EMDS faculty are nationally and internationally known for their cutting-edge research on a diverse and complex range of topics related to hazards, disasters, and emergency management. Recent projects, for example, have examined evacuation and return entry processes, long-term community recovery, donations management, tribal preparedness, and improvisation among first responders. Our faculty are widely published and have received significant external funding for their research from various agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. They are also dedicated teachers who have received multiple departmental and university-wide awards for teaching excellence.
The diversity of our faculty is a major strength of EMDS. They have been trained by leading scholars at some of the world’s most highly recognized centers and institutes devoted to advancing our knowledge of hazards and disasters and improving the profession of emergency management. They have earned doctoral degrees in sociology, geography, public affairs, and other disaster-related disciplines. Thus, they bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to both their research and teaching.
Emergency Administration and Planning interacts frequently with numerous entities and organizations both on and off campus. The EADP program is housed in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science and works closely with the College of Health and Public Service. EADP has expanded its ties to other academic programs including geography, sociology, criminal justice and others. EADP has contact with officials in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, and various local emergency management offices.
Besides providing a strong theoretical foundation, the EADP program also emphasizes a practical orientation. For this reason, guest lecturers from the public, private and non-profit sectors are frequently invited to participate in class lectures and discussions. These visiting speakers have provided valuable information pertaining to disaster planning, exercise design and implementation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, grant writing, hospital disaster planning, the American Red Cross, severe weather identification, tornado warning systems, wind engineering, flood plain management, hazard mitigation plans, business continuity planning, emergency operations centers, hazardous materials clean up, airport planning, disaster response and recovery operations, preparedness for terrorism and WMD, etc.
The EADP program requires internships for students without relevant professional work experience. Under the direction of a dedicated internship coordinator, students complete a 240 hour internship with public agencies and departments, or in the private and nonprofit sectors.
Field Trips and Study Abroad
Students enrolled in EADP courses participate in field trips to various emergency management offices including FEMA Region VI headquarters, FEMA’s National Processing Service Center, the Red Cross Chapter in Dallas, the emergency operations center in Fort Worth, and Texas’ emergency operations center in Austin. These trips complement class lectures about theoretical issues, reinforce students’ understanding of emergency management concepts and operations, and provide networking opportunities in the real-world setting of emergency management. In the future, the program will explore the possibility of field trips to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Weather Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. EADP students have also participated in Study Abroad trips to India, Mexico and Turkey.
The EADP program is involved in many conferences with topics ranging from academic debates about current theoretical approaches to practical discussions about ways to improve our efforts to prevent, prepare for, respond to or recover from disaster. Students are strongly encouraged to attend (and in some cases actively participate) in conferences such as Disaster Day Workshops that are hosted by the program and department. Students have likewise attended annual conferences sponsored by FEMA (Higher Education Workshop), professional associations (International Association of Emergency Managers), and state emergency management offices (Texas Division of Emergency Management). These conferences expand the student’s knowledge of emergency management and allow for networking opportunities with practitioners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
EADP students are frequently provided with the opportunity to network with professionals in the field in general and in their desired area of specialization. Guest lectures, field trips, internships and conferences are some of the many events and venues that allow students to interact with emergency managers and others.
EADP students have participated in a wide variety of service learning projects. These range from participating in disaster exercises and the updating of the University of North Texas’ emergency operations plan to actual involvement in disaster response and recovery operations. These service learning opportunities reinforce what is taught in class, provide students with additional experience and credentials, and help communities and other organizations prepare for and respond to disaster events.
EADP alumni take an active role in the program. Many graduates visit EADP classes as guest lecturers while others serve an internship hosts. Additionally, EADP periodically organizes conferences and other events for alumni.