Frequently Taught Courses
Dr. Dean Kyne teaches Introduction to Sociology, Disasters and Society, Environmental Sociology, GIS for Disaster Management, and GIS for Social Sciences. The graduate courses, namely Disasters and Society, GIS for Disaster Management, and Environmental Sociology are offered in the Disaster Studies M.A. program.
GIS for Disaster Management
Course Description: A survey of theories and methods from the field of electronic cartography with a special focus on disaster management applications. The course is structured around a variety of methods, including spatial description and modeling, cartographic modeling, overlay functions, and a variety of analysis techniques for planning and assessment.
GIS Skills Development and Service Learning Component
This course is designed for graduate students to comprehend utilization of GIS in the disaster management process. In addition, the course develops students' skills for using ArcGIS software by practicing lab exercises every week. Incorporating a service learning component, the course encourages students to learn application of GIS in county and local level governments. The students conducted research studies on uses of GIS technology in emergency and disaster management in county and city level government offices in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). It is expected that the findings of the studies will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals.
Course Description: Through inevitable change, the natural environment profoundly influences the structure and culture of communities, and, in turn, communities shape surrounding local and global environments in countless ways. Rather than viewing society and the environment as two disconnected realms, the courses encourages students to adopt a broader ecological perspective on community - environment relationships through which to understand global warming, natural disasters, and other changes in the natural environment. Specific topics include the environmental movement, global climate change, natural and technological hazards, health, genetic engineering and food, toxins and environmental waste, and conservation. Throughout the course students will be challenged to think about how the structural, hierarchical, and cultural elements of society shape environmental change.
Service Learning Designation
This course is designed to include a "service learning (SL)" component which is defined as "a thoughtfully organized service experience that addresses a need in the community in a reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship. It integrates a reflective component that relates the service experience to academic course objectives and the student’s learning (UTRGV)." As UTRGV plays a leading role in solving problems that community members face, students are encouraged to learn a real-world environmental problem and creatively propose solutions to the problems during the course.
The City of Edinburg Solid Waste Management was one of the community partners awarded for their work with Dr. Dean Kyne in creating a service-learning project on April 20, 2017. Students in Dr. Kyne's course learned about issues the management officials faced and provided researched sustainable solutions. To learn more about this exciting contribution, review Jennifer L. Berghom's story below.
Disasters and Society
Course Description: The course examines the relationship between disasters and society from a sociological perspective. Key themes involve preparedness, warning response, mitigation, social vulnerability, long- and short-term recovery, and international hazard management.
Learning from Emergency and Disaster Professionals
This course is designed for students to learn theories and knowledge in class as well as learn first-hand information and experiences from heavy duty professionals in the field of disasters and emergency management. There are five disasters and emergency management professionals from federal, county, city, and non-government organizations who are invited to provide a guest lecture in the course.
Introduction to Sociology
Course Description: This course will introduce students to the study of society, focusing on the use and critique of the main sociological theories and techniques used to investigate the human condition. The course will examine social institutions, processes, and practices across a range of social structures, cultures, and historical periods.
Applying Theories and Concepts to Current Social Issues
Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and concepts learned to current issues in society during the class. This provides opportunities to look at society through the sociological lens.