Geography’s Contributions to Understanding Hazards and Disasters

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Geography’s Contributions to Understanding Hazards and Disasters

James M. Kendra, Ph.D.

Emergency Administration and Planning Program

Department of Public Administration

University of North Texas

Denton, Texas 76203


Geography has a many-decades long record of research and practical application in understanding and managing hazard and disaster. This chapter reviews some the major points of geographic connection to these areas. It examines some of the earlier conceptions of geography’s interest in human-environment interactions and discusses shifts in understanding the nature of hazard, including recent emphasis on vulnerability. The chapter notes some possible future directions and research needs from across the social sciences, and concludes by arguing that changing and elusive hazards create a need for continued robust research.1

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