Understanding Flood Risk Perceptions among Students: A Case Study of Texas State University, San Marcos.

Authors: Daria Andrievskikh*, Texas State University - San Marcos, Christina Lopez, Texas State University - San Marcos, Richard Earl, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Behavioral Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: Flood Risk Perceptions, Social Vulnerability to Floods, Texas Floods, Flood Hazards
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Balcony B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas is in one of the most flood prone regions of the U.S. This flood hazard is the result of the synergistic combination of extreme precipitation intensities, low infiltration surfaces, and the hydrologically efficient drainage of the eastern Texas Hill County. Four times in the last three years the university was shut down when major flooding occurred along the San Marcos River and adjacent areas. Besides restricting access to campus, many residential areas used by students were flooded. During 2015-2017 academic years, a paper survey has been distributed among geography students in a senior level and graduate Field Methods course to estimate their awareness of, impacts of, and response to these floods. In 2018, a modified version of the survey was sent to a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students from all campus majors via email. Total of 385 responses were obtained. This research attempts to fill a gap in research regarding flood risk perceptions and awareness among students, determine what factors contribute to the flood risk perceptions and awareness among students of Texas State University (TSU), and estimate the contribution of heuristic principles in the formation of students’ risk perceptions. Based on the flood risk assessment among students, a need to organize flood education in TSU was recognized.

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