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Disaster Research Center The Disaster Research Center (DRC), established in 1963, was moved to the University of Delaware in 1985. DRC is one of the world’s leading centers for social science research on disasters and hazards. Since its inception, the Center has conducted field studies in over 520 communities that have sustained the effects of large-scale emergencies, in particular, natural and technological disasters. The Center’s research program focuses on group, organization, and community preparations for, responses to, mitigation of, and recovery from various hazard agents. Current and past sponsors of the Center’s research activities include the National Science Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NOAA Sea Grant College Program, the U. S. Geological Survey, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, and the Public Entity Risk Institute. DRC has conducted field and survey research in numerous communities in the United States and has been involved in studies of the major disaster events of our time, including the 1964 Alaska, 1971 San Fernando, 1989 San Francisco, and 1994 Northridge earthquakes; major hurricane, flood, and tornado events, and mass-casualty disasters such as explosions and plane crashes. The Center has also carried out research on significant civil disturbances, including the 1960s urban riots and the 1992 Los Angeles unrest. Although its main focus has been on disasters and other community crises in the United States, DRC is also involved in international research, and Center personnel work closely with members of the international hazards research community. Current projects include large-scale studies of flood evacuation in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, impediments and incentives to the adoption and implementation of loss-reduction measures, definitions and measures of social resilience, and research on the organizational and community response following the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.
Center for Drug and Health Studies.
The Center for Drug and Health Studies (CDHS) was established at the University in 1991 and has received research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice, private foundations, and the State of Delaware. With eight full-time staff, six graduate students, and ten part-time survey administrators, CDHS is conducting research and evaluation on substance misuse, health risk behaviors, criminal justice processes and intersections among these areas. Recent projects include testing an intervention to link men and women on probation to primary health care; linking Delaware prescription drug monitoring data on controlled substances to census and other state data; evaluating improved access to long-acting contraceptives; ongoing analyses of school and family experiences, adolescent substance abuse, and other risky behaviors using data gathered from surveys of students in Delaware public schools; an evaluation of graduated sanctions to deter substance use among probationers; suicide prevention strategies among at-risk youth and young adults; and an evaluation of community prevention programs to address various aspects of substance abuse in Delaware communities. See www.cdhs.udel.edu
Both Centers offer opportunities for research training for graduate students including stipends for research assistants and use of data sources.
Our students engage in many activities and projects in addition to the usual course work.
A number of students have published papers, and annually some of our students are on the program at the national meetings of the American Sociological Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the Eastern Sociological Society.
All relevant departmental committees have graduate student representatives.
Through the Disaster Research Center, the Center for Drug and Health Studies, and other faculty research grants, students have the opportunity to work on various research projects and to write articles with the faculty.
Advanced graduate students also have the opportunity to teach regular courses in the department.