Eric Tate

Eric Tate
Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
PhD, University of South Carolina
302 Jessup Hall
Office Hours: 
Tuesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 am
Fridays, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Indicators, disaster vulnerability, water sustainability, uncertainty analysis

My research focus is at the confluence of environmental hazards and society, primarily through the development of geospatial models of flood hazards, vulnerability, and water sustainability. The current organization of hazards research and practice, being largely either physical or social, is artificial. 'Natural' disasters are the result of interactions and feedbacks between the two—hazards research and modeling should fully reflect this dynamic.

My research interests tend to fall into three general areas:

  1. Development of vulnerability, resilience, and sustainability indicators
  2. Flood hazard mitigation 
  3. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for geospatial models

At UI, I'm a member of the water sustainability cluster, and faculty affiliate with IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering and the Center for Global and Environmental Research.

  • Contemporary Environmental Issues (GEOG 1070):  explore the leading global environmental challenges of our time, focusing on causes, consequences, and solutions.
  • Water Resources (GEOG 2930):  processes and practices underlying the management of freshwater resources.
  • Hazards and Society (GEOG 3760):  how societies plan for, experience, and respond to natural and technological hazards.
  • Environmental Justice (GEOG 4770):  relationships between environmental hazards & amenities, and marginalized groups & communities, in domestic and international settings.
  • Sustainability Indicators (GEOG 5070, Fall 2012): graduate seminar focused on sustainability indicators and indices: the underlyling constructs they measure, methods for their construction, approaches for validation, and use in decision-making.
  • Transnational Disasters and Global Health (GEOG 6635, Fall 2013):  graduate seminar examining how the causes and effects of disasters triggered by natural, biological, and technological events transcend borders.
Grants & Funding: 



  • Water Sustainability Initiative Seed Grant. 2016. Principal Investigator for "Public Engagement through The Peoples’ Weather Map." $4,648.
  • Water Sustainability Initiative Seed Grant. 2015. Co-Principal Investigator for "Water Sustainability:  Indicators and Governance." $4,992.  With Kajsa Dalrymple (Co-PI) and Aaron Strong (Co-PI).
  • Old Gold Fellowship. 2012-2013. "A Sensitivity Analysis of the HAZUS Flood Model." $6,000.
  • Water Sustainability Initiative Seed Grant. 2012. Co-Principal Investigator for "Flood Recovery in Cedar Rapids." $6,417.53. With Aaron Strong (Co-PI).
Selected Publications: 

* Denotes a UI geography student

Bitterman, P.*, E. Tate, K.J. Van Meter, and N. Basu (2016). "Water security and rainwater harvesting: A conceptual framework and candidate indicators." Applied Geography, 76:  75-84.

Carrel, M., S.G. Young*, and E. Tate (2016). "Pigs in Space: Determining the Environmental Justice Landscape of Swine Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in Iowa." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(9):  849.

Muñoz, C.* and E. Tate (2016). "Unequal Recovery? Federal Resource Distribution after a Midwest Flood Disaster." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(5):  507.

Tate, E., A. Strong, T. Kraus, and H. Xiong* (2016). "Flood Recovery and Property Acquisition in Cedar Rapids, Iowa." Natural Hazards, 80(3):  2055-2079.

Rufat, S., Tate, E., C.G. Burton, and A.S. Maroof* (2015). "Social vulnerability to floods: Review of case studies and implications for measurement." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 14(4):  470-486.

Tate, E., C. Muñoz*, and J. Suchan* (2014).  "Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis of the HAZUS-MH Flood Model." Natural Hazards Review, 16(3):  04014030.

Van Meter, K.J., N.B. Basu, E. Tate, and J. Wyckoff* (2014). "Monsoon Harvests: The Living Legacies of Rainwater Harvesting Systems in South India." Environmental Science & Technology, 48(8): 4217−4225.

Tate, E. (2013). "Uncertainty Analysis for a Social Vulnerability Index." Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 103(3): 526-543.

Tate, E. (2012). "Social vulnerability indices: a comparative assessment using uncertainty and sensitivity analysis." Natural Hazards, 63(2): 325-347.

Tate, E., C.G. Burton, M. Berry, C.T. Emrich, and S.L. Cutter (2011). "Integrated Hazards Mapping Tool." Transactions in GIS, 15(5): 689-706.

Coles, A., G. Eosco, T. Norton, J. Ruiz, E. Tate, and M. Weathers (2011). "Mapping local knowledge of climate change and hazards to inform research, practice, and policy in the Americas." Gestión y Ambiente, 14(2): 45-58.

Solis, P. et al. (2011). Climate Change and Hazards in the Americas: International Interdisciplinary Research Directions and Opportunities. Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers.

Tate, E., S. L. Cutter, and M. Berry (2010). "Integrated multihazard mapping." Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 37(4): 646–663.

Cutter, S.L., L. Barnes, M. Berry, C. Burton, E. Evans, E. Tate, and J. Webb (2008). "A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters." Global Environmental Change, 18(4): 598-606.

Cutter, S.L., L. Barnes, M. Berry, C. Burton, E. Evans, E. Tate, and J. Webb, 2008. "Community and regional resilience: Perspectives from hazards, disasters, and emergency management." CARRI Research Report 1. Oak Ridge National Lab: Community and Regional Resilience Initiative.

Scawthorn, C., N. Blais, H. Seligson, E. Tate, E. Mifflin, W. Thomas, J. Murphy, and C. Jones (2006). "HAZUS-MH Flood Loss Estimation Methodology I: Overview and Flood Hazard Characterization." Natural Hazards Review, 7(2): 60-71.

Scawthorn, C., P. Flores, N. Blais, H. Seligson, E. Tate, S. Chang, E. Mifflin, W. Thomas, J. Murphy, C. Jones, and M. Lawrence (2006). "HAZUS-MH Flood Loss Estimation Methodology II. Damage and Loss Assessment." Natural Hazards Review, 7(2): 72-81.

Tate, E., D. Maidment, F. Olivera and D. Anderson (2002). "Creating a Terrain Model for Floodplain Mapping." Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 7(2): 100-108.