Compound[ing] disasters in Puerto Rico: Pathways for virtual transdisciplinary collaboration to enhance community resilience

M. J. Stablein, J. Gonzalez Cruz, E. N. Fidan, J. Talbot, S. P. Reed, R. S. Walters, A. J. Ogunyiola, M. Fernández Frey, M. Ramirez, B. Rosado Casanova, J. Heemstra, A. Marshall, L. F. Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Puerto Rico has been subject to complex and compounding effects of multiple disasters, exacerbated by sociopolitical, climactic, and geographical challenges that complicate relief and resilience. Interdisciplinary teams are uniquely suited to traverse emerging challenges in post-disaster settings, but there are few studies that leverage transdisciplinary skill sets and virtual co-production of knowledge to build on local autonomous responses. Communities are key sources of information and innovation which can serve as a model for recovery amidst disaster. Thus, an interdisciplinary team of emerging scholars collaborated with Caras con Causa, a local organization in Cataño, Puerto Rico, to develop processes for enhancing autonomous responses to disaster events through participatory pathways, specifically highlighting local knowledge and preferences. The results of this collaboration include: (1) an iterative process model for transdisciplinary co-production in virtual settings and (2) key highlights from post engagement reflections including community-scale definitions of disaster, and limitations to virtual collaboration amidst disaster. Together, these results yielded critical insights and lessons learned, including recommendations for improved project communication methods within transdisciplinary and virtual collaborations. Collectively, the process, it's resulting products, and the post-engagement reflections demonstrate a pathway for scholars and community members to engage disaster resilience challenges. These strategies are most effectively practiced through focused collaboration with community stakeholders and are paramount in solving real-world challenges related to the increasing complex of compounding disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102558
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Citizen Science
  • Disaster Relief and Resilience
  • Participatory Mapping
  • Puerto Rico
  • Socioenvironmental Management
  • Virtual, Transdisciplinary Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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