Disasters, whether natural, technological, or man-made, reveal how much our health and well-being is dependent upon numerous complex systems in our lives. These systems can range from our internal cellular and micro-biological systems; through social and cultural systems; to public health and medical systems; to critical infrastructure and lifeline systems; to larger environmental and ecological systems, among others. Based upon a case study approach, this course will explore issues of risk, vulnerability, and resilience. The cases include a broad range of domestic and international disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; the Tohoku tsunami, earthquake and nuclear meltdown; the Joplin, Missouri tornado, and pandemics such as SARS. The course reviews contemporary theories, frameworks and methods for understanding disasters and their relationship to population health.
COMPLEX SYSTEMS, and the SOCIAL ECOLOGY OF HEALTH
This course contrasts US and international approaches to public health emergency preparedness and response. Rotating among different sites within NYU’s Global Network, the course focuses on the aspects of global public health emergency response systems germane to the host country. The planned upcoming emergency preparedness course in Israel take place during the January-term, 2016. The course focuses on the planning and deployment of international humanitarian aid missions, preparedness and response to terrorism, public health ethical issues that arise in conflict situations, and disaster mental health and community resilience. Students will also attend the third International Preparedness and Response to Disaster Conference in Tel Aviv, meet with leading disaster scholars and practitioners, and participate in a national emergency drill.