Causes and effects of extreme natural and technological hazards. Organizational responsibilities, management approaches, directed technologies, and social factors related to environmental hazard assessment. Cultural, institutional, and technical capacities bearing on environmental disaster management, national and international risk reduction, and mitigation measures.
That he or she has a mastery of professional, multi-disciplinary knowledge of environmental hazards which pose threats, or stand as vulnerabilities, to the United States and to other nations of the world. That she or he possesses an ability to independently research and investigate causes and effects of extreme natural and technological hazards with an emphasis on organizational responsibilities, appropriate mitigation actions, disaster resilience, shared governance, modern management approaches, environmental security, directed technologies, and the social factors related to environmental hazard assessment and risk reduction. That he or she understands the elemental definition of, and application of, the complexity paradigm, risk assessment and analysis, risk perception and communication, risk management, several normative theories of public management, and principal-agent theory as these relate to environmental hazard management. Some of this requires student acquisition of conceptual and analytical knowledge. One indicator of student performance is demonstrated mastery of these theories and concepts in weekly assignments and where relevant in student research papers. That she or he exhibit ability to comprehend and explain major agents of natural disaster, particularly those emanating from seismic and hydro-meteorological forces, in terms of the disaster cycle of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. This also requires knowledge of the key elements of science and engineering used to study, measure, and classify these forces. That he or she has the ability to “define” the phenomenon referred to as disaster, “explain” the evolution of what disaster has meant to people over time, “measure” the physicality of disaster as experts have attempted, and “elucidate” the general spatial impacts of disaster various disaster agents to those unfamiliar with this field. That he or she grasps the essential policies, laws, components, and processes of U.S. environmental disaster management & policy. That he or she can describe the process and framework by which U.S. presidential declarations of major disaster and emergency are issued. This includes an appreciation of why some governor requests for disasters or emergencies are denied by presidents. This also includes student ability to describe and explain why the number and types of declarable disasters has increased significantly over the past thirty years. That she or he is able to explain the “economics” of disaster. This includes knowledge of the public funding of disaster response and recovery, awareness of how government and private firms fund disaster mitigation and preparedness, and an understanding of the pros and cons of using insurance as an instrument of disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation. That she or he is able to articulate major international environmental hazard issues and policies being able to compare and contrast these with domestic U.S. environmental hazard issues and policies. Among the subjects included here are laws & politics of hazard management (esp. U.S.) and sustainable development. That she or he understands the commonalities of crisis/emergency management and environmental management