A study of urban design, climate science, and economics
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I had been living in the Pacific Northwest for nearly six years before enrolling at Texas Tech University in the fall of 2011. My roots, however, are in the Coastal Bend of South Texas. Growing up, I was able to witness first-hand the trauma associated with windstorms and hurricanes affecting families and businesses. Upon moving to Washington State for graduate school, I was quickly made aware of the seismic hazards associated with living in the Pacific Northwest. As a practicing structural engineer, my primary focus was in seismic design. Though the design approach for each lateral force is quite different, parallels can be made between seismic and wind events. Each event is a natural disaster that we cannot control and people caught in the turmoil are quick to respond in a fearful fashion. But the negative impact could be minimized if the public were properly educated in these realms. My initial goal at Texas Tech was to pursue a PhD in Wind Science and Engineering as a means of exploring the areas of natural disaster mitigation and emergency management. During my first semester, I enrolled in courses that fulfilled the requirements of the core curriculum for the Wind Science and Engineering program. But the beauty of the Wind Science and Engineering program is that the faculty and staff foster an environment in which students are encouraged to explore their interests and curiosities. Having completed the majority of the core curriculum that first semester, I explored my interests the following semester. Ultimately, the enjoyment I experienced exploring these interests led to my departure from the PhD program and into the interdisciplinary studies graduate tract. The portfolio presented is the result of submittals in architecture, climate science, and economics.