The John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies’ Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD) and the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS) have collaboratively established an innovative Emergency and Disaster Management certificate program which builds upon the Professional Development Series (PDS) offered by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The new certificate program is intended for those who wish to enhance their knowledge of emergency management practices in the United States with an understanding of contemporaneous disaster situations globally as well as how to prepare and respond to them. The FEMA component addresses U.S. emergencies while the UMass Boston courses focus on global disasters within the context of national security, prosperity, and environmental challenges. It introduces a forward-thinking approach to disaster planning and recovery.
As natural and human-made disasters escalate worldwide, there is an increasing need for professionals who have the requisite skills in community-based disaster risk management and disaster resilience. For example, Asia was hit by a total of 160 disaster events in 2016 while North America was devastated by Hurricane Matthew, the winter storm Jonas, California’s fierce wildfires, and Louisiana’s momentous flooding. Other global natural disasters included the massive earthquakes that struck Italy, Myanmar, New Zealand's South Island and Indonesia. Indeed, the German reinsurance firm Munich RE reported that the total damage caused by natural catastrophes in 2016 amounted to $175 billion. Catastrophic armed conflicts worldwide include those in the Middle East (which have resulted in a major migrant and refugee crises), the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, South Sudan, Afghanistan, the Lake Chad basin, Libya, and Burundi, among others.
Graduates of this program will be prepared for careers in relevant disaster relief agencies, government agencies, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations, multilateral agencies, and other similar bodies.
The program begins in the spring 2017 semester.
The Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters, an affiliate of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, is the only institution of its kind dedicated to raising awareness and possessing the expertise necessary for long-term sustainable reconstruction. Center associates engage in multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and cross-disciplinary research activities and provide expert advice and training to communities which have been devastated by disasters. Also, through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies, CRSCAD offers several academic programs on post-disaster studies and emergency management.