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Georgetown, Livermore Create New Disaster Management Degree

Livermore Lab  “The strength of this program is the combination of LLNL’s national security science and technology expertise and Georgetown University’s commitment to educate students to work in service of others,” said Nancy Suski, deputy program director LLNL's Office of Strategic Outcomes and EDM executive director. Photo of Livermore researchers using equipment courtesy of LLNL.

November 27, 2012 – The School of Continuing Studies and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have joined forces to create a new executive master’s program in emergency and disaster management (EDM).

The one-year program, set to launch in fall 2013, is designed to prepare future leaders in emergency management through an immersive learning environment using scenario-based sessions and real-world case studies.

“This program will prepare students for careers in emergency and disaster management that are critical to our national and economic security,” said Walter Rankin, interim dean of SCS. “As we saw with Hurricane Sandy last month, there remains a tremendous need to build multidisciplinary teams that span federal, state and local jurisdictions that can act quickly and effectively in the interest of saving lives and protecting communities.”

Practice-Oriented

In keeping with SCS’ practice of offering educational programs that tie to industry, the EDM program will engage with leading industry organizations, subject matter experts and government officials.

Faculty members in the program will be drawn from the field in order to facilitate a curriculum that brings theory to practice.

And a combination of face-to-face learning and online coursework will be employed to teach emergency and disaster management theory and legal framework, natural disasters, domestic terrorism and international disasters.

Georgetown-LLNL Partnership

This is the first degree program arising from the 2009 Georgetown-LLNL partnership spearheaded by Spiros Dimolitsas, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Georgetown.

The mission of LLNL, a government-sponsored laboratory, is to enhance the nation’s defense, reduce the global threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and respond with vision, quality, integrity and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance.

“The strength of this program is the combination of LLNL’s national security science and technology expertise and Georgetown University’s commitment to educate students to work in service of others,” said Nancy Suski, deputy program director in the laboratory’s Office of Strategic Outcomes and EDM executive director.

Scenario-Based Labs

Students in the program will participate in five on-site “intensives” that feature natural and man-made disaster scenarios and the technical, legal and ethical considerations that govern them.

LLNL has advanced modeling and simulation capabilities, so that students will be able to visualize disaster scenarios and learn how best to respond to them.

In one of the learning modules, for example, students will travel to LLNL’s headquarters in California to study the consequences of terrorism in the United States.

Global Aspect

The EDM program features a global executive format that will take students to four different cities around the world.

In addition to traveling to LLNL’s headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area and studying in Washington, D.C., students will travel to New Orleans and Doha, Qatar, to participate in real-world scenario laboratories and lectures.

Students are required to complete a final project that demonstrates the depth and breadth of knowledge gained through completion of the program’s coursework.

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