The Disaster Science and Management (DSM) Program at LSU is one of the programs in the Department of Geography and Anthropology. Undergraduate students can enroll with the Department of Geography and Anthropology to earn a B.A. or B.S. degree in Geography with a concentration in DSM, or students from other departments can earn an undergraduate minor in DSM.
Participation in the DSM program enables students to develop a broad understanding of the nature and impact of disasters on the natural, built, and human environment. The program also provides students with a basis for establishing strategies to plan effectively for, mitigate the adverse effects of, respond to, and recover from disasters. Students have the opportunity to participate in community service-learning projects (such as designing an emergency plan for a local area non-profit organization), volunteer work to build experience, and intern at an organization of their choice to learn aspects of disaster science and management that they plan on pursuing in their careers or in graduate school. Students also are given opportunities to engage in conversations with other students and professionals in many diverse fields where disaster management plays a role. Students may also take advantage of trainings and other career-building activities through DSMA, the DSM student organization. This program prepares students for careers in the public, not-for-profit, or private sectors, as well as providing preparation for graduate school in many different areas such as medicine, public health, geography, anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, civil, mechanical, and nuclear engineering, public administration, public safety, security studies, humanitarian logistics, human ecology, environmental studies, and many more.
Students in the DSM Program learn:
1. To demonstrate an understanding of how natural and human-caused hazards impact structural and functional dynamics of environmental, social, cultural, political, and economic systems.
2. To identify strategies for enhancing preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery from disasters within the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
3. To demonstrate critical, independent, and creative problem-solving skills for the purposes of organizational policy formulation and implementation in disaster and emergency management.
4. To demonstrate communication skills to explain and discuss local, national, and international / global issues in disaster management.