The increasing number and impact of environmental disasters highlight the important role that the concepts of risk and resilience play both for our citizenry and for those who will prepare for and respond to disasters in the future. To minimize the impact of these threats upon our civilization requires a wise course informed by knowledge of all aspects of the human and natural systems involved. Focusing on case studies of earthquake hazards, coastal hazards, and flooding, this workshop will explore

  • how concepts of risk and resilience can be used to frame teaching about environmental disasters in a wide variety of disciplines
  • the foundational knowledge needed by students across the disciplines to understand disaster mitigation, preparation and response from multiple disciplinary perspectives
  • strategies for developing students capacity for working on teams addressing complex interdisciplinary problems
  • ways to strengthen connections between teaching about the different aspects of environmental hazards, mitigation and response.
  • how partnerships among academia, civil society, and the business community will enhance both student learning and community preparedness

The workshop will feature interactions and discussions among those who are currently engaged in addressing environmental disasters through risk management and development of resiliency and those who teach about these topics within different disciplines and programmatic frameworks. We will use plenary talks, panel presentations, pre-workshop readings, and sharing of examples via the workshop website to become familiar with risk and resilience in three real world cases and with its treatment in academic settings. Through discussion and collaborative work we will explore the topics above and create on-line resources to support more effective teaching in these areas. Participants will be encouraged to submit proposals for the development of new InTeGrate teaching materials based on the knowledge gained at the workshop.


The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Understand how we are currently preparing students to understand the multiple facets of risk and resiliency in the face of natural hazards
  • Work with case studies to identify ways of strengthening teaching about risk and resiliency
  • Create an interdisciplinary community that can work collaboratively on teaching materials and other projects in this area
  • Compile teaching activities, real world examples, and a synthesis of workshop findings for publication on the project website


The workshop begins on Wednesday afternoon, May 14, 2014 at 5 PM and ends at 2 PM on Friday, May 16, 2014. Participants must attend all sessions including the final synthesis.


All workshop participants are expected to:

  • Prepare in advance for the workshop via readings, writings, discussion or other activities developed by workshop leaders.
  • In advance of the workshop, submit a description of either a course or an activity that you have used to develop student understanding of risk and resiliency in the face of natural disasters. Submissions of courses and activities will be featured in a web-based collection.
  • In advance of the workshop, submit a 1 page description of a real-world example that you use in your teaching about risk, resiliency and natural disasters.
  • Participate fully in the entire workshop.

Application Process and Selection Criteria

This workshop is designed for college faculty who are teaching about risk and resiliency in the face of natural disasters. Applications are welcomed from all disciplines and all institution types.

In selecting participants from among the applicant pool, we will seek a diverse set of participants, including representation from a variety of specialties and institution types. Preference will be given to applicants with experience and expertise in teaching about risk, resiliency and natural disasters, as well as to applicants interested in strengthening their own teaching. Preference will also be given to U.S. faculty.

The application deadline was Sunday, March 9. Accepted applicants will be notified by March 14. Prior to the workshop, accepted applicants will be asked to fill out a registration form to confirm their attendance and to communicate their travel arrangements.


There is no fee to attend this workshop, and the project grant (NSF DUE - 112533) covers participant lodging, meals and supplies during the workshop. Participants or their institutions are expected to cover the cost of travel to and from the workshop. Workshop stipends are available to help defray travel expenses in cases of financial need. Stipends are available for airfare only. The deadline to apply for travel stipends is March 1, 2014. Late applications will not be considered.


The workshop will be held at the Florida Atlantic University ( This site may be offline. ) in Boca Raton, FL. Housing will provided as shared dormitory rooms and meals will be provided on campus and in local restaurants.

For More Information

Contact David Blockstein (david@cedd.org), Leonard Berry (berry@fau.edu), Mantha Mehallis (mehallis@fau.edu) or , Cathy Manduca (cmanduca@carleton.edu).