Jul 15, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Disaster Risk Reduction Minor

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Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment

21-22 credits


The College of the Environment’s Disaster Risk Reduction Minor is designed to introduce the student to natural hazards and their impacts on society. It explores the social causes of disasters using an environmental justice lens. Students learn strategies for mitigating impact, reducing causes of risk, and developing just and resilient communities. All students at Western may apply for admittance through the Department of Environmental Studies office at any time.

Why Consider a Disaster Risk Reduction Minor?

Do you wonder why disasters are on the rise and how we can reduce their impacts? Do you wonder what you can do to support frontline communities facing climate change, sea level rise, increasingly intense hurricanes, and the ongoing threat of flooding, earthquakes, and other hazards?

In the Disaster Risk Reduction Minor, you will explore how our social policies and practices can result in disproportionate impacts from technological and natural hazards. You will analyze how social vulnerability and injustice create disasters. You will also learn how to use policy, planning, advocacy, and engagement strategies to reduce disaster risk and build community resilience. Graduates with this emphasis often go on to work in emergency management or natural hazards planning. Some go on to graduate studies in social science, disaster studies, public administration, or international development.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Rebekah Paci-Green
Arntzen Hall 206

College of the Environment
Professional Advisor

Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

 Sample Careers

Careers in emergency management | Careers in federal, tribal, and state emergency management agencies | Careers in international non-governmental organizations in humanitarian aid and international development | Bring justice and resilience concepts to a range of other environmental sector careers | Preparatory studies for graduate work in social science, emergency management, disaster studies, public administration and international development

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

At any time, you can apply to the Disaster Risk Reduction Minor. Download an application from at cenv.wwu.edu/undergraduate-student-forms or pick one up from Dr. Rebekah Paci-Green or a College of the Environment professional advisor. The application will ask you for a WWU transcript, a WWU transfer equivalency report (if applicable), and a 300-word essay explaining how the minor would enhance the your major studies and career goals. Email your application materials to Rebekah Paci-Green at greenr21@wwu.edu or drop it off at the Environment Studies Department office in AH 217.

Admission to the minor is competitive and space is limited. Applications accepted at any time.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for all students’ minor courses.

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