February 7, 2024

Disaster Research Workshop: Innovating for an Imagined Disaster Future
A Workshop Hosted by the Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware

LOCATION: John M. Clayton Hall Drones, genetic testing, artificially intelligent information assistants, mobile phones, video chats, bionic limbs: at one time, these were things of science fiction. Today, they are part of modern society. As the world emerges from a global pandemic that caused millions of confirmed deaths, froze international travel and the supply chain, and led to (or revealed) political divides on the very nature of the threat, it is clear that planning for the disasters we know is insufficient. While we continue to try to solve the problems of today, the disasters of the future lurk in the distance. As devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic was, it is not difficult to imagine how it might have been much worse. Imagining those future disasters, and suggesting innovative paths forward, is paramount for disaster science.

In honor of the 60th anniversary of its founding, the Disaster Research Center will host an international workshop. “Disaster Research Workshop: Innovating for an Imagined Disaster Future”.

As the Disaster Research Center celebrates its 60th anniversary, we call on the community to join us in May, 2024 in Newark, Delaware. May 2nd will include a graduate student workshop, and a researcher-in-residence program. Friday and Saturday will include two full days of a range of workshop activities. An optional field trip will also be available on May 5th.

A detailed schedule of events and registration information will be forthcoming.

We seek workshop submissions that re-orient our studies of disasters in directions that take bold gambles. The purpose of this workshop is to provide a venue for scholars to gather and think of new theories, directions, methods, and departures. We will continue to consider submissions until March 1st, although we encourage submissions by February 15th for full consideration.

Visit the Workshop Information page. READ MORE

August 18, 2023

This N.J. Town Erected Barriers to Hold Back the Sea. A Public Fight Erupted.
The fray between North Wildwood, N.J., and state regulators over how to combat erosion offers a glimpse into the sort of conflicts likely to unfold more often in the age of climate change.

NORTH WILDWOOD, N.J. — From atop the local lifeguard headquarters, Mayor Patrick Rosenello looks out over the shrinking shoreline of his hometown.

To the north, past the kaleidoscope of umbrellas that dot the beach, he can see the massive bulkheads the city has installed to hold back the encroaching sea — the same ones at the heart of an ongoing fight with the state, which has sued North Wildwood and fined it more than $8.5 million for that and other work it says was unauthorized, misguided and destructive.


August 4, 2023

Friday Fellow Feature: Tykeara Mims
Our featured fellow for August is TyKeara Mims, a DrPH student studying Epidemiology at Texas A&M University

Our featured fellow for August is TyKeara Mims, a DrPH student studying Epidemiology at Texas A&M University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Education (epidemiology minor) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.


August 3, 2023

UD Welcomes CHEER Hub Students
National Science Foundation grant helps first cohort of students to research tensions and tradeoffs in disaster preparedness.

If you follow the news, you’ve probably read headlines over the last year about hot housing markets, where limited supply and rising demand results in higher prices. You may also be aware that overpaying for a house can leave your pockets feeling empty.

It’s less likely that you’ve considered how hurricane and flooding risks affect the housing market, but that is just what Nyla Howell, a geography and environmental studies major at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, focused on this summer.


September 20, 2022

Coastal Community Resilience
UD’s Disaster Research Center awarded $16.5 million to study interplay between resilience, equity and economic prosperity

The Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware has been awarded $16.5 million from the National Science Foundation to lead a multi-institutional effort exploring the tension and tradeoffs between a community’s goals of managing hurricane risk while also achieving equity and economic prosperity.

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.

The work will require intense input from public policy, sociology, meteorology, engineering and other disciplines.

“The Disaster Research Center at UD has a long and successful track record of interdisciplinary research, analysis and problem-solving focused on some of society’s most complex challenges, so it is fitting that they will lead this latest effort,” UD President Dennis Assanis said. “Through collaboration with institutions nationwide, the CHEER hub will help make coastal communities more resilient in the face of growing threats from climate change.”

The five-year project will be led by Rachel Davidson, a core DRC faculty member and UD professor of civil and environmental engineering. Co-principal investigators include Sarah DeYoung, core DRC faculty member and associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at UD; Linda Nozick, professor and director of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University; Brian Colle, professor and division head of atmospheric sciences at Stony Brook University; and Meghan Millea, professor of economics at East Carolina University.


July 5, 2022

Sharing Essential Messages

In these days of disinformation, misinformation and twisted words, how does anyone get an essential message out to the public in times of danger and crisis?

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) turned to the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center for help with this question. The DRC has decades of experience in all areas of disaster research.

The partnership has produced the third in a growing collection of research-backed tools designed to help emergency management professionals and others make smart decisions as they address a variety of crises. This one focuses on risk communication during a public health crisis.


July 21, 2021

Helping our dogs
As workers move back into the office, dogs are left alone and anxious, but there are ways to ease the transition

When the coronavirus pandemic upended the United States, among other nations, a silver lining emerged: America’s dogs were really, really happy.

Seeking connection during an isolating time, people rescued so many homeless mutts, shelters began running out. With their guardians homebound, these pooches experienced regular snuggling, belly rubbing and behind-the-ear scratching.


August 28, 2020

Lessons from Katrina
New book details the recovery and provides lessons for current hurricane season

Jennifer Trivedi prepares for the release of her new book, Mississippi after Katrina: Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction on the Gulf Coast. The book, which centers on Biloxi, was years in the making — she spent six weeks there in 2006 and another 11 months there in 2010-2011, around the fifth anniversary, with extra trips sprinkled in.



May 29, 2015

Research in Nepal
University’s Disaster Research Center team travels to earthquake site

University’s Disaster Research Center team travels to earthquake site.


May 11, 2015

Engineering in context
McNeil elected distinguished member of American Society of Civil Engineers

McNeil elected distinguished member of American Society of Civil Engineers.


May 14, 2014

Center’s anniversary conference marks 50 years of pioneering work

The University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center marked its 50 years of operation with a conference that included many pioneers in the field and celebrated groundbreaking work in which researchers have conducted some 700 field studies.