Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

All day
Before 01
CSTPR Noontime Seminar

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

The socio-spatial dimensions of disaster risk in mobile home parks: Learning from the 2013 Colorado floods by Andrew Rumbach and Esther Sullivan, University of Colorado Denver

This talk will be available via live webcast. To view the live webcast please go to Adobe Connect and login as a guest.

Mobile home parks are an important source of affordable housing for millions of U.S. households. Mobile home parks are frequently exposed to floods, storms, and other natural hazards, so much that researchers use them as an indicator of vulnerability in the built environment. While numerous studies have documented the physical vulnerability of mobile home parks, disaster researchers have a limited understanding of the socio-spatial dimensions of risk in such communities. In this talk, we examine the unique contribution of mobile home parks to disaster risk through a detailed study of the 2013 Colorado floods. The floods destroyed over 450 mobile homes and permanently displaced thousands of people from their communities. Drawing on data collected through household surveys, semi-structured interviews with recovery officials, and observation of recovery planning meetings, we describe four socio-spatial dimensions of risk in mobile home parks: concentrated vulnerability, divided asset ownership, restrictive or exclusionary planning, and community bias. Our analysis reveals tensions between growth, housing affordability, and community resilience, an important consideration for community planners and disaster management officials. We conclude by describing policy and planning interventions that might mitigate risk and improve recovery outcomes for mobile home park residents and owners.

Andrew RumbachAndrew Rumbach is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Planning and Design at the University of Colorado Denver. His research centers on community risk and resilience to natural hazards and climate change, in the United States and India. He is especially interested in how planning and urban governance shapes the geographies of risk and resilience in cities. His current research projects include a longitudinal study of household and community recovery after the 2013 Colorado floods; an examination of the role of collaborative networks in protecting historic resources from environmental hazards; and a study of small cities and environmental risk in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region of eastern India. Rumbach holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a bachelor’s in Political Science from Reed College.


Esther Sullivan is an urban sociologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research focuses on poverty, spatial inequality, legal regulation, housing, and the built environment, with a special interest in both forced and voluntary residential mobility. Her research uses both ethnographic methods and geospatial (GIS) analysis. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin. Her current book project Manufactured Insecurity: Mobile Home Park Evictions and Americans' Tenuous Right to Place (August 2018, University of California Press) is a mixed-method look at the mass evictions that result when mobile home parks close. Living full time inside closing mobile home parks across Texas and Florida, the project examines the effects of forced relocation on individuals and communities, as well as the operation of markets that profit off the low-income housing found in mobile home parks.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm


CSTPR Conference Room


Event Type

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar

Was there a climate warming “Hiatus” in the Arctic? by Kang Wang, INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder


Historically, in situ measurements have been notoriously sparse over the Arctic. As a consequence, the existing gridded data of surface air temperature (SAT) may have large biases in estimating the warming trend in this region. Using data from an expanded monitoring network with 31 stations in the Alaskan Arctic, we demonstrate that the SAT has increased by 2.19°C in this region, or at a rate of 0.23°C/decade during 1921–2015. Meanwhile, we found that the SAT warmed at 0.71°C/decade over 1998–2015, which is 2 to 3 times faster than the rate established from the gridded data sets. Focusing on the “hiatus” period 1998–2012 as identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the SAT has increased at 0.45°C/decade, which captures more than 90% of the regional trend for 1951–2012. We suggest that sparse in situ measurements are responsible for underestimation of the SAT change in the gridded data sets. It is likely that enhanced climate warming may also have happened in the other regions of the Arctic since the late 1990s but left undetected because of incomplete observational coverage.


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Meeting ID: 540 961 8610
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017
11:00am to 12:00pm


East Campus, RL-2, Room 155

Event Type


HR Information Session

HR Information Session

The CIRES HR team will hold two information sessions to present the topics below and discuss general information relevant to CIRES research faculty, supervisors, science advisors, and federal partners:

  • E-time cards: We are moving to electronic time cards for student and temporary hourly employees. Thank you to those who have already made the e-switch! Click here for information about submitting and approving timesheets in MyLeave (requires sign in).
  • Promotion season: It's CIRES promotion season! You should have received an email earlier this month about the Career Track process. For more information (and a pdf copy of that October 11 note), please see this InsideCIRES page. Promotion packages are due December 8. 
  • Important survey: Please watch your mailbox for a CU Boulder Employee Engagement Survey coming in November. If enough of us fill out the survey, we will—for the first time—be able to see CIRES-specific results. We really want to hear from you; please complete the survey.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017
10:00am to 11:00am