In what promises to be a good occasion to integrate instruction, research, community engagement and formation in the context of climate change awareness, a forum entitled “Don’t Be Blown Away, Science Will Help Save the Day” will be held today, 26th November 2013, at the Finster Auditorium, from 1:15 to 5:40 p.m.  The forum provides a very good opportunity for the university and the wider community to be abreast of modern and scientific development in understanding the evolving science behind tropical cyclones and how they develop into massive storms that can cause tremendous destruction, particularly on people living in vulnerable area.  It then presents Super Typhoon Yolanda as a case in point, to be followed by a presentation on the hazards that can possibly inflict Davao City in the event of similar environmental calamities and the lessons that can be learned from them.  The forum likewise studies the sociological-anthropological effect of natural calamities on people’s adaptive behaviour.  The forum is expected to present not just the challenges brought about by natural calamities, but also possible ways forward on how best the university’s collective resource can help in educating and raising people’s awareness in understanding natural disasters caused by climate change.  The important aspect not to be missed in this forum is its formative component in the sense that it is through fora of this nature that can provide a springboard for the members of the university community and beyond to be conscious of the socio-cultural implications of natural calamities and disaster preparednes.

ADDU’s own geoastrophysicist Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ will talk about The Science of Tropical Cyclones.  Atmospheric scientist Dr. Gemma Narisma, the current head of the Regional Climate Systems Program of the Manila Observatory, and who has just recently been awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS) early this November, will do a presentation on Typhoon Yolanda: The Anatomy of a Disaster. Dr. Lourdes Simpol, director of TropICS, and Dr. Leah Vidal, chair of Department of Anthropology, will tackle the topics Have We Learned? Hazards and Culture, highlighting the results of the studies of TropiCS in relation to Typhoon Pablo and the Davao City flash floods, as well as highlighting the socio-cultural and anthropological aspects of coping with natural disasters.

A media briefing is expected to take place in the morning, prior to the actual forum in the afternoon.

The forum is jointly convened by the University Research Council (URC), the Tropical Institute for Climate Studies (TropICS), the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE), the Ateneo Migration Center (AMC) and the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)