Thursday, May 10, 2007

More on Dartmouth and Katrina

I'm not cross-posting this to the big lefty blogs, I just want to highlight a little more about Dartmouth's involvement with Katrina relief efforts. Why? Well, partly to brag, but also to encourage other schools to get involved in similar ways. I've written before about the various relief trips and the Gospel Choir; here's more info about such relief trips, and also an article on a Gentilly neighborhood mapping project.

Tuck professor and students chart status of New Orleans recovery
(From the Dartmouth webpage)

More than a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and ravaged New Orleans, good news about recovery efforts in the Crescent City is still hard to come by, but in one small corner of the city, a Dartmouth professor and his students are making progress using an unusual tool: mapping.

Photo Caption: Quintus Jett (far right) with the group of Dartmouth students who traveled to New Orleans in March. Jett and the students mapped the progress of post-Katrina recovery in the Gentilly neighborhood. (Photo courtesy Quintus Jett)

Quintus Jett, senior research fellow at the Tuck School of Business, is studying disaster recovery and working to develop practical, locally based solutions to the task of rebuilding in New Orleans. He and 13 Dartmouth students spent their spring break walking the entire Gentilly district of New Orleans. Gentilly is a severely flood-damaged area that was home to over 40,000 residents pre-Katrina.

The Dartmouth students walked every street in Gentilly to perform a "local census" and indicated the rebuilding status of each property by color code. (The effort was the second complete survey of the area conducted by Jett and other volunteers.) With help from ad hoc volunteers, the students mapped over 14,000 addresses—roughly the entire neighborhood—in just 10 days. That data has been added to an interactive, online map that was designed by Jett and Assistant Professor of Geography Xun Shi.

The map—and the data it represents—serves as a resource for New Orleanians trying to make decisions about allocating rebuilding resources. Says Jett, "I foresee the data being used by planners. However, my hope is that residents and small business users can also use this local recovery data."

Rashmi Agarwal '09 was among the student volunteers. "While we were working, we met someone who needed their house gutted, and we connected that person to a group that could help. Since the mapping data is being put online, the information gets to neighborhood presidents and gives them a sense of the progress," says Agarwal.

Jett praises the volunteers' efforts and what they accomplished in such a brief period. "Completing so much mapping required significant effort, preparation, and analysis of data," he says. "The team exhibited more results than is commonly expected of student volunteers, and I believe that more of this kind of volunteerism is needed in New Orleans."


(Update: Check out this New Orleans Times-Picayune article about Prof. Jett's project.)

(From a Tucker Foundation e-mail)

Katrina Relief Service Trip Opportunity for Alumni/ae and Staff!

Tucker is extending Katrina Relief service trips to faculty, staff and alumni of the college. Please consider inviting an alumn, professor, or college staff person you know to join us in June down at Hands On in Biloxi, MS. Information below:

Rev. Dr. Stuart Lord, Dean of the Tucker Foundation, and Frederica Ghesquiere '04 are leading a team of Dartmouth alumni/ae, staff and faculty to help with disaster relief in the Gulf Coast from June 16-23 2007. The team will volunteer at Hands On Gulf Coast, located Biloxi, MS, alongside a volunteer team of Dartmouth students. This trip is open to Dartmouth staff, alumni of the college and immediate family members of alumni. Registration will take place on a first come, first serve basis. REGISTRATION BEGINS ONLINE AT NOON ON TUESDAY MAY 15.

Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane which made landfall on August 29th 2005, was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the USA. At least 1,836 people lost their lives in Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent floods. The hurricane caused severe and catastrophic damage along the Gulf coast, devastating cities such as Biloxi and Gulfport in Mississippi. It destroyed 90% of the buildings along the coast of Biloxi and neighboring Gulfport, stated Governor Barbour in an interview.

"This is an opportunity for alumni and staff to have the kind of powerful experience that students have on their Katrina education and service trips," says Ghesquiere.

For more information and to register, please visit our website:

Questions? Email

1 comment:

cehwiedel said...

This post will be included in today's edition of the Carnival of Hurricane Relief. See:

Kudos for Dartmouth for its ongoing relief efforts.