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Introduction to Natural Disaster Science

6 September - 28 October 2011

This course is given by the research school for natural disaster science, composed by the two parts SENDIM and CANDIM and aims to provide an introduction to natural disasters research with a focus on the various scientific disciplines of the CNDS partner institutions. In addition to covering natural disaster phenomena and the various disaster phases, the course will address the possibilities and challenges for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Throughout the course, students will hone their skills in making oral and written presentations of the literature and their own work.

Course Goals

Upon completion of the course students should:

• have a solid understanding of cross-disciplinary scientific research concerned with natural disasters.

• be aware of the research frontiers and trends as well as the complications and research challenges of the different scientific disciplines represented in CNDS.

• have a common knowledge-base to better enable cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration.

• be able to participate in cross-disciplinary research projects related to natural disasters and the other activities outlined in the CNDS science plan.

The course syllabus, which e.g. clarifies the credits of the course and requirements for passing the course, can be found here.


The course focuses on four general themes, introducing various topics and areas of research within natural disaster science, including:

(1) Introduction to natural disaster science;

(2) Phenomena, Risks and Disaster Preparedness;

(3) Crisis Management: leadership, collaboration, communication;

(4) Learning and recovery – accountability and lesson-drawing.

The schedule of the course is likely to be modified during the autumn. To find the latest version, click here!


The course consists of a mix of seminars, lectures, and cross-disciplinary group work.

The literature list is gradually updated and you find the latest version here!

The course takes place at several locations in Uppsala. If you are not familiar with them, click here for directions.

The course is based on the students' active participation, primarily in the seminars. There are two seminar groups, each one led by a social scientist and a natural scientist. You can find instructions here.

Centre for Natural Disaster Science

Centre for Natural Disaster Science, CNDS, is a national centre for research on natural disasters. It was established through an initiative, making it one the government’s strategic research areas. CNDS has created an interdisciplinary platform where researchers from different scientific disciplines work together in order to provide society with knowledge and a better understanding of natural disasters.

The research conducted at CNDS aims to contribute to improving the ability to prevent and deal with risks in society by raising awareness of the dynamics and consequences of natural hazards, considering the issue of vulnerability in Sweden, as well as discussing crisis management.

A fundamental pillar of CNDS is the research school where PhD students are engaged in interdisciplinary course work, collaborative projects, and active dialogue with practitioner communities.

CNDS researchers are affiliated with ten different departments at Uppsala University, National Defence University and University of Karlstad. Together they have a wealth of experience and knowledge about natural disasters and societal security.