Recovering from natural disasters is focus of Global Health Studies workshop
Thursday, November 1, 2012

How do you recover from a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy, which is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in economic losses, not to mention injuries and emotional damages from the rising death toll? What can be done to relieve suffering and restore well-being after a disaster such as this?

An upcoming Global Health Studies Program workshop at the University of Iowa will attempt to answer these questions through an examination of several recent natural disasters around the world, including the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the 2010 floods in Pakistan, the 2010 earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti, and the 2011 tsunami and nuclear plant melt-downs in Japan.

zombie make a plan image
The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention uses zombies and social media to emphasize the importance of disaster preparedness. “If you're ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you're ready for any emergency.”

The workshop and short course is titled “Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Aid" and will be held Nov. 8-10 in the new College of Public Health building, Room N120. Registration is full for students receiving academic credit for this Global Health Studies course; however, enrollment is still open to students and community members wishing to attend the workshop. Public registration is required by Nov. 6 and available at The cost for attendance is $25, which covers a catered breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

Through panel discussions, films, breakouts sessions, and simulations, UI graduate students and faculty, along with several national and international experts, will present compelling research to orient students and others to key issues surrounding major disasters and humanitarian relief in the 21st century. Discussion topics include mass fatality management, use of technology and social media during disasters, disaster preparedness, nuclear disaster after natural disaster, and military support in disaster response.

For a full schedule of presentations and information about speakers and their research, visit

This course is being offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Paul Greenough, professor in the Department of History, will be the primary instructor. Support for this workshop was received from the Office of the Provost in support of a faculty initiative on environmental and natural disaster studies.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this workshop, contact Sarolta Graves in UI International Programs at 319-335-3862 or