Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date



Cities on Volcanoes 10


Naples, Italy



Abstract/Presentation Excerpt

While several American universities do offer an academic course on the topic of Natural Disasters, it is not common. When such a course does exist, it is typically offered in either science or engineering departments. Given the impact that natural disasters have on human populations and infrastructure, more Social Science programs should consider offering such a course.

In 1998, a 1 unit course entitled, “Human Response to Natural Disasters” was developed and offered through the Psychology Department at Dominican University of California, a small, private, liberal arts institution in northern California. Due to its popularity, the course was subsequently developed into a full 3 unit course entitled “Natural Disasters: Individual and Societal Reactions to Risk” and is taught on a regular rotation as either a psychology elective or as part of a general education requirement. Approximately 250 students have completed the course to date.


Copyright Matthew S. Davis, 2018. All rights reserved.