Tim Frazier


Associate Professor of the Practice and Faculty Director


School of Continuing Studies (SCS)
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Dr. Tim Frazier is an Associate Professor and the Faculty Director of the Emergency and Disaster Management program at Georgetown University. Dr. Frazier holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Geography from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Geography from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Frazier’s doctoral degree specialization is in Human/Environment Interaction focusing on research concerning differential vulnerability and resilience of marginalized populations to climate change and natural hazards. His research uses GIS-based climate modeling, spatial analysis, and other quantitative geospatial approaches to determine global and environmental change stressors and then qualitative methodologies (primarily stakeholder engagement) to explore the impacts of these stressors on risk, societal vulnerability, community resilience and adaptation, primarily from a socioeconomic perspective. Much of Dr. Frazier’s research focuses on developing science that serves to impact decision-making in local communities through stakeholder engagement. He is considered a coastal hazards expert and is a leading researcher on the impacts of sea level rise on the physical and socioeconomic vulnerability and resilience of coastal communities. Dr. Frazier is also considered an expert on vulnerability, resilience, and risk assessment, and a leading researcher use of GIS technology and spatial analysis for hazard mitigation planning and climate change adaptation. The primary focus of Dr. Frazier’s research is to help communities increase their resilience to natural hazards and climate change through the development of science and policies that are socially and environmentally just. Within this specific focus is research that targets mitigation and adaptation strategies to segments of society with the least amount of agency to affect their own change.

Dr. Frazier has been fortunate to accumulate considerable research experience during his career, with funding support from more than ten different agencies and departments including USGS, NOAA, NSF, FEMA, CDC and more on projects ranging for climate change adaptation to sea level rise and natural hazards. One highlight of Dr. Frazier’s work was the development of a spatially explicit resilience and vulnerability (SERV) model that considers spatial autocorrelation and other spatial analytic factors when conducting vulnerability and resilience assessments to facilitate a more accurate sub-county assessment. This enables local communities to make assessments that are more spatially explicit and as such, the targeting of limited mitigation and or adaptation resources to areas that are more vulnerable. The SERV model allowed Dr. Frazier to conduct research to determine where mitigation and adaptation strategies were being implemented at the sub-county scale and resulted in evidence that most strategies were implemented in a manner to protect the private property of less marginalized populations. In short, populations with the most ability to care for themselves were being privileged with economic assistance from the county in the form of pre-disaster mitigation. The SERV model also facilitates recovery post hazard by assisting stakeholders in targeting areas of the community that might be marginalized and thus inhibited when it comes to recovery. This research is the first of its kind to include all three components of vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity) when assessing vulnerability and resilience.

As a faculty member, Dr. Frazier has taught and developed courses ranging from introductory geography and GIS classes to advanced graduate seminars relating to vulnerability, resilience, and climate change adaptation. Some of these classes include: Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems, Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards, Societal Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change, Natural Hazards and Society, and Environmental Modeling. Most of the classes he has taught center on human/environment interaction emphasizing differential populations’ exposure to hazards and climate change impacts. As a reflection of Dr. Frazier’s teaching and research excellence, he has received multiple awards including a University-wide teaching award and a college-wide early career faculty award. Dr. Frazier also has been quite successful advising and graduating graduate students. He has served as advisor for twelve graduate students and on the graduate committees of fourteen others. He is currently advising three graduate students. In addition to typical academic service, Dr. Frazier reviews for over thirty different academic journals, serves on the editorial board of three journals, and routinely reviews grant proposals for agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and Sea Grant.

You can reach Dr. Frazier at tim.frazier@georgetown.edu.


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (2009) The Pennsylvania State University, Geography
  • Master of Science (MS) (2005) The Pennsylvania State University, Geography
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) (2002) The University of Tennessee, Geography