Experts Needed for Independent Panels to Review Data Used for FEMA Flood Maps

November 02, 2010 — The National Institute of Building Sciences is seeking qualified scientific and technical professionals from the public, private, and academic sectors to serve on Scientific Resolution Panels (SRPs) to resolve conflicting scientific and technical data to be incorporated into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revised flood maps.

FEMA contracted with the Institute to provide communities with a resolution process that is deemed neutral by both the challenging community and FEMA. The SRPs will perform independent reviews of the scientific and technical data presented by both FEMA and the community and provide recommendations to the FEMA Administrator for a final determination.

Interested professionals must have expertise in riverine, lacustrine, coastal flood hazard, surveying, topographic information, hydrologic analysis, hydraulic analysis, coastal analysis, or other pertinent experience applicable to the development of flood elevations and Flood Insurance Rate Maps, including:

  • Water resource engineering (surface water hydrology, open-channel flow hydraulics, hydrologic engineering)
  • Coastal storm and hydraulic engineering
  • Coastal geotechnical engineering
  • Coastal storm generation
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Alluvial fan engineering

The Institute is responsible for building and maintaining a cadre of experts from which panelists will be selected to serve.

If approved as SRP cadre members, experts may be called to serve on one to two Panels per year, averaging the equivalent of two to five days’ effort spread over several months. Panels will conduct deliberations via teleconference, with limited travel (if any) involved. Panel members will be compensated for their services.

The SRP is responsible for reviewing FEMA’s flood hazard data submitted by the community to determine which data is technically and scientifically more accurate.

The Institute and FEMA encourage professionals with a degree in one of the identified fields and a minimum of 10 years proven experience to apply to become an SRP cadre member.

To learn more about the Scientific Review Panel initiative and to fill out an application to serve, visit

About the Institute

The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology. For more information, please visit


Gretchen Hesbacher
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(202) 289-7800, Ext. 171

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