While studying Disaster Science & Management and as a Global UGRAD student at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) this past semester, I had the amazing opportunity to present my research paper at the American Geophysical Union Conference 2018 in Washington, DC. I was requested to present at the largest geophysical conference where people from all over the world gather to discuss their recent innovations, findings, and thinking.
My research focused on assessing how storm surge flooding and cyclones can impact coastal part of my country, Bangladesh – specifically vulnerable areas such as Cox’s Bazar. It was an amazing experience for me. I shared my work using a poster presentation and a lot of people showed interest and really appreciated my work. They inspired me by saying that it was a great, they were interested in my future work, and asked to stay connected. This conference helped me develop my presentation and communication skills and the appreciation that I got for my work will inspire my future projects.
In addition to the conference, studying at FGCU in Florida during my time in the U.S. allowed me to see responses to small-scale hurricanes. During hurricanes Florence and Michael, I saw that the government handled pre-disaster preparation very carefully and professionally by evacuating people and providing alerts. The pre-disaster management system lessened the workload during the post-disaster period. I got to observe the paradigm shift in disaster response in real life while learning about it in textbooks.
During my time at FGCU and the AGU conference, I had a chance to see other people’s work and made a lot of new connections with different organizations and universities. The different and valuable opinions from experts and scientists around the world will help shape my ideas for my next project.
Written by Sumaiya Tabassum, 2018-2019 Global UGRAD student from Bangladesh at Florida Gulf Coast University