Overall Goal

Natural disasters are taking an increasing annual toll on life and property worldwide. This is not just because of increased population at risk but also because of climate change and the vulnerability of our technologically based, urban-centralized society. The likelihood that extreme events will cause disasters is exacerbated in the Arctic by extreme cold, great distances, and limited infrastructure. In short, natural hazards threaten the sustainability of Arctic communities. We need to become more proactive in training the next generation of natural hazard scientists and public safety decision makers and, consistent with the policy of the Arctic Council, these experts need to be able to work with each other across borders in the North. Our goal is to contribute to this future of better informed and more collaborative approaches to public safety.

Main Activities

  • Sharing of experiences and best practices, especially through field workshops and field schools.
  • Development of online courses in natural hazards science drawing on the best experience of each network member.
  • Integrated degree paths among our members, with the goal that all graduate students in natural hazards science will spend some time at a partner university to gain a broader perspective.
  • Propose and conduct joint research projects on natural processes that create hazards.
  • Develop and test new technologies for real-time monitoring, hazard and impact assessment, and forecasting.
  • Link monitoring across borders to improve event detection.
  • Develop best practices in stimulating preparedness by all stakeholders through realistic event scenarios and through education.

Current and Planned Activities

  • Proposals for a field workshop and for development of an online natural hazards course in 2014.
  • First TN meeting.
  • Implementation of funded projects.
  • Special session on natural disaster risk mitigation in the Arctic at an international meeting.