Mission Statement

Our mission is to advance and communicate knowledge on hazards mitigation and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Using an all-hazards and interdisciplinary framework, the Center fosters information sharing and integration of activities among researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from around the world; supports and conducts research; and provides educational opportunities for the next generation of hazards scholars and professionals.

Our History and Mission

Since 1976, the Natural Hazards Center has served as a national and international clearinghouse of knowledge concerning the social science and policy aspects of disasters. The Center collects and shares research and experience related to preparedness for, response to, recovery from, and mitigation of disasters, emphasizing the link between hazards mitigation and sustainability to both producers and users of research and knowledge on extreme events.

A basic goal of the Center is to strengthen communication among researchers and the individuals, organizations, and agencies concerned with reducing damages caused by disasters. More than a quarter century of cultivating discourse among these groups has placed the Natural Hazards Center center-stage in both the national and global hazards communities.

The Center is funded by a consortium of federal agencies (Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Forest Service) and the Public Entity Risk Institute.

The Center is guided by a National Advisory Committee comprised of representatives of federal agencies that have an interest in hazards as well as stakeholders from academia, state and local government, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations. The Center has always promoted an all-hazards approach for dealing with environmental extremes and has been a leading proponent of cooperative partnerships among varying disciplines.

The Center carries out its mission through the following activities:

  • Publishing the bimonthly newsletter, the Natural Hazards Observer, and the electronic biweekly newsletter, Disaster Research;
  • Maintaining a Web site of updated information on upcoming conferences and links to publications, organizations, and other internet resources for hazards research and practice;
  • Maintaining one of the largest library collections in the world of social science literature focused on natural hazards and extreme events, as well as our searchable online database, HazLit;
  • Hosting the annual invitation-only Hazards Research and Applications Workshop;
  • Participating in separately funded multidisciplinary research initiatives that are consistent with the Center's mission and provide hands-on research training to graduate students;
  • Publishing books, reports, and papers on hazards research and emergency management practices available for free on our Web site;
  • Administering the Quick Response Program, which provides funds for researchers to travel to the site of a disaster soon after it occurs to gain valuable information concerning immediate impact and response;
  • Cosponsoring the publication of the Natural Hazards Review with the American Society of Civil Engineers; and
  • Moderating the Disaster Grads listserv to bring graduate students interested in hazards together in an online forum.

Material in this Web site is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0408499. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.