As the Director of Impact360 Alliance, Dr. Scott Miles brings expertise in natural hazards and disaster research, community resilience consulting, and human centered design to the organization. He is a senior research scientist in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering at University of Washington.

For over 20 years Dr. Miles has worked at the interface of engineering, earth science, social science, information technology, and collaborative methods. Dr. Miles is a boundary agent with extensive experience doing federally-funded research and private consulting for local and state agencies.

Read Dr. Miles’ thoughts on Impact360 Alliance below.

What excites you most about the work of Impact360?

I am motivated by Impact360’s commitment to facilitate private, government, non-profit, and academic organizations working better together to make faster, more sustainable progress reducing natural hazards impacts. I’m excited by the challenge of bringing together the cultures, knowledge, and approaches of socio-behavioral scientists, natural scientists, engineers, emergency managers, forecasters, planners, and the many other professionals working to reduce disaster risk. It’s such a big and worthwhile challenge, it’s hard not to be energized by it. 

What innovative approaches do you think are beneficial to bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners?

I’m eager to help build our collective ability to be more creative problem solvers and make the cycle between knowledge and action more common and agile. I believe the foundation for this is stronger communication and collaboration between researchers and practitioners. We need a deeper understanding of each others’ needs and constraints to connect problem-specific resources and expertise in creative ways. We can build this foundation using tools for stakeholder alignment, science communication, collaborative work, and rapid prototyping, testing, and iteration.

What do you hope professional communities that focus on natural hazards and disasters will gain from engaging Impact360 Alliance to help them with their challenges?

Professionals and organizations who engage Impact360 will be better at working together, integrating each others’ approaches in novel useful ways, and successfully solving problems—or at least mapping out how those problems can be solved when resources are found. More scholars will have their interdisciplinary research activated in practical and impactful ways. More practitioners will have the evidence and recommendations to innovate and meet their community’s specific needs.

Prior to University of Washington and Impact360, Dr. Miles was an associate professor at Western Washington University where he helped establish their disaster risk reduction program, as well as Huxley College’s Resilience Institute. He was a member of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Region Earthquake Hazards Team for six years before completing his geography Ph.D. and joining WWU.

 

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Reducing natural hazard impacts and disaster risk requires better communication and collaboration between researchers and practitioners. We want to hear from you: What are the challenges and victories you encounter with integrating research and practice in your work?

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