Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy
Tulane University #8906
127 Elk Place
New Orleans, La 70112
Director: Reggie Ferreira, PhD
Program Manager: Tona Zwanziger, MS, LMSW
Phone: (504) 247-1453
The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) is dedicated to the systematic strengthening of global humanitarian leadership, a process that integrates education, research, and application – to achieve increased resilience in communities and individuals impacted by natural and manmade disasters. Such leadership is guided by the ethics of the Triple Bottom Line: Equity, Environment, and Economy.
The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy is part of the Tulane School of Social Work. The DRLA's mission of strengthening leadership in communities to address root causes of vulnerability, such as chronic poverty and social inequality, is supported by the School of Social Work's dedication to teaching students about human diversity and the importance of promoting social and environmental justice.
Although there are many graduate programs that focus on disaster and risk management, none of them specifically target the role and development of leadership and resilience in producing effective programs or outcomes, making the DRL Academic Program the first with such a dynamic and innovative focus.
The Disaster Resilience Leadership Science (DRLS) Graduate Degree Program is a broad-based, integrative, and evidence-based graduate program that addresses relationships among the physical environment, the built environment, the social, economic, and political institutions and processes that characterize communities that are vulnerable to disasters. The program applies the knowledge of the context of disasters to leadership that leads to more resilient and sustainable post-disaster communities. The purpose of the DRL Graduate Program is to prepare students for professional careers in: (a) communities that are affected by and vulnerable to disaster destruction and disruption; (b) organizations that focus on all phases of disaster management (preparedness, response, recovery, and risk reduction); and, (c) leadership and upper level management positions within organizations and communities that require strong leadership for the promotion of an increased level of resilience.
DRLA has rolling enrollment. The Graduate Program in Disaster Resilience Leadership equips students with an interdisciplinary view of the challenges and best practice approaches to leadership in the disaster resilience and humanitarian aid fields to prepares them for careers in:
- emergency preparedness
- disaster management
- monitoring and evaluation
- nonprofit leadership
- grass-root development
- disaster risk and recovery
Disaster Resilience Leadership Science (DRLS)
DRLS 6010 Human and Social Factors (3 Credit Hours)
Outline terminology relevant to the field of disaster resilience leadership (DRL) as it pertains to human and social factors; Understand and apply relevant global, national and state policies and legislation in the field of disaster resilience; Discuss critically the ethical considerations in disaster work (social justice, human dignity, anti-oppressive); Describe, explain and apply human and social theories for DRL (Eco-systemic; structural functionalism, social capital, conservation of resources and progression of vulnerability); Discuss critically the disaster recovery process of the individual exposed to disasters as a life event from a multi-dimensional approach; Evaluate the dynamics within the family/household affected by disasters and disaster recovery; Define and outline building disaster-resilient communities; Outline and explain the role of the media and social media in DRL; Plan intervention programs within the context of the disaster management cycle; Plan disaster-related crisis and stress management programs that promote resilience; Identify the psychosocial needs of specific populations (vulnerable populations, e.g. children, the aged, animal owners, people with disabilities, poorest of the poor, HIV/AIDS, etc.); Understand and explain disaster research.
DRLS 6015 Disaster Displace & Resilience (3 Credit Hours)
Course will provide future disaster resilience leaders with a humanistic framework for understanding the cultural dynamics of forced migration and its connection to contemporary processes of global social transformation, the proliferation of transnational communities, and emergent conceptual spaces of identity formation during exile.
DRLS 6016 Vulnerable Populations (3 Credit Hours)
The Vulnerable Populations course will provide future disaster resilience leaders with a fundamental understanding of the social constructions of human vulnerability to disasters, conceptualizing populations at risk in a disaster framework and review of best practices in vulnerability reduction through capacity-building. The course offers a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exploration of culturally sensitive strategies responsive to the needs of vulnerable populations, a comprehensive approach to engaging communities through the use of vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA), and the social, political, economic, and cultural inequalities that represent intersecting vulnerabilities. The study of vulnerable populations will incorporate a humanistic perspective, investigating the role of cultural competence and the need for a participatory multi-stakeholder approach in community-based disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
DRLS 6017 Gender and Disaster Risk Red (3 Credit Hours)
This course examines the critical role that women play in strengthening community resilience to multiple disasters, the importance of women's knowledge and experience in the formulation of comprehensive adaptive strategies, and the need for their inclusion in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development planning. The course offers a cross-cultural exploration of the unique needs of women throughout the complete life-cycle of a disaster event and the advantages gained from female participation in disaster preparedness and response. The interdisciplinary study of disasters and their effects on women will investigate gender-bias in disaster practices, the cultural and organizational vulnerability of women, familial disruption and hazard perception, post-disaster domestic and sexual violence against women, and the plight of female refugees.
DRLS 6020 Disaster Operations (3 Credit Hours)
Disaster Operations is an advanced professional level examination of modern emergency management concepts, national and international trends, practical and political issues and policies, technological applications to emergency management, and the development and practical implementation of sound emergency management practices designed to protect people, communities, critical infrastructure and key assets. Included will be a brief review of the history of emergency management, legal issues, social science perspectives, planning concepts and techniques, disaster modeling, operational problems, analytical methods, special populations, and management styles. Case studies will be examined and discussed to determine the extent of effective or ineffective planning, responding, and recovering from natural and technological disasters.
DRLS 6021 Disaster & Human Assist SOP (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6022 Catastrophic Crises (1-3 Credit Hours)
This course will review events so dramatic and catastrophic that they leave evidence in the geologic record and can threaten life on Earth. Included will be violent volcanic eruptions, mega-earthquakes and the tsunami arising from them, rapid climatic changes and associated storms, and impacts from asteroids and comets.
DRLS 6023 Emerging Trends Res & Recovery (1 Credit Hour)
This course will review the most recent trends in resilience and recovery efforts as it relates to natural disasters and catastrophic events.
DRLS 6024 Faciliting Change Non-Profit (1 Credit Hour)
DRLS 6030 Leadership Analytics (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6031 Crisis Informatics & Analytics (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6032 Quantitative Analysis in D. R. (3 Credit Hours)
Introduces students to quantitative data principles, methods, and applications relevant to disaster resilience practice and research. It emphasizes the practical application of data to assess quality of evidence and contribute to knowledge through systematic inquiry, including comprehension of data collection and research methods relevant to disaster resilience data creation. Understanding the scope and application of data in disasters is stressed. Methods in statistics and epidemiology are foundational. The one-credit lab section builds on the lecture, introducing skills in computation for data processing and interpretation.
DRLS 6033 Quantitative Analysis D.R. Lab (1 Credit Hour)
DRLS 6035 Leadership Amidst Crisis (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6040 Environment and Infrastructure (3 Credit Hours)
To understand and evaluate: the risks that natural and technological disasters pose to the human environment, the ways that land use, resource use, and environmental policy affect the risks posed by natural and technological disasters, the ways in which the natural environment functions as a “public good,” providing a range of “services”—including protection from disaster-based harms—for human and non-human populations, the ways in which the built environment functions as a “public good,” providing a range of “services”—including protection from disaster-based harms—for human and non-human populations, the ways that climate change impacts affect disaster risk and how actors in the public and private sectors are seeking to reduce climate-change-based risks; To understand in general terms the history of the environmental movement, the development of modern environmental policy, and the development of modern disaster risk-reduction policy in the United States, how social vulnerability (based on factors related to wealth, race, age, sex, disability, education level, etc.) affects a community’s disaster risk in an environmental setting, and the ways that actors in the public and private sectors are addressing or might address the special risks posed by social vulnerability.
DRLS 6042 Integrating Climate Change (3 Credit Hours)
The course is an advanced professional-level examination of the fields of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and ongoing efforts both domestically and internationally to integrate these two hazard mitigation efforts. Class presentations and discussions will examine the various issues relevant to the design and implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction plans and actions including costs, benefits, legal issues, impact on development, environmental links and concerns, as well as governance issues.
DRLS 6050 Public Leadership Practice (3 Credit Hours)
This course offers a critical and reflective exploration of public leadership practices at play in communities that social researchers and practitioners encounter, and how to enhance and support these as co-leaders working with people rather than experts prescribing to, or analyzing, people. Working with communities can present critical challenges that can have an impact on leadership resilience. This course examines the interactions of academic, organizational, and community leaders through a critical and reflective exploration of public leadership practices at play in communities that social researchers and practitioners encounter, and how to enhance and support these as co-leaders working with people rather than experts prescribing to, or analyzing, people. The course combines academic, professional, and applied perspectives to create a critical lens through which students can become better prepared to enter AND ENGAGE WITH THE community IN PARTNERSHIP TO STRENGTHEN RESILIENCE. Students will connect theory to practice through a combination of academic readings, applied training sessions, and community-based participation and observation.
DRLS 6051 Special Topics (1 Credit Hour)
Topics will vary.
DRLS 6060 Disasters and Social Justice (2 Credit Hours)
"The course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of the ways in which disasters disproportionately affect different communities across the US and internationally. Why are some individuals or communities more vulnerable than others? The course will use the feminist sociological theory of “intersectionality” an underlying theory and mode of looking at the multiple identifies that affect one’s ability to prepare, respond or recover from disasters. We will look at what role issues of race, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, class, age, dis/ability, sexual orientation and other social categories play in disaster resilience and management. The overall objective of this course is to gain a holistic understanding of the unnatural phenomenon of environmental disasters, including the social construction of disasters, environmental justice, disaster capitalism, normalization of deviance, Black Swan theory, individual blame logic and contaminated communities. Case studies - of local, national and international disasters - will be used to illustrate the principles involved. The course will combine theory with practical approaches to the issue, drawing on resources from different disciplines with a particular focus on the fields of sociology, social work, environmental and social justice, disaster management, community psychology, health, cross-cultural studies and urban planning. "
DRLS 6070 Program Dev & Grant Management (3 Credit Hours)
This course will provide future disaster resilience leaders with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a competitive grant proposal to secure external funding from government agencies, corporations, and private foundations. Understanding the fundamental components of a grant proposal, as well as gaining familiarity with the current funding environment, and managing a successful program grant to completion will be examined. The course presents a brief overview of philanthropy while identifying potential funders, exploring how the generic structure of proposals varies according to sociocultural and institutional settings and understanding the linkages between proposal development and program implementation.
DRLS 6110 Rsh and Eval Crisis - Disaster (3 Credit Hours)
Evaluation is the key organizational tool for both accountability to affected people and those providing the funding as well as learning from individual responses to improve performance. This is a practical skills based course that will build a student’s capacity to conduct, manage, and use the results of evaluations (impacts and process evaluation methods) in emergency response and humanitarian action.
DRLS 6120 Support Children in Adversity (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6220 Wellbeing Measurement (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6310 Leadership Eval & Consulting (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6320 Gender Sensitive Programming (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6330 Program Development & Grants (3-4 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6710 Summer Instit: Special Topics (3 Credit Hours)
"Washington DC: Why does the response to some disasters succeed while others fail? What disaster recovery practices result in rebuilding a more resilient community? What are the attributes of an effective disaster operations capability? What are the legal and statutory challenges encountered in response and recovery operations? How is disaster policy developed and implemented? How do I get a job with organizations working in domestic or humanitarian disasters? This course will seek to answer these and other questions concerning disaster operations and policy development in the United States and around the world through a series of panel discussions with disaster policy makers and managers from government agencies, domestic and international NGOs, voluntary organizations, donors, and the business community. Taking full advantage of being in Washington, DC, panelists from FEMA/DHS, the American Red Cross, the US Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations, the Department of Health and Human Services, Save the Children, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), Resilience AmeriCorps, the World Bank, contractors, and others will be invited to discuss how they develop the policies and programs that drive their disaster response, recovery and resiliency efforts and job opportunities with their organizations. Potential Panel Topics: Voluntary agencies; INGOs; Local emergency management agencies; FEMA and other Federal agencies; State emergency management agencies; Federal humanitarian agencies; United Nations agencies; Public Health agencies; Donors and International Financial Institutions. "
DRLS 6720 Summer Instit: Special Topics (3 Credit Hours)
Topics will vary.
DRLS 6730 Summer Instit: Special Topics (1-3 Credit Hours)
Topics will vary.
DRLS 6740 Summer Instit: Special Topics (3 Credit Hours)
Topics will vary.
DRLS 6910 Special Topics (1-3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6911 Special Topics (1-3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 6940 Transfer Credit (1-12 Credit Hours)
DRLS 7000 Leadership (3 Credit Hours)
This course will dive into recent disasters as the backdrop to explore how theories of leadership ring true or are challenged in practice. Students will be invited to recognize that leaders in the disaster space must be students of people - their needs, motivations, and expectations. Students will have the opportunity to hear from a number of seasoned leaders who will speak to experiences navigating policy, power dynamics and personalities. The course will conclude with the opportunity for students to identify traits and behaviors of leaders to be emulated and to craft those into a personal development roadmap for use in their careers as leaders in the disaster space.
DRLS 7010 Sustainability and Resilience (3 Credit Hours)
DRLS 7020 Disaster Recovery & Resilience (3 Credit Hours)
The purpose of the course is to focus on the short and long-term reality of the environmental disaster facing the South Louisiana Coastal in the physical area between the mouth of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya basin outlet. Using the tools of implementation science we will collectively segment and organize evidence to understand and chart a path to resilience for the different local populations directly impacted. Multiple pedagogical approaches including lectures, field trips, readings, interviews with local residents and outside speakers will be utilized to render the scope of the experience as inclusive as possible. The course focuses on building analytical skills and methodological tools for understanding and increasing the rate of implementation of resilience strategies for effected communities. Specific skills of implementation science will be taught which when combined with contextual knowledge of the training site will lead to the competency of being able to execute and prepare and implement a plan for assisting communities in becoming rapidly more prepared and more resilient to environmental threats. The subject will be the long term disaster of coastal degradation and global warming on the Louisiana gulf coast.
DRLS 7830 Independent Study (0-3 Credit Hours)
Independent Study courses gives graduate students an opportunity to work with a faculty advisor to pursue a personal academic interest with greater focus. Qualified students must develop a syllabus and schedule with the faculty advisor to be approved by the program directors prior to registration.
DRLS 7940 Transfer Credit-Grad (3 Credit Hours)