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Brittany D Brand, Associate Professor

  • Volcanology
  • Risk Perception
  • Preparedness Behavior
  • Science Communication

Brand on mountain top

I am a physical volcanologist-volcanic sedimentologist with research interests involving eruption dynamics, sediment transport in volcanic flows, and volcanic hazard assessment.  The foundation of my research is field-based observation and measurements, which are used for development and validation of experimental and numerical models.  Establishing relationships between depositional characteristics and eruptive processes is a fundamental first step toward answering outstanding questions regarding the controls on eruption dynamics, mechanisms of sediment transport and hazards associated with sediment gravity flows, and the local and global consequences of volcanism on Earth and other planets.

Details of my most recent project can be found here.

Be sure to check out our other excellent faculty members with interests in magmatic processes, including Dr. Dorsey Wanless, Dr. Mark Schmitz, Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, and Dr. Dylan Mikesell.

The other branch of my research focuses on ways to reduce the impact of natural hazard events through the development of resilient communities. Resiliency refers to a community’s ability to proactively mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from events such as natural (and man-made) hazards. Promoting the adoption of individual household preparedness represents a critical step toward building resilient communities.  However, the level of disaster preparedness across the United States remains low

To address this problem, my research colleagues, students and I design a multidisciplinary studies that combines the fields of science education, geography, sociology, psychology, and anthropology to understand what motivates at risk citizens to take preparedness actions before a natural hazard event occurs.

My most recent project focuses on the effect of earthquake hazard information on household emergency preparedness, and includes an assessment of the influence of local and cultural variables on perceptions and preparedness action behavior. This research is based in the Protective Action Decision Model (PADM), which integrates approaches in social influence, persuasion, behavioral decision making, attitude-behavior relationships, and innovation to identify the phases though which people typically pass in the process of taking protective action. A summary of this work is posted here.



group on grassy mountain top group on mountain top with equipment