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Developing the Academic Discipline: Department Engagement

The Department of Emergency Management at NDSU has been and will continue to support the development of an academic discipline of emergency management. It is one of our biggest and most ongoing "projects". Toward that end, faculty members in the Department have participated in various national level efforts, published written work, and provided paper presentations at conferences. Selected contributions from 2010-2012 in these three categories are listed below.

Selected National-Level Contributions

2014, Accreditation Working Group, Invited Participant and Report Author, J.Jensen

2014, Report of the Feedback on the Emerging, Draft Accreditation Process and General Standards, Survey Research and Report Author, J. Jensen

2014, Emergency Management Higher Education Today: The 2014 FEMA Higher Education Program Survey, Survey Research and Report Author, C. Cwiak

2014, Results from a Survey Gauging Emergency Management Higher Education Community Consensus on Key Points related to Research Standards for the Discipline of Emergency Management, Survey Research and Report Author, J. Jensen

2014, Snap Shot of the Results from a Survey Gauging Emergency Management Higher Education Community Consensus on Key Points related to Emergency Management’s Disciplinary Identity, Survey Research and Report Author, J. Jensen

2014, Training and Education Synergy Working Group, Invited Facilitator and Report Writer, C. Cwiak, Invited Participant, J. Jensen

2013, FEMA Higher Education Program Focus Group Implementing Research Standards in Emergency Management, Invited Faciliator and Report Author, J. Jensen

2012, 2013, Draft Research Standards for the Academic Discipline of Emergency Management, Original Drafter of Standards and Editor, J. Jensen

2013, FEMA Higher Education Program Focus Group Part II: Accreditation, Invited Participant, J. Jensen.

2013, FEMA Higher Education Program Focus Group Part II: Disciplinary Purview, Participant, Daniel J. Klenow, Invited Facilitator and Report Author, J. Jensen.

2013, FEMA Higher Education Program Survey on Support for Accreditation Across Emergency Management Degree Offering Institutions, Survey Research and Report Author, J. Jensen.

2012, FEMA Higher Education Focus Group on the Purview and Core Research Questions for the Academic Discipline of Emergency Management, Invited Facilitator and Report Author, J. Jensen.

2012, FEMA Higher Education Focus Group on Research Standards in Emergency Management, Invited Facilitator, Participant, Report Author, J. Jensen.

2012, FEMA Higher Education Focus Group on Accreditation for Emergency Management Higher Education Programs, Participant, J. Jensen.

2010-current, IAEM Training and Education Committee, Co-Chair, C.L. Cwiak.

2009-current, Emergency Management Higher Education Consortium (EMHEC), Executive Director, C.L. Cwiak.

2008-current, Blanchard Award for Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education, Committee Member, C.L. Cwiak and D. J. Klenow.

2007-2009 FEMA Higher Education Focus Group on Emergency Management Principles/Doctrine, Focus Group Participant, C.L. Cwiak.

Selected Written Contributions

2012, Report of the focus group on the purview and core research questions for the academic discipline of emergency management for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Higher Education Project. Available at: http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/, J. Jensen.  

2012,  Report of the focus group on research standards in emergency management for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Higher Education Project. Available at: http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/, J. Jensen.

2011, Framing the future: What should emergency management graduates know? Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 8 (2), Article 14, C. L. Cwiak.

2011, "Next steps in emergency management’s professionalization process: Who will be the gatekeeper of the profession of emergency management?" In J.A. Hubbard (Ed.), Challenges of emergency management in higher education: Planning and strategies. Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute, C.L. Cwiak.

2011, “An argument in favor of a disciplinary approach to emergency management in higher education”. In J. Hubbard (ed.), Challenges of emergency management in higher education: Planning and strategies. Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute, J. Jensen.

2011, “Developing and maintaining emergency management graduate programs.” In J. Hubbard (ed.), Challenges of emergency management in higher education: Planning and strategies. Fairfax: Public Entity Risk Institute, D.J. Klenow and G. Youngs.

2010, "Emergency management higher education: A snapshot of the community". In J.A. Hubbard (Ed.), Integrating emergency management studies into higher education: Ideas, programs, and strategies. Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute, C.L. Cwiak.

