OCCASIONAL SERIES ON THE FUTURE OF DISASTERS RESEARCH Transforming the Field of Disaster Research Through Training the Next Generation

August 1983 (VOL. 1, NO. 2)

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Given the importance of nurturing the next generation of hazards and disaster researchers and exposing them to the breadth, depth, and vitality of the field, surprisingly little has been written that explicitly addresses this topic. In this article, I examine the role of research centers in transforming the field of disaster research and specifically focus on the responsibility of research centers in educating and mentoring new scholars, who in turn will influence the future directions of the field. I discuss five aspects of training new researchers that I consider essential: a) fostering commitment to the field; b) maintaining academic and professional integrity; c) examining root causes of disasters; d) developing and improving research agendas; and e) disseminating research findings. The role of research centers is critical in the training process, given that there is probably no better venue for educating new scholars and ultimately encouraging innovative perspectives, generating new knowledge, advancing science, and strengthening the field.