06/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

WATCH LIVE: National Science Foundation Reports On Humanitarian Crisis In Haiti

At 2:00 p.m. ET, the National Science Foundation hosted a live webcast, featuring researchers who recently returned from Haiti. They primarily studied the social impact of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the continuing issue of homebuilding and recovery.

Researcher Liesel Ritchie discussed how nonprofit organizations have been providing temporary housing, and the process of their decision-making.

"Notably, this is my first experience with a disaster of this scope and magnitude," she said. "One of my overarching thoughts (based on my observations) is that care must be taken with respect to the relocation of people. It is important to consider where people came from, prior to being displaced, and how they used to interact with one another prior to the earthquake."

Ritchie said it's important to understand the difference between the scale of a post-disaster situation and the nature of them. How does the local culture affect actions and reactions following a major earthquake. During the webcast, she discussed these issues and how NGOs can better equip their staff to handle divergent disaster scenarios.


Read biographies of the speakers through the National Science Foundation. Ritchie's official title is Assistant Director for Research, Natural Hazards Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder.