Ronald Schumann III, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Schumann is an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science.  Before joining the faculty at UNT, he worked as a research associate with the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute documenting housing reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.  He also has experience as a special programs coordinator and sociocultural researcher with non-profit historical societies across the southeast and as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technician with the engineering firm AECOM.

A human geographer by training, Dr. Schumann’s research interests include community recovery, social vulnerability, cultural memory, risk perception, and participatory GIS.  His publications have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including Risk AnalysisWeather, Climate and Society, Applied Geography, and Environmental Hazards.  His photovoice research exploring local knowledge on long-term recovery received a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation.  He has also received funding from the Natural Hazards Center for collaborative research on gathering places after Hurricane Harvey and an ongoing study examining conflicts between wildfire recovery and mitigation in northern California.  Currently, Dr. Schumann is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team on a study, funded by the National Science Foundation, that uses photovoice to understand how place attachment has affected housing recovery after recent California wildfires. To learn more about the study, click here.

Primary Research Interests: 

I am a human geographer focused primarily on sociocultural dimensions of hazards and disasters. My research focuses broadly on processes of environmental perception and human decision making in the context of social inequality. I enjoy investigating scenarios where risk reduction policies and economic realities compete with less tangible elements of social vulnerability, place attachment, and memory. My research focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on the post-disaster period of recovery. I often employ methodological approaches from cultural and feminist geography to explore the situated perspectives of disaster survivors.

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