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Maintaining information that documents damages that natural disasters cause to infrastructure and documenting the efforts to rebuild it, is essential for future infrastructure mitigation and reconstruction actions. To address this, we have developed the Interdisciplinary Research Network Extension (IReNE) aimed to keep record and centralize data relevant to cases in Puerto Rico. IReNE has been conceptualized following the case study methodology and it has been designed to fit and scaffold the Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainability Education – Undergraduate Program (RISE- UP), following the four stages defined by the Depth of Knowledge (DOK) model and a Project Based Learning approach. This paper presents the development of IReNE and presents case study examples of its current use for supporting the RISE-UP teaching model. IReNE was designed as an open-source platform that will be timely available to researchers, academics, and practitioners. We also expect their conceptual and applied developments to be replicated in other academic contexts, and therefore contributing on documenting, systematizing, and disseminating the impact of natural events on infrastructure.more » « less
The academic preparation of scholars on infrastructure-related disciplines often takes place within isolated professional domains, rarely embracing an interdisciplinary approach for problem solving. The current work describes the implementation and outcomes from an undergraduate program designed to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of infrastructure vulnerabilities to students pursuing engineering and architecture degrees. The program, titled “Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainability Education -Undergraduate Program” utilizes the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and María for implementing an interdisciplinary case study methodology to understand and generate solutions to a variety of complex infrastructure challenges in a real-life setting. Project Based Learning (PBL) constitutes the theoretical model that frames this study. The sample included 23 undergraduate students, from architecture and engineering, and from three different campuses. All students completed a course sequence of 15 credits in design and construction of resilient and sustainable infrastructure. The results indicate that the program outcomes were achieved: development of interdisciplinary research skills and project design, hands-on solutions for real problems, awareness of human factors on project design, understanding of the importance and contribution of different disciplines and perspectives, and most important, developing the interest of putting into practice learned knowledge and skills in future projects. Students internalized the value of sustainability and resilience, in their coursework and future professionals, but also personally, applying these principles in their daily life. Students reported that their initial expectations about the program were either achieved or exceeded what they had foreseen. They considered a strength having three campuses and several disciplines working collaboratively.more » « less
Coastal Communities are exposed to multiple hazards including hurricanes, storm surges, waves, and riverine flash floods. This paper presents the outcome of a Basin-wide Flood Multi-hazard Risks module that was developed and offered as part of a collaboration between two research projects: the UPRM-DHS Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainability Education Undergraduate Program (RISE-UP) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The content was designed to give students an understanding of complex project management in coastal communities. The main learning objective was for students to be able to assess and recognize the actions that can be taken to improve resiliency in coastal communities. Students learned how to manage multi-hazard floods. Through knowledge gained by participating in lectures, discussions, and the development of case studies, students were able to assess flood risk and current mitigation strategies for coastal communities in Puerto Rico. The learning experience provided an overview of the history, needs, and challenges that coastal communities face regarding flood and coastal hazards. Through the case studies, students were able to appreciate and understand the risk exposure on the natural and built infrastructure, and the importance of always taking into consideration the social impact.more » « less