RI Courses


ENVS 362 U.S. Disaster Policy

This course provides a broad introduction to U.S. disaster policies and practices, with some exploration of these themes outside of the U.S. Students explore how state and federal U.S. disaster policies have exacerbated the impacts from natural and technological hazards on marginalized communities. Students apply their learning by participating in training and/or outreach activities of local emergency management and response organizations.

ENVS 372 Hazards Mitigation Planning

This interdisciplinary course emphasizes creation of safer human settlements through application of hazard mitigation strategies in community planning, site selection and layout, infrastructure design, and building design. The course provides a survey of meteorological and geological hazards and discusses the mandates and responsibilities of various levels of government. It integrates insights from environmental design disciplines for minimizing losses from natural hazards such as global warming, severe storms, wildfires, flooding, earthquakes, and landslides. Students obtain an introductory knowledge of routine planning, design, engineering and public policy tools for reducing losses from natural hazards, and facilitating suitable post-disaster redevelopment. Students gain hands-on experience through projects assessing existing mitigation plans, researching case studies, and working in teams to develop natural hazard mitigation strategies for jurisdictions at risk.

ENVS 465 Disaster Risk Reduction

In this course students examine the socio-political and historical causes of disasters and how these events result in unjust outcomes, with an emphasis on international contexts. Students study sources of social vulnerability and resilience, thematically and geographically, and explore strategies for disaster risk reduction. While this course is required for those pursuing the Disaster Risk Reduction minor, it may also be of interest for students interested in environmental justice, sustainability, geography, community development, and urban planning.

ENVS 476 Disaster Reduction and Emergency Planning Studio

The course provides students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in disaster reduction and emergency planning, with an emphasis on community-based approaches. Students will work in groups with a client (or clients) on a quarter-long project of practical significance. Students will be exposed to best practices through case studies across disaster reduction and emergency planning. Project management, client interactions, report writing, and communicating technical information to diverse audiences will be emphasized.