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USF Natural Hazards Network

Tim Dixon

Message from the Director

In 2012, the combined effects of Hurricane Sandy, the heat wave and drought that affected most of the US mid-west, and other weather-related disasters cost the nation approximately $100 billion. This was still less than the record $200 billion the nation spent in 2005, mainly from the effects and after effects of Hurricane Katrina. In the last 30 years, during a period when the nation's population grew by about 30%, costs from natural disasters increased by more than a factor or five. If these trends continue, within the next few decades the US will likely experience an annual loss from natural disasters approaching half a trillion dollars. Our nation cannot afford to continue this trend. Many other nations face similar challenges, including the long term problems posed by climate change and sea level rise.

USF is a global research university with more than 50 faculty engaged in various aspects of hazards and disaster research, including causes, mitigation, and response. USF's Natural Hazards Network is a network of scientists, engineers and policy experts whose goal is to greatly reduce these losses through research and improved engineering, management, communication and policy. We have working relationships with industry and policy makers, both domestic and foreign. Please consider joining our efforts.

Tim Dixon, Director
USF Natural Hazards Network

Mission Statement

USF’s Natural Hazards Network aims to reduce the impact of natural hazards on society by improving our understanding of the magnitude and effects of natural hazards, improving preparedness and reaction of people to these hazards, and developing strategies to improve both resilience to disasters prior to the event and response to disasters when they occur.


Our approach involves a combination of state of the art research and “boots on the ground” involvement of local experts and local populations. Our activities include a combination of scientific research, engineering, and policy. We work with local scientists, engineers, and policy experts, as well as US and foreign government agencies, NGOs, other US universities, and international universities. Our research includes field-based research in specific locations of interest, as well as theoretical studies, and includes training of both Masters-level and PhD students from the US and abroad. USF faculty have a more than two decade track record in this area. This web site is hosted by the College and Arts and Science, but represents university-wide contributions, including significant contributions from the College of Engineering, the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, the College of Public Health, and the College of Marine Science.