My research focuses on planning and development for hazards in the United States and the Global South. In this work, I take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the work of disaster relief and recovery organizations, community development and participatory processes, and the physical and social resiliency of low-income communities. 

Peer Reviewed Articles

Peer Reviewed Articles (Under Review)

  • Contreras, S. Utilizing Arnstein’s Ladder as an Evaluative Framework for the Assessment of Participatory Work in Post-disaster Haiti.

Technical Reports and Other Publications

External Grants

  • Niles, S.* & Contreras, S. (2018). Social Vulnerability and Health Care Workers’ Response after Hurricane Maria. The Natural Hazards Center.

Peer Reviewed Presentations at Meetings and Conferences

  • Contreras, S. & Niles, S. Community Outreach and Post-disaster Medical Care: An Exploration of the Work of Health-care Organizations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, Los Angeles, CA, 2019.

  • Contreras, S. & Roudbari, S. Participation as a Two-way Street: Small Organizations Learning from Communities in International Development. Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Buffalo, NY, 2018.

  • Contreras, S., Basolo, V., Goodrich, K., Matthew, R., Sanders, B., Feldman, D., Houston, D., & Cheung, W. An Investigation of Urban Development on Hillsides in Tijuana, Mexico. Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Portland, OR, 2016.

  • Contreras, S. Organizations and Participatory Development: Post-disaster Recovery in Haiti. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, San Diego, CA, 2016.

  • Basolo, V. & Contreras, S. Incorporating Sustainability and Resiliency for Housing in Earthquake Prone Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, San Antonio, TX, 2014.

  • Basolo, V. & Contreras, S. Urban Housing and Earthquakes in Developing Countries: Vulnerability, Resiliency, and the Goal of Sustainability. Joint Congress of the Association of European Schools of Planning and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Dublin, Ireland, 2013.

Other Presentations

  • Contreras, S. Towards a More Equitable Recovery and Reconstruction for Post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico, Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Buffalo, NY, 2018 (roundtable participant).

  • Feldman, D., Contreras, S., Karlin, B., Basolo, V., Matthew, R., Sanders, B., Houston, D.,

    Cheung, W., Goodrich, K., Reyes, A., Serrano, K., Schubert, J., & Luke, A. Getting the Message Right – The Challenge of Communicating Flood Risk as a Boundary-Spanning Problem: A Case Study of Newport Estuary, California. Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Broomfield, CO, 2015 (poster).

  • Contreras, S. Organizations and Participatory Development: Post-disaster Recovery in Haiti. Center for Organizational Research Small Grant Recipients Presentation, Irvine, CA 2015 (poster).

  • Goodrich, K. & Contreras, S. Poster presentation Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environment (FloodRISE) Project. Planning for Disaster Resilience Symposium, College Station, TX, 2014 (poster).

* Indicates co-author is a graduate student.