Natural Disasters — Dr. Arthur D. Murphy, Dr. Eric C. Jones and Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith

North Carolina is bracing for a blustery hurricane season in 2013, with researchers predicting up to 17 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin. Of those, three to six may become major hurricanes. As residents of our state know all too well, hurricanes wreak devastation. UNCG has three professors who are experts on how communities cope with natural disasters, from those that occur close to home to those like the tornadoes that recently ripped a 17-mile-long corridor of destruction through a suburb of Oklahoma City, killing 24 people and flattening entire blocks of homes, two schools and a hospital.

* Dr. Arthur D. Murphy, head of UNCG’s Department of Anthropology, has conducted research on how culture influences the way in which people react to and recover from natural disasters. He has carried out research on Hurricane Paulina in Acapulco as well as floods and mudslides in eastern Mexico. He can be reached at

* Dr. Eric C. Jones, pictured above, is a research scientist in anthropology who served as principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded project titled “Social Networks in Chronic Disasters – Exposure, Evacuation and Resettlement.” Jones and Murphy served as co-editors of “The Political Economy of Hazards and Disasters,” published by AltaMira Press. Jones can be reached at

* Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith, professor of sociology, has co-authored and co-edited several books, including “The Real Disaster is Above Ground” and “Communities at Risk.” His current research interests include the 2005 flooding of New Orleans and the problems of personal and collective recovery. He can be reached at