Dr. Dean Kyne
Associate Professor of Sociology
SOCI 6331 Disasters and Society, Fall 2019

 

This SOCI 6331 Disasters and Society, which is one of the six required courses in the Disaster Studies MA Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is offered the third time in Fall 2019. It was first offered in Fall 2017 and then in Fall 2018. There are currently 21 students in the class. The UTRGV’s Disaster Studies MA Program is highly regarded as one of the finest graduate degree programs in the nation. For more information, you may visit the program website or email Dr. Dean Kyne, Disaster Studies Program Coordinator.

Course Description and Prerequisites

This course examines the relationship between disasters and society from a sociological perspective. Key themes include preparedness, warning response, mitigation, social vulnerability, long- and short-term recovery, and international hazard management.

Prerequisites: three hours of sociology

Learning Objectives

After taking Disasters & Society, you should be able to demonstrate your sociological understanding of the following topics:

LO 1.   The concepts of hazards, risks, disasters, vulnerability, and resiliency;

LO 2.   Various types of disasters and their impact on society;

LO 3.   The importance of addressing the needs of the populations affected by a disaster;

LO 4.   The key actors in the disaster-management process, including mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; and

LO 5.   Problems associated with preparedness, response, and recovery in short- and long-term disasters in local and international settings.

 Service Learning Objectives

 SLO 1. To hear firsthand experiences from partners in a community recently hit by a disaster (LO3).

SLO 2. To hear firsthand experiences from key stakeholders, including issues, problems and challenges local, county, state, and federal organizations face in managing disasters (LO4, LO2).

SLO 3. To learn how individuals who live in the Rio Grande Valley prepared for Hurricane Harvey (LO5, LO4).

SLO 4. To apply theories and concepts in order to solve the problems, issues, and challenges community partners face in effectively managing hurricane disaster and emergencies (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

SLO 5. To prepare a report that presents experiential learning and sustainable solutions, applying theories and concepts learned in the classroom to problems, issues, and challenges in effective disaster/emergency management. (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5).

 

Week 1 (08/27/2019)
The first day of the class

Welcome to SOCI 6331 Disaster and Society. It was a great pleasure of meeting all my students. I am so happy to see their enthusiasm and excitement to learn this course.

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Week 2 (09/03/2019)

Thank you Fire Chief/ Emergency Management Coordinator Antonio Lopez, EMC, LP, the City of Weslaco who delivered a special talk on managing disaster and emergency on September 3, 2019.

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Week 3 (09/10/2019)

Thank you Communications Director/Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Daniel Ramirez, the City of Pharr for sharing his firsthand experiences in managing disaster and emergency on September 10, 2019.

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Week 4 (09/16/2019)

This week, our guest speaker postponed to another week due to an emergency situation. In addition to our regular study activities, we carried out one additional activity, which was to brainstorm on an outreach project. In that project, we planned to conduct a performance in group to educate our next generations, middle and high school students on importance of individual disaster preparedness. We could not wait to see.

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Week 5 (09/24/2019)

Thank you Chief Doug Fowler, Emergency Coordinator, the City of South Padre Island for sharing his experience in preparing and responding to disaster and emergency in San Antonio and South Padre Island today. Chief Fowler offered internship opportunities to our students at his organization.

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Week 6 (10/01/2019)

Thank you, Assistant Chief Tony Pena, Texas Department of Emergency Management (TEDM), District Coordinator John O'Valle, Region 3 of TEDM, and Ina Chan, Emergency Management Program Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 for sharing your knowledge and expertise with our students on Oct 1, 2019.

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Week 7 (10/08/2019)

Thank you Fire Chief / Emergency Management Coordinator Tommy Ureste, the City of Mercedes who delivered a special lecture in our Disasters and Society class on October 8, 2019. It was great to see an enthusiastic exchange between our guest speaker and my students.

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