Student Reflections

  • Behind Blue Eyes

    Officially, our crew was there to learn lessons from Hurricane Maria to bring back to Oahu and inform our own recovery and resiliency strategies. Truthfully, I think I was in Puerto Rico looking for some sort of post-Maria zeitgeist. Some understanding of the remaining spirit of the people and communities on the island.   Read More...

  • “’Wishing Planning More Political Power.”

    This was a parting thought from Chapa, fondly called the unofficial mayor of Rincon, when he was interviewed by Practicum students. Part of a planner’s political power will come from communication power and data power. The former is illustrated by the comments of training participants, in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, on the recovery plans that were reviewed during the NDPTC’s “Community Planning for Disaster Recovery” training. Messaging is as important as the technical d...  Read More...

  • Weak Links and New Norms

    “The containers arrived in the island but they piled up because the trucks that usually come to pick up the contents did not or could not come. Roads were filled with debris or were damaged or flooded. At the same time, there was complete communication breakdown so no one was sure what roads could be used and places that could be reached.   Read More...

  • Serendipity and Stakeholders

    Every now and then, blogging has to take on the journalist’s recommended length of 750 words or more. This is one such time for I want to capture an open-ended process and its results.On June 14, the rest of the Practicum team members went on a boat ride to absorb knowledge from the ocean vantage. I opted to go to Aguada for the opportunity to experience a community meeting.   Read More...

  • Empowered by Translation

    On the 12th of June, the third full day of our weeklong planning practicum trip to Puerto Rico, we joined the rollout of the new NDPTC’s “Community Planning for Disaster Recovery” training in Puerto Rico. The presence of two professional conference translators made a critical difference. Not having excellent translation services would have meant loss, not only in “work” hours but, more substantially, in knowledge about the Puerto Rico and disaster recovery planning.   Read More...

  • Echa Pa’lante! Reflection by Cody Winchester

    Echa Pa’lanteOn a warm balmy night in Old San Juan, I strolled the comfortably narrow and cobbled streets while I smoked a local hand-rolled cigar. I ambled along casually taking in the sights and sounds of a vibrant city. One thing that stands out to me now is just how colorful the city is.   Read More...

  • Imelda’s Reflection: Memorable Boat Tour Experience in Rincón

    I remember waking up unusually early on Thursday morning after having a long but fantastic day in San Juan. We drove from San Juan to Rincón, ate late dinner with the practicum team, and followed by the after-hour agenda…. socializing and listening to how everyone’s day was…I walked towards the ocean barefoot to explore while looking for an inspiration for blogging.   Read More...

  • Imelda’s Notes: What does Green Look Like?

    What comes to mind when you think of green infrastructure? This question opened the session on green infrastructure for coastal resilience conducted by NOAA. Among the enormous list, adaptation, gardens, sense of place, future, health, best management practices, nature-based solution, sustainability, and energy conservation are some examples brought up by a wide range of stakeholders.   Read More...

  • Ants Marching

    About a week ago our crew attended NDPTC training at our home campus of UH Manoa. The room was filled with various actors from across Honolulu's sectors and the training opened with a simple question: If you could be any animal, what would you be?The responses probably wouldn't surprise anyone. We had a growing pod of dolphins, various birds of prey, and, at the very least, a small streak of tigers.   Read More...

  • Bernie's Experience: Today put the P.R. in PRacticum

    Today we were blessed to meet with two of the University of Puerto Rico's finest professors; Carmen Concepcion & Maritza Barreto. Both meetings gave tremendous insight regarding Puerto Rico's planning process in regards to disaster response and recovery. The meeting also fostered a chance to discuss and share information on the similarities between beach profile monitoring projects underway at both universities.   Read More...

  • Jain's Experience: Working Day #2 Tuesday NDPTC Class

    An important learning from today’s session is that communities perceive that they are not the part of disaster response process. They are getting unreliable data from the government. Communication has been identified as an issue to be addressed.   Read More...

  • Cody's Reflection

    “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” ~ Anne LamottBased on my interactions with stakeholders and community members thus far, a common theme has begun to materialize: many residents of Puerto Rico place a large portion of the blame on a lack of coordination among the municipalities. These residents tend to argue for more centralization and a consoli...  Read More...

  • Matt's Reflection: NDPTC Training in Puerto Rico!

    Today, we had the great opportunity to listen to the perspectives of local Puerto Rican stakeholders such as graduate student planners, FEMA professionals, and various government sector officials regarding their local recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria. One of the big takeaways from what was commonly said was that they were "not ready" to respond to the extent of this natural disaster due to communication. Local communication before and after the storm was minimal with only 2 radio stations w...  Read More...

  • John's Experience: Working day #2 Tuesday NDPTC class/UPR Urban Planning Department interviews

    We had the opportunity to see the ndpct class, community development of recovery planning, given to a community that has gone through a disaster after taking the class on Oahu where a disaster has not had the same presence in recent years. For PR communication was voiced as one of the biggest barriers to response. No power or media was available in PR after Maria and radio was not providing relevant information that conveyed the actual hazards existing in the municipalities. Half of the pra...  Read More...

  • Hola Puerto Rico!

    Just a quick check-in from the NDPTC Community Planning for Disaster Recovery training course in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More soon!   Read More...

RSS Feed