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Title page for ETD etd-04022015-082133

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Abkowitz Brooks, Kendra Julie
Author's Email Address kendra.abkowitz@gmail.com
URN etd-04022015-082133
Title Assessing the Vulnerability of Park System Infrastructure to Impacts from Extreme Weather Events: A Tennessee Application
Degree PhD
Department Interdisciplinary Studies: Environmental Management and Policy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
James H. Clarke Committee Chair
James C. Fraser Committee Member
Jonathan M. Gilligan Committee Member
Kenneth R. Pence Committee Member
  • facility vulnerability assessment
  • vulnerability assessment
  • climate change vulnerability
  • risk management
  • facility risk assessment
Date of Defense 2015-03-20
Availability unrestricted
Infrastructure systems, comprised of various assets, are central to the economic, environmental, and cultural functioning of our society. Understanding the potential impacts to these assets from various threats is fundamental to prudent strategic, operational and financial decision-making. This paper describes a methodology developed to identify the severity of impacts to various types of infrastructure located within the Tennessee State Park system when exposed to extreme weather events. It consists of the following steps: (1) defining and identifying critical park infrastructure; (2) identifying extreme weather event types experienced in Tennessee; (3) assessing damage to various types of park system infrastructure caused by these events; and (4) deriving an overall impact score associated with critical and specific types of park system infrastructure when exposed to certain types of extreme weather scenarios. It was found that hydrologic events, strong thunderstorm winds, winter storms, and in select cases, droughts, are the extreme weather events that pose the greatest risk to critical infrastructure within Tennessee State Parks. Locations that were shown to have critical infrastructure particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events include Shelby, Davidson, Wilson, Dickson, Van Buren, Lawrence, Lake, Franklin, Pickett, Carter, Putnam, Hamilton, Sullivan, and Union counties. The approach described in this article is applicable to other park systems as well as public sector assets in general and can be modified to assess other types of risk.
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