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Graduate Student Receives National Recognition for Natural Hazards Paper

Graduate student Carson MacPherson-Krutsky in the Department of Geosciences recently was awarded the 2018 Geological Society of America (GSA) Geology and Society Division Best Student Paper Award at the GSA annual meeting in Indianapolis. Mentored by Associate Professor Brittany Brand, MacPherson-Krutsky’s research tackles the goal of understanding people’s perceptions of the risks posed by natural hazards and disasters, and making information pertaining to these risks accessible and comprehensible to the public.

“One of the greatest aspects of being a graduate advisor is that I get to learn as much from my graduate students as they do from me,” said Brand. “I have already learned so much from her efforts on this project and look forward to seeing what direction she takes her research next. I have no doubt that her work will make a significant contribution to both science and society.”

MacPherson-Krutsky values the way in which Boise State embraces and supports the interdisciplinary research that is essential to unpacking the multi-faceted topic of natural disaster risk and perceptions. As a Seattle native, her research pursuits were shaped by the natural disasters in her home state, such as the 2014 Oso landslide that took the lives of 43 people.

“Natural hazards – such as severe weather, floods, wildfires and earthquakes – are inevitable,” said MacPherson-Krutsky. “However, few people understand what these hazards may mean for them and, as a result, have little motivation to prepare. My ultimate goal is to develop educational strategies that help communities become more resilient to disasters.”