Term Paper Research Topics

  1. Disasters impact some people more than others, and demographic differences within a population often parallel differences in vulnerability and resilience.  Research and write a paper that summarizes the role of two or more of the following variables in influencing/determining individual and community vulnerability and resilience to hazards: Gender, Class, Race/ethnicity, Education, Age.  Be sure to address how these variables shape vulnerability and resilience before (assess, mitigate, prepare) and after (respond and recover) a disaster.  Use examples or case studies to illustrate your points.
  2. Emerging technologies such as crowdsourcing data, smart infrastructure, and disaster resource networks are showing great potential for assisting individuals and governments in emergency preparedness and disaster response.  You are to research recent developments in the use of technology in preparing for and responding to disasters and then write a paper that analyzes and assesses how and in what way emerging technologies stand to make the biggest impact in disaster management.  Avoid summarizing or describing existing technologies used in hazard management.  Rather the focus should be on the form and role of emerging technology (what types, where, and how will technologies make a difference) and not on describing specific technological ventures or innovations (ie a cool new app, a new machine, etc…).  Analysis of the technology should be rooted in the concepts (disaster cycle, PAR model, etc…) discussed in class.
  3. Human behavior shapes individual and community vulnerability to disasters in a number of different ways.  Write a research paper on the psychology and sociology of disasters that discusses the relationship between risk perception, risk assessment, and disaster preparedness and response.  Be sure you explore what influences risk perception and risk tolerances among individuals as well as groups, and how this can result in a more or less vulnerable or resilient population.

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