2010, “Emergency management theory: Unrecognized, underused, and underdeveloped”. In J. Hubbard (ed.), Integrating emergency management studies into higher education: Ideas, programs, and strategies (pp. 7-24). Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute, J. Jensen.

2010, “Developing and enhancing emergency management programs at the undergraduate level”.  In J. Hubbard (ed.), Integrating emergency management studies into higher education: Ideas, programs, and strategies. Fairfax, VA: Public Entity Risk Institute, D.J. Klenow and G. Youngs.

The New Normal: The Direct and Indirect Impacts of Oil Drilling and Production on the Emergency Management Function in North Dakota

The study addressed in this report examined the type and extent of direct and indirect impacts of oil drilling and production on the emergency management function in North Dakota. The impacts identified are tied to both the hazards that oil-related activities introduce and rapid growth issues that have strained community and state resources. Central to this study are the firsthand accounts of emergency management and partner agency personnel at the local and state level regarding the impacts that could result in an inability to fulfill the emergency management mission. Such impacts could result in the function being compromised to the extent that it is unable to perform at the capacity necessary to protect the safety and security of North Dakota communities.

The North Dakota State University research team’s goal was to produce a report that advanced understanding, sharpened focus, and offered timely, significant recommendations to legislators, policy makers, and community planners regarding the changes and challenges oil drilling and production have brought to the emergency management landscape.  The team took a two-pronged approach to accomplish its directive. The first prong involved objective assessment of existing articles, reports, data and industry projections from distinct topical areas (i.e., oil, socioeconomic, transportation, public health, fire, emergency medical services, and law enforcement) to help better understand and frame the impacts from an emergency management perspective.  The second prong sought to engage the thoughts, observations, and opinions of emergency management and partner agency personnel in order to tell the story of impacts and potential solutions from their perspective. 

The study participants’ comments about direct and indirect impacts, as well as their recommendations for solutions, grounded the study with a firsthand view of the current state of the emergency management function in North Dakota. From study participants’ comments, six themes regarding direct impacts and four themes regarding indirect impacts were identified. The direct impact themes identified: the need for additional equipment, personnel, and funding to address increased workload and changing responsibilities; the need for additional planning, training, and exercising in regard to oil transport, drilling, and production issues that could require an emergency response;  the shortage and burnout of first responders, particularly within volunteer departments; the increased likelihood of not only more events, but also more severe events based on increased population and traffic; concerns regarding community compositions that are not versed in local hazards and are difficult to access and warn; and, the delays caused in emergency response due to rail and transportation corridor blockage or congestion.  The indirect impact themes identified: the growing population is pressing the limits of schools, housing, healthcare, social services, daycare, and existing retail and service industries; recruiting and retaining workers for non-oil jobs and volunteer responder services is difficult because of wage inflation, lack of affordable housing, crime, and quality of life concerns; the social safety net is being taxed and the needs are exceeding the available resources; and, the road conditions – to include the quality, safety, and amount of traffic - have become an area of critical concern.

The work conducted in the first prong of the study coupled with study participants’ comments regarding impacts and recommendations helped frame the report’s 21 recommendations. The recommendations, focus on solutions grounded in additional personnel, equipment, resources, planning, training, and exercise needs for emergency management and partner agency organizations; an examination of existing volunteer response structures, staffing, and the potential need for incentives and subsidization;  traffic, accident, and life span studies that inform the usage and responsibility for roads, highways, thoroughfares, and rail;  a study of criminal activity that informs the law enforcement agenda and identifies needs for additional personnel and equipment; outreach to vulnerable populations via industry partners and educational campaigns; support of community-based solutions to address rapid growth challenges; tax reductions, credits, and incentives to encourage the growth and development of businesses and institutions in communities; wage and cost-of-living studies that inform wage increases that help mitigate inflation and better inform low income baselines; examination of essential personnel housing options; and, a statewide strategy for addressing homelessness.  Each recommendation offered, while independent, also serves as a significant part of an overall strategy to ensure that the emergency management function can perform at the level necessary to meet its mission. As such, these recommendations are intended to provide Governor Dalrymple, state legislators, and community leaders with an action plan for ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of North Dakota.  Absent immediate and thoughtful actions to abate the impacts identified in this study, the emergency management function in North Dakota will remain comprised and subject to partial or complete failure.

