating, Populating and Analyzing Community Project Databases

Project Title Understanding Community Resilience - Updating, Populating and Analyzing Community Project Databases
Project Summary Collaborate with EPA partners, populate and mine searchable databases of community improvement partnership projects with local agencies/communities/universities. This will help provide clues as to how municipalities address challenges including those associated with resilience.
Country United States
Agency Environmental Protection Agency
DoS Office N/A
Post N/A
Section N/A
Number of Interns 3
Project Description

Municipalities throughout the country are challenged with prioritizing which of their many needs to address with limited resources. These challenges include economic development, well-being of residents, protecting the local infrastructure and environment and complying with regulations. In the scheme of things, municipalities may or may not prioritize actions focused on enhancing their resilience – i.e., ability to withstand, recover from, and adapt to major system shocks, e.g., flooding, fires, earthquakes, epidemics, and extreme weather events.

The extent to which and how communities evaluate, plan for, and/or invest in resilience, and their degree of success are open questions. To develop suitable resilience guidance for communities, it would be valuable to better understand what communities typically plan for and invest in with respect to resilience, what are barriers, and what works.

Throughout the U.S., local governments have been partnering with universities to advance priority projects using the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) model. Across a range of programs, universities with EPIC Programs have completed more than 1500 projects with local governments that were identified as priorities by their local partners. These projects address a broad suite of needs related to economic development, community revitalization, human well-being, sustainability and resilience. As new projects are completed, student interns will help update the searchable database. This will include date of completion, policy area, partnering community, university program, faculty and courses engaged, the number and level of students and hours deployed, issues, solutions, and recommendations.

Opportunities may arise based on intern interests to also work with state-run AmeriCorps Programs (like California’s CivicSpark) developing searchable databases of completed projects that advance climate change adaptation and resilience.

Once populated, coding and analysis of data from these databases can be performed depending on program needs and intern interests.

Required Skills or Interests
Additional Information

Other important skills include: Attention to detail; Computer fluency; Curiosity; Ability to ask questions; Ability to work iteratively; Comfortable working virtually. Preferred, but not required: Experience managing large data sets and working with/coding qualitative databases; Google suite and Microsoft office suite; and Data analysis.

EPA is committed to assisting local governments in improving community health, sustainability and resiliency; and is interested in EPIC because the model allows local governments and communities to tap into the abundance of capacity within universities. EPIC-N also provides a venue through which EPA can share and advance local and national strategies, tools and priorities. A partnership with EPIC-N provides access to the information and database. Student interns will be working with a diverse team with representatives from EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), Pacific Southwest Regional Office, and EPIC-N.