Research Teams

students laughing together in class


To tackle the hurricane challenge, Duke TIP will offer the following research teams during the summer of 2018. Keep in mind that CRISIS emphasizes interdisciplinary learning and the opportunity to explore different topics and work across research teams. 

Architectural Design and Structures

Come to the place where architectural design meets engineering to study the safety, functionality, and comfort of structures. Through the week, you will analyze, plan, create, and research the design and construction of buildings, stadiums, towers, tunnels, and bridges. Your goal is to design and build structures that can stand through the storm and identify how to help cities fortify and rebuild. As a member of this research team you will:

  • analyze the effects of wind and water on various structures
  • design, build, and test models to withstand the forces of a hurricane
  • evaluate and make recommendations about the safety and security of a variety of structures
  • develop a plan for rebuilding

Broadcast and Print Media

Journalists, reporters, videographers, and broadcast anchors investigate and obtain accurate information to distribute through television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet. Use technology and your research skills to gather information the public needs to know. Help people understand the situation around them, promote the public’s well-being, and claim a share of the market. As a member of this research team you will:

  • use cutting edge technology to design, film, and edit a news story using best practices of disaster reporting
  • Identify the types of new citizen journalism and the impact that social media has on the news today
  • understand the ethical codes that guide journalists and the ethical difficulties that are presented when covering a crisis
  • understand how a hurricane impacts the communication infrastructure in a digital world
  • learn how to tell a video story accurately and ethically

Please note that if you participated on the Broadcast and Print Media team in 2017, we highly recommend that you do not select this team for 2018. A large portion of the curriculum is repeated.

Emergency Management and the Government

During a crisis, the government steps in to ensure public safety. Assume the role of a government official and discover how the rules change in times of crisis. Oversee all four phases of emergency management—preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Determine the appropriate use of government resources and decide how and when government agencies like FEMA should step in to manage those resources, coordinate planning, and prevent conflict between the sometimes competing agendas of the private and public sectors. As a member of this research team you will:

  • learn the components of emergency management
  • understand the government systems that have authority to declare states of emergency and why this status is used
  • organize and coordinate implementation of emergency management programs
  • debate what the government’s economic, social, and political role should be in times of crisis
  • discover the long-term effects a natural disaster can have on society as a whole

Marine Biology

Hurricanes can wreak havoc on ecosystems inside and out of our oceans. Particularly vulnerable are areas such as coastal wetlands and barrier islands. Biologists, chemists, physicists, and other scientists examine problems and find solutions to protect these ecosystems. Analyze the interactions of living organisms with the air, water, soil, and sources of food, and evaluate the hurricane’s threat to the ocean animals and habitats. As a member of this research team, you will:

  • study the impact of hurricanes on fish, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals
  • understand the effects hurricanes have on habitats, particularly marine habitats
  • identify how organisms of a habitat are interdependent and measure biodiversity
  • study the adaptations marine animals have developed to cope with hurricanes
  • study the long-term impact of contaminated natural water sources

Medicine and Public Health

In an emergency, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and emergency first responders work with health care administrators to ensure medical care is available where it is needed. Work as a medical professional, identifying the illnesses and injuries most likely to occur during a hurricane and develop plans to deliver needed personnel, medications, equipment, and supplies to those in need. As a member of this research team you will:

  • understand the ethical issues medical experts face when placed in an emergency situation and the long-lasting impact it could have on them and their patients
  • learn and analyze current hospital procedures and protocols for emergency preparation
  • identify the systems of the human body and study the most common injuries and illnesses associated with hurricanes
  • understand the precautions that can be taken to minimize injury and casualties during a disaster
  • identify potential long-term health concerns from water contamination and damage

Please note that if you participated on the Medical Response team in 2017, we highly recommend that you do not select this team for 2018. A large portion of the curriculum is repeated.

Meteorological Sciences

Often, the science behind hurricane tracking is not precise, and storms can be highly unpredictable. Meteorologists serve a vital role in tracking the path and intensity of storms, which is essential to emergency response planning. You will learn about the specialized tools and scientific principles meteorologists use to understand, observe, and forecast storms. As a member of this research team you will:

  • learn how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet
  • discover why storms are becoming more intense
  • discover how advances in early prediction technology can save lives in quickly changing weather events
  • understand the core principles of how and why specific storms form and escalate into dangerous situations
  • learn the difference between weather and climate and why climate change is in the news more than ever

CRISIS is a residential summer program for fifth and sixth graders enrolled in TIP’s 4th–6th Grade Talent Search. The program lasts one week and takes place at five college campuses. Students assume the role of a professional on a specific occupation-based research team, collaborate with their peers, and participate in activities that build their academic, leadership, and teamwork skills.