Emergency Management & Homeland Security Courses

Emh 500 Preparedness and Response (3)
This course examines preparedness and response from a number of practical and theoretically-informed perspectives, across all levels of government and sectors of society. A variety of contexts, contingencies and cases—both domestic and international—will be explored. As part of this course, students will examine preparedness and response from individual, group, community, organizational, political and functional governance perspectives. Students who have earned credit for Emh 400 cannot receive credit for Emh 500.

Emh 501 Mitigation and Recovery (3)
This class is designed to introduce you to disaster mitigation and recovery. Mitigation serves as the cornerstone of emergency management, and both the starting and endpoint of the conceptual emergency management cycle. Recovery, or the process by which a community return to a state of normalcy in the wake of a disturbance, is one of the least studied phases of emergency management, but also one of the fastest growing phases in terms of research. Throughout this semester, we will explore a number of facets related to these two phases, including key concepts and theories, how different units recover and how we measure their recovery, types of mitigation and the importance of different stakeholders in establishing mitigation measures roles and responsibilities in the recovery process, and a number of key issues from the two phases. Students who have earned credit for Emh 401 cannot receive credit for Emh 501.

Emh 502 Risk, Planning, and Continuity (3)
This course examines the multi-disciplinary literature and applied practices associated with the concepts of risk, planning, and continuity from a number of perspectives across organizations and sectors of society.  The notions of risk and risk management will be considered with an emphasis on organizational/societal adaptation to both familiar and novel/unanticipated contingencies across a variety of hypothetical probability/consequence constellations. This will provide a point of departure for considering the role of various forms of planning - and alternative planning modes, doctrines, and paradigms - in efforts to facilitate response to and recovery from disasters and other forms of crises. Pulling together these threads, the course will also explore the evolving field of business/government continuity management which aspires to integrate risk analysis and planning to promote organizational resilience in the face of potentially disruptive events. Students who have earned credit for Emh 402 cannot receive credit for Emh 502.

Emh 503 Governance and Stakeholders in Emergency Management and Homeland Security (3)
This course focuses on the federal, state, and local level government cooperation necessary in the provision of emergency management, as well as the non-government organizations and businesses crucial to collaborative response. Government authorities and roles will be explored, and the origins of the collaborative partnerships presented will be discussed. The course topics will include the National Response Framework, Emergency Management Assistance Compact, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, Emergent Groups, and the various types of cross-sector and intergovernmental collaboration that occurs during disaster management. Students who have earned credit for Emh 403 cannot receive credit for Emh 503.

Emh 505 Crises and Vulnerable Populations (3)
In the course students will learn about vulnerability in terms of social, economic, political, geographical and cultural factors. Students will investigate how vulnerable groups such as children, elderly, racial and ethnic minorities, and low income, are affected and cope before, during and after hazardous events. This course connects the policies, legal, and regulatory advances made due to social vulnerability during disasters. Other topics covered include: whole community approach, national disaster recovery framework, disaster warning responses, evacuation behavior, survival behavior, roles of volunteers, and disaster impacts. Students who have earned credit for Emh 405 cannot receive credit for Emh 505.

Emh 542 Advanced Threat and Hazard Assessment (3)
It is impossible to prevent, mitigate or prepare for harm if one does not adequately understand the sources of that harm. This course will introduce students to the theory, tools and techniques of threat and hazard assessment (THA) in the context of security studies and emergency response. Through both formal instruction and practical exercises, the course will provide a theoretical background to threats and hazards and the distinction between them, as well as situating THA within the larger field of risk management. A selection of specific threat and hazard assessment tools will be presented, and practical projects distributed to students in order to gain experience in the use of these tools. No specific mathematical knowledge beyond high-school level is needed, although students with more advanced quantitative skills will be directed towards additional material for extra credit. Students who have earned credit for Emh 442 cannot receive credit for Emh 542.

