Eric Tate

Eric Tate Head Shot Small
Associate Professor
PhD, University of South Carolina
302 Jessup Hall
Office Hours: 
T 3:30-4:30 pm
F 1:15-3:15 pm
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
flood hazards, vulnerability indicators, disaster recovery, social equity

I study connections between natural hazards and society, primarily through modeling of social vulnerability and risk. I'm particularly interested in vulnerability to floods, and my scholarly work falls into three main areas:

  1. Assessing social equity in disaster mitigation and recovery spending
  2. Validating indicators of vulnerability and risk.
  3. Analyzing uncertainty and sensitivity of geospatial models

I currently serve on the Climate Action Commission for Iowa City, the advisory board for the Anthropocene Alliance, and the Resilient America Roundtable. At UIowa, I'm a faculty affiliate with IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering, the Center for Global and Environmental Research, and the Public Policy Center.


Research minute: Eric Tate on natural disasters

Eric Tate is an Associate Professor of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences at the University of Iowa. Using models called social vulnerability indicators, he studies how natural hazards such as hurricanes and floods affect some populations more than others.


  • Environmental Justice (GEOG 4770):  relationships between environmental hazards & amenities, and marginalized groups & communities
  • Hazards and Society (GEOG 3760):  how societies plan for, experience, respond to, and recover from extreme natural hazards
  • Water Resources (GEOG 2930):  processes and practices underlying the management of freshwater resources
  • Contemporary Environmental Issues (GEOG 1070):  profiles today's leading environmental challenges, focusing on causes, consequences, and solutions
Grants & Funding: 
Selected Publications: 

* Denotes a UI geography student

Antolini, F.* and Tate, E. (2021). "Location matters: a framework to investigate the spatial characteristics of distributed flood attenuation." Water, 13(9): 2076.

Tate, E. and C. Emrich (2021).  "Assessing Social Equity in Disasters." Eos, 102.

Tate, E., A. Rahman*, C. Emrich, and C. Sampson (2021). "Flood exposure and social vulnerability in the United States." Natural Hazards, 106(1): 435-457.

Drakes, O.*, E. Tate, J. Rainey, and S. Brody (2021). "Social vulnerability and short-term disaster assistance in the United States." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 53: 102010

Antolini, F.*, E. Tate, B. Dalzell, N. Young, K. Johnson, and P. Hawthorne (2020). "Flood Risk Reduction from Agricultural Best Management Practices." Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 56(1): 161-179.

Emrich, C., E. Tate, S. Larson, and Y. Zhou (2020). "Measuring Social Equity in Flood Recovery Funding." Environmental Hazards, 19(3): 228-250.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2019). "Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

E. Tate (2019). "Déjà Vu All Over Again: Trends in Flood Drivers Point to Continuing Vulnerability." Environment, 61(5): 50-56.

Rufat, S., E. Tate, C. Emrich, and F. Antolini* (2019). "How Valid are Social Vulnerability Models?" Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 109(4): 1131-1153.

Tate, E., Decker, V. and Just, C. (2018). "Evaluating Collaborative Readiness for Interdisciplinary Flood Research." Risk Analysis, 41(7): 1187-1194.

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.

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.

Google Scholar Page