Natural Hazards Center

457 Words2 Pages
The Natural Hazards Center (NHC), in the Institute of Behavioral Science, at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was established in 1973 to enhance and contribute to the knowledge base of the then young, academic field of disaster research and to help reduce the destruction caused by disasters. The NHC has contributed decades of continuous service to communities, and to all levels of government, by sharing information from its “all-hazards approach for dealing with environmental extremes” and promoting cooperative and “integrated activities among researchers, practitioners and policy makers from around the world” (NHC, 2011). The Center receives it’s funding primarily from United States Federal level agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others. NHC is guided by a National Advisory Committee with committee members representing federal agencies and from members of local and state governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and the private sector (NHC, 2011). To accomplish its mission the NHC publishes books, papers and reports on disaster research and emergency management (EM), as well has maintaining one of the largest collections of literature regarding natural hazards. The Center also publishes a monthly newsletter, Natural Hazards Observer, and a biweekly e-newsletter, Disaster Research. In fact, the NHC has a very visible Internet presence and maintains a searchable online database, HazLit. From their website many publications are available including Quick Response Reports (from a field research program going back to 1986), Research Digest Articles, which are abstracts of articles available in the NHC Library categorized into 24 topic areas, and numerous links to other publications. Visitors can also purchase copies of NHC publications off the website (NHC, 2011). Another core program at the NHC is research. The Center engages students in research activities to give them hands-on training in disaster and social science research and allows them to participation the multidisciplinary projects undertaken by the renown staff. Kathleen Tierney, NHC Director, and Dennis S. Mileti, Senior Research Scientist, are at the helm of the Center and both have published extensively on various aspects of disaster management prior to, and during their tenure at NHC. Both have also been the lead authors of books published by the National Academy Press, funded by the National Science Foundation, which addressed “assessment of research on natural hazards” (Mileti, 1999).
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