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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography

Faculty & Staff Directory

Melanie Gall

Research Assistant Professor
Department of Geography
University of South Carolina

Phone Number: (803) 777-9818
Office: Callcott 311
Dr. Melanie Gall


Dr. Gall joined the department in 2013. She works as research scientist in the Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute and the IRDR International Centre of Excellence on Vulnerability and Resilience Metrics. She received her geography degrees from the University of South Carolina (Ph.D.), University of Salzburg, Austria (M.S.), and the University of Heidelberg, Germany (B.S.). After a Postdoc at the University of South Carolina, she worked as an Assistant Professor-Research at Louisiana State University (2008-2012) and subsequently spent a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Claflin University. Dr. Gall is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) and serves on the Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Committee of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Reviewer Award by the Natural Hazards Review and in 2009 the LSU Service-Learning Faculty Scholars Award.


Dr. Gall's research combines geospatial, quantitative, and qualitative methods to explore the impacts of extreme events on society. Her expertise lies in risk metrics (e.g., vulnerability indices, disaster losses), hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning, environmental modeling, and impact assessments. The applied nature of Dr. Gall's studies allows her to work closely with emergency management agencies and non-profit organizations. She has conducted post-disaster field work in Mozambique, Haiti, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dr. Gall has garnered more than $1.6 million in external funding from a range of sources. She is currently working on contributions to the UNISDR Global Assessment Report 2015 and on assessing the effectiveness of hazard mitigation projects for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.


GEOG 330: The Geography of Disasters

Representative Publications 

Gall, M., 2014. The Suitability of Disaster Loss Databases to Measure Loss and Damage from Climate Change. International Journal of Global Warming (in press)

Gall, M., and Gerber, B., 2014. Hazard Mitigation, Economic Development, and Disaster Resiliency: A Comparative Analysis of Flood Control Policy and Practice in Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. In: Disasters & Development: Examining Global Issues and Cases, edited by N. Kapucu and K. T. Liou. New York, NY: Springer, 213-234.

Gall, M., 2013. From Social Vulnerability to Resilience: Measuring Progress towards Disasters Risk Reduction. Intersections No. 13. Bonn: United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), 34 p. Available at

Friedland, C. J., and M. Gall, 2012. True Cost of Hurricanes — Case for a Comprehensive Understanding of Multihazard Building Damage. Leadership and Management in Engineering 12(3): 134-146.

Gall, M., and S. L. Cutter, 2012. 2005 Events and Outcomes: Beyond Hurricane Katrina. In: Emergency Management: The American Experience 1900-2010 (2nd ed.), edited by C. B. Rubin. Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), 191-212.

Gall, M., K. A. Borden, C. T. Emrich, and S. L. Cutter, 2011. The Unsustainable Trend of Natural Hazard Losses in the United States. Sustainability 3(11): 2157-2181.

Gall, M., K. Borden, and S. L. Cutter, 2009. When Do Losses Count? Six Fallacies of Loss Data from Natural Hazards. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90(6): 1-11.