Collaborative Research:II-NEW: Ensayo - A Virtual Emergency Operations Center (vEOC)


The Ensayo Prototype is available online here.

ABSTRACT

This project is designing, developing, deploying, and evaluating a virtual Emergency Operations Center (vEOC) for (1) primary use as a research instrument, but with (2) secondary use for training and education. The vEOC, named Ensayo, will enable research on dynamic decision-making, individual and group problem solving, organizational learning, communication, coordination, and knowledge management in the context of roles and organizational structures to enable cross-institutional management of disasters. The vEOC is a web-based implemented using open source and open standards software and tools. Little substantive research has been conducted on large scale, emergent management structures. The size and complexity of these emergent structures affords a unique insight into studying the mechanisms (both successful and less successful) of operation, providing a valid substrate to formulate the components of the vEOC. Our initial research has yielded insights into the role that a vEOC could play in this, and other EOC contexts.

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The fundamental goal of Ensayo is to craft a research instrument that, although based on the elements of a local EOC, can be adapted to reflect a wide variety of EOC forms in order to support research, training and education. One of the collaborating institutions is minority serving, and located where the primary context for this work is important for the well-being of society: to protect against hurricanes and for emergency preparedness. Ensayo affords not only a research tool for academics, but also a resource for education, training and policy analysis for communities of practice who engage in any emergency operations event.

A collaborative Computing Research Infrastructure (CRI) development grant, funded by the NSF, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS) comprised of three institutions:

  • Award Number:0855164; Principal Investigator:Gregory Madey; Organization:University of Notre Dame;NSF Organization:CNS Award Date:09/01/2009; Award Amount:$139,714.00 and REU extension $32,000.00
  • Award Number:0855078; Principal Investigator:Irma Becerra-Fernandez; Co-Principal Investigator:Weidong Xia; Organization:Florida International University;NSF Organization:CNS Award Date:09/01/2009; Award Amount:$107,977.00
  • Award Number:0855193; Principal Investigator:Michael Prietula; Organization:Emory University;NSF Organization:CNS Award Date:09/01/2009; Award Amount:$100,209.00