Naomi W. Lazarus, Ph.D

My research examines human-environmental interactions from a geographical perspective. I am particularly interested in analyzing the social dimension of hazards, and in using spatial statistics and geographical information systems to develop spatial models to assess vulnerability and risk associated with environmental disasters and hazard events. My doctoral dissertation deals with community resilience in counties affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I am also interested in issues related to natural resource management and the impact of resource extraction and use on livelihoods, human health, and climate change. My approach to teaching is based on developing students' understanding of geographical principles through case study examples, class activities, project work, and skills development. I teach courses on hazards, environmental planning, natural resources, and general geography with class sizes ranging from 30 to 150 students. I have over eight years of work experience in my home country of Sri Lanka mainly in the private and not-for-profit sectors. I am committed to health and wellness and enjoy walking, yoga, and tai-chi. In 2008, I participated in the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco completing my first 13-mile walk. I also love to travel and some highlights include the Grand Canyon, Big Island in Hawaii, Lisbon (Portugal), and Luxor (Egypt).

 
Naomi at the Grand Canyon

(Photo: Grand Canyon, April 2009, N. W. Lazarus)

Professional Profile

2014 – present Visiting Assistant Professor, Binghamton University
2010 – 14 Instructor/Teaching Assistant, University of Connecticut-Storrs
2009 Associate, Strategic Inspirations (Pvt) Ltd., Colombo, Sri Lanka
2007 – 09 Teaching Assistant, Binghamton University
2006 Orientation Assistant, International Student and Scholar Services, Binghamton
University
2004 – 05 Associate, Strategic Inspirations (Pvt) Ltd., Colombo, Sri Lanka
2002 – 03 Management Secretary, ZOA Refugee Care, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Papers

  • Lazarus, N.W. 2016. (Approved).  A county-level risk assessment of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Geographical Review. DOI: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12178.x

  • Lazarus, N. W. (2014). Re-specifying disaster risk: concepts, methods, and models. Geojournal 79 (5): 635 - 648.
  • Lazarus, N. W. (2011). Coping capacities and rural livelihoods: challenges to community risk management in southern Sri Lanka. Applied Geography 31 (1): 20 – 34.

Books/Manuals

  • Margai, F. M. and Lazarus, N. W. (2014). Introduction to geography: laboratory exercises and readings. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Lake in hill country, Sri Lanka

(Photo: Central Sri Lanka, N. W. Lazarus)

Conference Presentations

  • Social capital and community resilience in coastal counties affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers, Binghamton, NY, October 2015
  • Vulnerability of populations exposed to hazard events in gulf coast counties: the case of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Race, Ethnicity, and Place Conference, Fort Worth, TX, October 2014
  • Evaluating community resilience under conditions of an environmental disaster: the case of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL, April 2014
  • Developing a model to assess hazard risk based on livelihoods and social capital: evaluating the impacts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, April 2013
  • Skimming the surface: a preliminary assessment of social vulnerability in selected counties affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, March 2011
  • A model for community based risk management: assessing coping capacities in rural Sri Lanka. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, March 2009
  • Drill baby drill : the rush for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in New York. Co-presenter with Burrel E. Montz and Yenal Kucuker. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV, March 2009

Orange flowerswhite flowers

(Photos: Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Sri Lanka, N. W. Lazarus)

Professional Development

  • Session Leader, Geography Faculty Development Alliance Workshop, Association of American Geographers, Storrs, CT, June 2014
  • Participant, Geography Faculty Development Alliance Workshop, Association of American Geographers, Boulder, CO, June 2013
  • Geography Career Development Workshop, University of Connecticut, 2013

Professional Affiliations

American Geographical Society (AGS)

Association of American Geographers (AAG)

Gama Theta Upsilon (GTU)

Awards

2015 Dean's Speaker Series Award, Binghamton University
2013 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Award, University of Connecticut
2013 The Dean Ross MacKinnon Endowment for academic excellence, University of Connecticut

Service

2015-2016 Organizer, Dean's Speaker Series, Department of Geography, Binghamton University

Sunset in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

(Photo: Batticaloa Lagoon, Sri Lanka, N. W. Lazarus)

Last Updated: 9/27/16