Data From the Heart of the Desert: A Community Making a Difference

Fort Hancock, also portrayed in our previous blog posts, is a community of hard-working individuals. Even though this is a desert, it is also a flood-prone area. But people love their town. They like its quiet environment and enjoy harmonious relations with their neighbors. Many people in this community are highly motivated to serve one […]

Using Drones to Address Data Deserts

By Nicholas Diaz, PhD student, and Dr. Andrew Juan, Associate Research Scientist Arriving in Fort Hancock, Texas for the first time, it was clear to us that this community was in an entirely different flood situation than most of the communities we typically work with.  Approximately 55 miles southeast from the rapidly developing city of […]

A True Data Desert: Fort Hancock, Texas

Imagine being new in a community. Regardless of whether you rent or own your home, you need to get your utilities—e.g., water, power, trash—connected and an account set up  in your name. In many places in the US, if you build a new patio or make extensions to your home, you need to get proper […]

Harvey Reminded Us of the Power of the Colorado River

By Keri K Stephens & Yifan Xu // Walking around La Grange, Texas and visiting communities in Fayette County, we were struck by the huge oak trees, including many of them in the middle of a paved road! Right on the edge of La Grange is the Colorado River, and that beautiful source of water […]

Bridging the Data Gaps for Rural Texas

We don’t know what we don’t know. I’ve been reminded of this phrase so many times this summer while doing fieldwork for the Digital Risk Infrastructure Program (DRIP) for Underserved Rural Texas Counties. I still remember the first National Science Grant I applied for. I downloaded the solicitation, worked on the 45-page document for six […]

Small but Mighty

By: Keri Stephens // Driving down Highway 281 about and hour west of Corpus Christi, Sam Brody and I made a right hand turn onto Main Street in Premont Texas.  The entire town is 1.7 square miles and has 2400 people who call it home.  It is located on one of the hurricane evacuation routes in […]

Growing Rural Counties in Texas and Emergency Management

By Keri K. Stephens  Counties and cities in Texas abide by complex rules when it comes to managing disasters. Combine that complexity with the vast differences in population and you will quickly find that population size is often correlated with resources such as access to information and the data needed make community improvements. Counties with […]