Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment at WWU
This course introduces students to the assessment of disasters, focusing primarily on the social aspects of disasters. The course deals with the question ‘What causes a disaster?’ and looks at what, and most importantly, who is impacted during a disaster. The course enumerates a framework that facilitates reducing disaster risk and mitigating the impacts if one occurs. The course focuses primarily on natural disasters, though concepts and methods are generally appropriate for technological and terrorism disasters. The course takes a global perspective on disasters. The primary objective of the course is to survey the social, economic, ecological, and physical impacts of natural hazards on vulnerable populations in different environments around the world. Students should come away with a set of conceptual tools for analyzing potential impacts associated with disasters. In turn students will be exposed to strategies for reducing the impacts and the likelihood of disasters. The course aims to help students understand the global context of disasters and how the US and local jurisdictions relate to this context. Lastly, students will have a chance to build on their critical analysis, writing, and presentation skills.