Workshop on Disaster Research: Innovating for an Imagined Disaster Future

In honor of the 60th anniversary of its founding, the Disaster Research Center will host an international workshop. Submit an idea for an activity, film screening, presentation, or panel, or simply plan to join us for an engaging weekend of thought-provoking discussions about the hazards and disasters on the horizon.

UD's Disaster Research Center awarded $16.5 million

The UD-led hub — Coastal Hazards, Equity, Economic prosperity and Resilience (CHEER) — is one of five NSF-funded projects announced recently as part of the agency’s Coastlines and People program, which is infusing $51 million in research funding to protect the natural, social and economic resources of U.S. coasts, and to help create more resilient coastal communities.

DRC Around the World

DRC researchers have conducted over 700 field studies, including quick response studies and field deployments, since the center’s inception. These deployments include traveling to communities throughout the United States and abroad and include studies on a broad range of disasters.

From Delaware to Nepal

Much of what is known about disasters is learned in the immediate period following the disaster impact. For six decades, DRC has led the way in its approach to conducting quick response field work. Our team is on the frontlines helping us understand and assess how policies, infrastructure and response activities affect a communities, states, or regions.

A Hidden Gem located on the Newark campus

Centrally located on the University of Delaware’s main campus in Newark, the Disaster Research Center (DRC) is a member of UD’s vibrant network of research institutes and centers that advance research and discovery at UD. DRC is housed at 166 Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street and is easily accessible.

UD Logo

The Disaster Research Center (DRC) was established in 1963 and relocated to the University of Delaware, a nationally ranked research institution, in 1985. DRC is one of over 80 research institutes and centers housed at UD and was the first in the world devoted to the social scientific study of disasters.

What we do

The Disaster Research Center (DRC) is committed to advancing the state of the art in disaster research and its scientifically guided practice; educating the next generation of disaster science scholars and informed practitioners in the fields of disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and creating, gathering, and disseminating disaster knowledge in a dynamic and responsive way.

Our Research Projects

DRC researchers focus on a broad range of disaster-related topics. These include impacts of natural or human-induced hazards, epidemics, and challenges associated with climate change. Delve into our portfolio of current and recently-completed projects.


This educational initiative makes academic research more accessible. Our products provide scientifically-informed guidance for practitioners, media outlets, and disaster science scholars in multiple formats. Discover our latest topics.

Quarantelli Collection

The E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection is the world’s leading collection of disaster-related material. Composed of archival holdings, published material and artifacts, the collection is open to scholars and others interested in disaster-related topics.


 DRC staff comprises experienced professionals dedicated to serving our diverse constituents in public service, education, and research. We welcome inquiries about collaboration, visits, and archival research, and look forward to working with you!

Disaster Research Center

Supporting disaster research across UD and abroad

The Disaster Research Center has been involved in more than 700 field studies, with more than 1,000 trips to sites around the world. And it all starts here.

World Trade Center terrorist attack

Research News & Events

DRC News and Events highlights the innovative work spearheaded by our Center’s faculty, students, and staff. Here you can learn about our latest research and how our team is advancing knowledge about some of the most complex questions of our time. Read more!

DRC around the world

DRC Around the World

Discover the wide range of field studies that DRC researchers have conducted in the United States and internationally. Using our interactive map, explore 60 years of studies on disasters associated with natural and technological hazards and civil disturbances. Learn more here.

World Trade Center terrorist attack

DRC in the Media

DRC researchers are renowned for their expertise on the many ways disasters intersect the social, natural, and built environment. These experts offer insight into breaking news and have been cited in major global publications. Learn what our expert have to say.

Tricia Wachtendorf and James Kendra 2022

Leading the Way

The Disaster Research Center (DRC) is led by Directors Jim Kendra, professor, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, and Tricia Wachtendorf, professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. DRC’s more than forty faculty, professional staff, and students are deeply committed to making  scientific advances that improve the lives of people threatened by disaster. Through deep integration of interdisciplinary perspectives, the DRC team prioritizes work that places urgent social problems at the forefront, while drawing on a vast array of theories, methods, and approaches to address them. 

Contact Us

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