SHSU's Center for the Study of Disasters and Emergency Management (CDEM) is an interdisciplinary center with more than twenty research affiliates, all working to understand the social and physical processes associated with disasters and other emergencies. Founded in 2014, CDEM takes a broad view of the term disaster and seeks collaborative, interdisciplinary, and creative approaches to studying the wide variety of hazards that have the potential to overwhelm organizational and societal capacities.
Aside from its research-oriented goals, CDEM aims to be a leader in education and community engagement, both within Sam Houston State University and throughout the state of Texas. Several of CDEM’s faculty members teach in the department of political science’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program, where there is an available “Disasters and Emergency Management” concentration. In addition, CDEM publishes the “Cases in Crisis and Disaster” project, a series of multimedia-rich cases that could be used in classroom or training settings. Finally, a number of CDEM’s researchers are actively engaged in training, volunteering, and consulting with local emergency management communities.