GRAD 5134 Interdisciplinary Study: Principles of Disaster Resilience and Risk Management

Co-taught by Margaret Cowell, Jennifer Irish, Robert Weiss, Yang Zhang, and Christopher Zobel

Class time: Fall 2018: 3:30-6:00 pm - course offered in Blacksburg (1028 Pamplin) and remotely via Zoom.

GRAD 5134 is a three-credit graduate course that utilizes a scenario-based classroom approach to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions on disaster resilience. The course is team-taught by faculty from civil engineering, geosciences, business information technology and urban affairs and planning, and it features a capstone team project to mimic the way interdisciplinary teams collaborate in the real world. Enrolled students will experience problem-focused discussions around central issues utilizing a variety of disciplines involved in disaster risk management.

The course is designed to broaden the specialized training that students receive from their traditional disciplines. Students enrolled in GRAD 5134 will develop an improved understanding of the dynamic interplay between the key social and cultural impacts that social science students recognize and the basic risk analysis skills that those in engineering and hard sciences understand. Students will learn about interdisciplinary approaches to disaster risk management, including the various theoretical underpinnings, and will draw from guest speaker lectures and case histories.

GRAD 5134 is part of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP) in Disaster Resilience and the interdisciplinary graduate program in Disaster Resilience and Risk Management, but it can also be taken by students who are not enrolled in the IGEP program. Please consider enrolling in this course and/or circulating this announcement to other interested parties.

For more information contact: Dr. Christopher Zobel (

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