Download the report. If you have any questions about the report, please contact Carol Cwiak at (701) 231-5847 or carol.cwiak@ndsu.edu.

Other Select Current Projects
  • Fargo/Cass County Emergency Management The Department of Emergency Management works closely with Fargo/Cass County Emergency Management. At any given time, there are a number of ongoing projects on which the Department and Fargo/Cass County are collaborating. An example of a current project is helping Fargo/Cass County Emergency Management integrate social media into their future response and recovery activities.
  • Boy's State Exercise Facilitation An annual 2-day exercise developed and faciltiated by North Dakota State University Department of Emergency Management faculty and students in collaboration with key emergency management relevant agency representatives for high school boys from around North Dakota. The exercise is designed to help them learn about emergency management and the various roles of government organizations in emergency management.
  • Expanding Your Horizons Exercise  An annual education event for middle school girls in grades 7-9 in North Dakota. Girls are provided an overview of emergency management and the opportunity to participate in an abbreviated functional exercise. The exercise is designed to help the girls understand teh role of emergency management in these types of events.
  • RED Team Assessments Emergency management program students annually assess the vulnerabilities of a number of campus facilities and provide recommendations to campus administrators responsible for the facililties.
  • Gap Analysis Each year emergency management program students assess the vulnerabilities and preparedness of between 3 and 5 local schools, organizations, and businesses and provide recommendations as to how to go about addressing any areas of weakness found. 
Select Past Projects
  • Teen CERT Each semester emergency management students facilitate the Teen CERT curriculum in regional area middle and high schools. The students are embedded within a course in the standard curriculum (e.g., PTE or Health) and facilitate the course once a week for a 10-week period.
  • Ready Campus Initiative The NDSU Ready Campus Initiative was funded by the Department of Education (ED) Emergency Management for Higher Education (EMHE) grant program. This competitive grant is awarded only to Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) which exhibit a progressive vision for the integration of emergency management practices into their operational structures and demonstrate the capabilities and drive to successfully execute goals and objective unique to each IHE’s established needs.
  • ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Department of Emergency Management students handled the management of volunteers for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the Fall of 2010 for a build in Moorhead, MN. Over the course of the week of the build, students managed more than 4,000 volunteers.
  • Ready Campus Initiative: Ready Campus Summit The Ready Campus Initiative (RCI) sponsored the Ready Campus Summit for Higher Education on Thursday September 30 and Friday October 1, 2010. The free conference focused on the importance of comprehensive emergency planning efforts and relationship building within a Higher Education framework. The conference also provided attendees with helpful planning strategies and materials to better protect lives, property, and sustain operations during a campus crisis. More than 80 individuals representing emergency management and higher education from 27 institutions/organizations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana attended.
  • EMSA's Emergency Preparedness Expo Held annually in the Memorial Union Great Room. The event focused on educating students and faculty on hazard awareness and preparedness. Organizations participating in the event included: NDSU Extension Service, Clay County GIS, Fargo Cass Public Service, ND State Climate Office - NDSU, Fargo Fire Department, National Weather Service, Sanford Health, American Red Cross, NDSU UP & SO, Red River Radio Amateurs, FM Ambulance, Fargo-Cass Emergency Management, Lutheran Disaster Response, Fargo Police Department, Ready Campus Initiative, NDSU Department of Emergency Management, Emergency Management Student Association.
  • 2009 Fargo Flood Fight Department students managed volunteers and information in conjunction with FirstLink and Fargo/Cass County Emergency Management.
  • Prepared Kids
  • Disaster Resistant University
  • Fargo Marathon Department students were embedded with the Fargo Marathon planning team and provided advice on emergency management. Additionally, students prepared an EOP for the Marathon that was first used in 2008 and continues to be maintained and used each year.
  • Distinguished Professor Series The department brought in three distinguished professors between 2007 and 2009 to teach seminars on their specialty areas. Dr. Elaine Enarson, May 18-22, focused on gender and disaster. Lucien G. Canton, CEM, CPP,CBCP, May 19-23, 2008, focused on Emergency Management in a large urban setting. Dr. Dennis Mileti, July 16-20, 2007, focused on risk assessment.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 1:56:38 PM