RI Courses


History and Theory of Emergency Planning

This course provides a broad introduction to the historical and theoretical perspectives of emergency management policies and practices. Students will learn how theories are used to inform the practice of disaster and emergency management. Fundamental principles of risk, vulnerability, and emergency planning are examined relative to natural, technologic, and health-related hazards, from an interdisciplinary perspective. Federal, state, and municipal legislation and regulations will be examined for their implications on mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Students will understand the roles and professional responsibilities of emergency managers in preparing and implementing all-hazards plans and policies.

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.

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.

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.