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Why ENCE 660

Through experiential learning, lectures and case studies, the course introduces underlying policies, programs and emergency management protocols related to managing natural disasters. The student will learn to build disaster-resilient concepts and emergency management into project management processes and be better equipped to contribute to a more sustainable and disaster-resilience future.

ENCE 660 is offered every other year in the Spring.

ProfessorSandra Knight, PhD, PESandra Knight, PhD, PEStats Credits 3 Offered* Spring On-Campus


Disaster-Related Policy and Programs

Disaster-related policies, laws, administrative directives and executive orders lay a foundation for understanding the roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local authorities in managing for disasters. Critical to implementation of the policies are the various resources available from agency programs that come into play pre- and post-disaster.

Emergency Management Protocols

Emergency management has evolved into a clear set of standards and practices to minimize loss of lives and property through a common operating picture. From the disaster declaration process, to the operational management structures such as the National Incident Management System, emergency managers are trained to identify hazards, assess risks and activate their skills whether at a disaster training exercise, in the emergency operating center or at the site of the disaster.

Phases of Disaster (preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation)

When we think of emergency management and disasters, we most often only think of response. But the emergency cycle also includes preparing for, recovering from and mitigating against disasters so they don't happen again.

Phases of Disaster Activities

Thru case studies and examples, we will cover some of the engineering and planning activities in each phase. Sample activities in each phase: preparedness (hazard identification/forecasting, logistics, outreach), response (safety, environmental compliance, perishable data, clean up), recovery (planning, design, zoning, building codes, environmental compliance, resilience) and mitigation (insurance, hazard resilient design, avoidance, protection).

The Nexus of Emergency and Project Management

Each profession has its own set of lexicons and practices. Project management and emergency management are no different. We will cross-walk these lexicons and identify activities where project management skills can best be used to manage projects in the various phases of the emergency cycle.

Community Resilience

We will define and describe what it means for communities and infrastructure to be resilient and consider the building blocks of community resilience from the built, natural and socio-economic perspectives.


Offered: Spring On-Campus*
Week 1Disaster-Related Policies and Programs IWeek 2Disaster-Related Policies and Programs IIWeek 3National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS)Week 4Phases of Emergency Management Cycle Part IWeek 5Phases of Emergency Management Cycle Part IIWeek 6Midterm ExamWeek 7The Nexus of Disaster Management and Project ManagementWeek 8Using Project Management for Preparing, Planning and Managing Pre- and Post-Disaster- Concepts and Case StudiesWeek 9Team Project Presentations and DiscussionWeek 10Community Resilience Part IWeek 11Community Resilience Part IIWeek 12Real World ExperiencesWeek 13Putting it all togetherWeek 14Community Resilience Project PresentationsWeek 15Submit Individual Project Papers

*All course content, including schedule, topics, and books are subject to change semester-to-semester. Course costs are dependent on students' individual situations, including but not limited to, online vs on-campus enrollment, in-state vs out-of-state enrollment, and scholarships. Not all books on this page may be required readings and additional readings may be assigned. Please check the UMD Schedule of Classes for most up to date semester offerings. Instructors give students specific semester details once they are enrolled.