Historical Risk: The Role of Memory in Risk Reduction

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Historical Geography Specialty Group, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Wilson A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Craig Colten
Chairs: Geoffrey Buckley


Risk reduction has tended to prioritize the future. Policies and practices seek to erect strategies and structures to mitigate events that have not yet occurred. Yet, risk assessment and risk management are fundamentally rooted in past experience. Society designates floodplains based on past flood stages, engineers modify roads based on past traffic patterns and collisions, and public land managers establish safety policies based on the accumulation of data on past accidents. A fundamental failure of those implementing risk reduction practices is allowing the sense of urgency following one disaster to fade before the next tragic event. This session will consider the processes of sustaining memories of past risk, the erosion of risk memories, the diversity of risk recognition in different pursuits and how that translates into perpetuating the memories of risk. The presenters will examine historical sources of risk recognition and trace how past knowledge translates into policy and practice to reduce future risk.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Ashley Allen*, Ohio Wesleyan University, Memory, Risk, and Regional Identity in Oklahoma 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Craig Colten*, Louisiana State University, The Eclipse of Risk Memory in the Amite River Basin, (USA) 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Yolonda Youngs*, Idaho State University - Pocatello, ID, Dangerous Ground: A Historical Geography of Hazards and Risks in U.S. National Parks 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Geoffrey Buckley*, Ohio University, Riders and Risk: 150 years of Bicycling in Baltimore, Maryland 20 10:55 AM

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