Emh 560 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (3)
As suggested by the title, in this course we focus on the phenomena of terrorism, and how societies and governments respond to it. Most modern societies have dealt with political violence targeting civilians in order to change or shape public policy, economic, or social systems, through intimidation. These societies have responded in a host of different ways. Some have responded with draconian security measures, others with negotiation or policies that have increased political participation and representation; some have used diplomacy, some law enforcement, and some their militaries. Terrorism is nothing new in the United States. The US has a long history of dealing with terrorism from the anarchist wave at the turn of the 19th century, waves of revolutionary left-wing and nationalist terrorism in the middle of the 20th century, anti-government and militia-based terrorism in the late 20th century and through today, and a long history of several centuries of terrorism committed by white supremacist organizations, like the Klu Klux Klan.  In the 21st century though, terrorism has come to directly shape society in a way it had not in these previous eras. Students who have earned credit for Emh 460 cannot receive credit for Emh 560.

Emh 561 Homeland Security and Risk (3)
This course examines the relatively new discipline of homeland security, that emerged in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. Due to its post-9/11 founding, homeland security is often mistakenly assumed to be focused solely on counterterrorism efforts. This could not be further from the truth. Homeland security - both the broad national homeland security enterprise and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - focus on many tasks associated with securing the United States, its populace, its infrastructure and its economy from various kinds of malicious actors, and from some catastrophic level natural hazards as well.  Transnational criminal organizations, terrorists, cyber-attackers, human traffickers, and those that would damage or manipulate infrastructure like electrical grids and financial markets, are among the many threat actors that occupy homeland security professionals. Ultimately, the homeland security enterprise is about understanding and regulating the flows of goods, people, organizations, and even bits and bytes (like malicious computer code) into and out of the US homeland. Students who have earned credit for Emh 461 cannot receive credit for Emh 561.

Emh 596 Special Topics in Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security (3)
This course is designed to discuss selected topics related to Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security. Through the lectures, readings and class discussions students will develop a broad understanding of the selected topic. The topics will be selected and announced by the instructor when offered. May be repeated for credit if content varies.

Emh 599 Selected Topics in Emergency Management (3)
Through lectures, readings and class discussions, students will develop an advanced understanding of selected topics. The topics will be selected and announced by the instructor when offered. Students can expect the special topics courses to advance their understanding of the Emergency Management field. Course may be repeated for credit if content varies.

Emh 600 (Ehc 600) Fundamentals of Emergency Management (3)
What is a disaster? What causes disasters? What can be done about them? These are the questions that will be tackled in this course. In this course, students will learn the basics and fundamentals of managing across the life cycle of disasters. Students will explore the fundamentals in how to approach vulnerability assessment, risk reduction, preparedness and response for both natural and man-made disasters. This course will review the history of policy, organizational, and structural issues that have plagued disaster management in the U.S. Students will develop an emergency manager's decision-making tool kit by analyzing the historical development of emergency preparedness, important policies guiding emergency management practice, and key insights about the origins of and responses to disasters.

Emh 609 (Ehc 609) Risk Theory and Management (3)
This is a graduate course in the principles and applications of risk analysis in the context of emergency management. In addition to specialized topics in risk analysis, this course will also discuss topics in economics, statistics, decision science, social science, and other fields related to managing risks, and is designed to provide relevant methodological development grounded on current issues.

Emh 610 (Ehc 610) Fundamentals of Homeland Security (3)
This graduate survey course introduces students to origins, concepts, issues, and contexts for homeland security within the United States. This course will examine the homeland security enterprise's national context, origins, and drivers; its authorities and strategies, current strategic priorities and how they are formulated; resulting policies, resources, programs, and capabilities; and their relationship with interagency and non-federal partners. The course will evaluate these dynamics as they are implemented through the interagency frameworks connecting federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, international, and private sector partners. Topics examined include the origins of homeland security, terrorism and counterterrorism, border and transportation security, critical infrastructure protection, privacy and civil liberties, and emerging threats and challenges.

Emh 640 Research Design for Emergency Management and Homeland Security (3)
This class is designed to introduce you to logic of research design and the major methods used to conduct research in the fields of emergency management and homeland security. Throughout this semester, we will explore a number of the facets of this topic, including the process of research, how to conduct a literature review and develop an addressable research question, data collection and measurement, and a number of the key tools used to conduct social science research. Students will explore the research design process from both qualitative and quantitative points of view, including the data, access, and safety challenges unique to research in emergency management and homeland security contexts. Over the course of the semester, we will work to imbue you with the requisite knowledge to proceed in your subsequent methodological courses and to begin to address the product you are responsible for prior to graduation, be that a thesis or practicum.

Emh 650 Quantitative Methods (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation of understanding in statistics and statistical applications to enable the interpretation and production of statistics in emergency management. The course will cover descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, and regression. The goal is for you to become an informed consumer of both statistics and their applications. As such, the emphasis throughout this course will be on application and interpretation, though discussion of statistical theory and computation are also included. Prior experience or knowledge of statistics or statistical programming is not required. Comfort with algebra, scientific calculator, and Windows-based computer applications is assumed. Prerequisites: Emh 640 or permission of Instructor.

Emh 655 Qualitative Methods (3)
This class provides an overview of qualitative methods with examples drawn from emergency preparedness, homeland security, and cybersecurity. This course will explore a number of facets of this topic, including the nature of qualitative inquiry, ethical concerns associated with qualitative methods, different data collection and analysis techniques, and strategies for writing up qualitative studies. Qualitative methods can be both difficult and rewarding for similar reasons. For most of your careers, you have been taught that reliable and valid research is an objective, disconnected process, uninfluenced by the researcher. This class challenges that notion from the outset, suggesting that this is an illusion created by the researcher, and that our biases matter. Prerequisites: Emh 640 or permission of Instructor.

Emh 659 Professional Analytical Skills (3)
Within a highly dynamic socio-political, technological and environmental context, practitioners in the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness domains - from law enforcement investigators to first responders - are increasingly faced with complicated or novel problems. Where resources are available and there is sufficient time, these problems can be addressed by academic researchers employing the latest analytical methodologies. Yet, when faced with unusual questions in practice and in the field, where time is often of the essence and resources limited, it is often infeasible and rarely necessary for professionals to employ traditional academic research tools to address these questions. At the same time, there is no substitute for cogent thinking and rigorous analysis. There are, fortunately, many analytical skills and approaches that are sufficiently rigorous to yield quick, preliminary findings useful for practitioners, but which are not usually taught in academic programs because they are viewed as too applied or insufficiently robust for published research. This course is designed to equip students with a set of analytical skills and techniques that can supplement traditional research methods and are designed to be useful in practical Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness settings. It is also intended to equip existing practitioners with a set of basic analytical skills that are not dependent on an extensive background in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Prerequisites: Emh 640 or permission of Instructor.

Emh 698 Practicum (3)
The objective of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to observe and apply principles learned in graduate study to help in the development of career opportunities and provide hands-on experience in specific work assignments. The Practicum option requires the student complete a project that provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate how what they have learned in the program can be applied in a professional setting. Projects can include solving a problem facing an emergency services-focused organization (i.e. EM agency, fire department, police department, EMS provider, communications office, nonprofit organization, or other organization as discussed committee chair), developing a training manual, developing and testing standard operating procedures, setting up and testing a public relations program or communications system, or similar project.  Practicums are not intended to conduct original research but rather apply knowledge and skills to a real problem. The student, in conjunction with an advisor, identifies the organization at which the practicum will be conducted.

Emh 699 Master's Thesis (3)
This course is designed to develop the ability to conduct original, independent research in emergency management. Throughout the semester, students will work with their advisors to produce an original piece of scholarship that advances the field of emergency management.