Center Sponsored Awards

The Natural Hazards Center administers or cosponsors several annual awards to recognize and support individuals contributing to hazards and disasters research and practice, which include the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship, Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition, National PERISHIP Awards, and the Mary Fran Myers Award. These awards help to advance the Center's mission to provide opportunities for the next generation of hazards researchers and practitioners, to recognize interdisciplinary efforts in the hazards field, and to facilitate interaction among hazards practitioners, researchers, and policy makers by enabling participants from all sectors of the hazards community to attend the Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Brief descriptions of these Center-sponsored awards and links to more information are provided below.

Mary Fran Myers Scholarship

Mary Fran Myers (1952-2004) was the codirector of the Natural Hazards Center from 1988 through her retirement in 2003. The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship was established in honor of her numerous contributions to hazards and disaster research and practice. Mary Fran was intelligent, wonderfully dedicated, gracious, and witty. These characteristics, among many others, made her an instrumental leader in maintaining the Center's global reputation as a driving intellectual force in the hazards field. Mary Fran's lifework helped bring about a fundamental change in national and international perspectives regarding hazards and fostered new, far-sighted, creative, and sustainable ways of dealing with extreme environmental events.

One of Mary Fran's primary concerns was ensuring that participants from all sectors of the hazards community be represented at the Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. She was particularly concerned that many who can greatly benefit from and contribute to workshop activities are among the least likely to be able to afford to attend. Based on Mary Fran's explicit request, scholarship funds will be used to enable these individuals to attend the annual workshop. The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship will be awarded annually, and each year the scholarship recipient will be recognized at the hazards workshop.

More information about the scholarship, including the application schedule, profiles of past winners, and a request for contributions, can be found here.

Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition

The Natural Hazards Center announces guidelines for the Annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition for undergraduate and graduate students each spring. Submissions may be theoretical arguments, case studies, literature reviews, or descriptions of research results on topics relevant to the social/behavioral aspects of hazards and disasters, natural, technological, or otherwise. Topics may include, but are not limited to, Hurricane Katrina, the South Asia earthquake, climate change, warning systems, natural hazards mitigation, land use, women and children in disasters, disaster myths, or the transport of hazardous materials. Papers are judged on their originality, organization, and demonstrated knowledge of the topic.

One undergraduate and one graduate winner each receive $100; a mention in the Natural Hazards Observer; publication on the Natural Hazards Center Web site; and an invitation to the Annual Hazards Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, registration fees included. For more information on how to submit a paper, visit

Mary Fran Myers Award

The Mary Fran Myers Award was established in 2002 by the Gender and Disaster Network (GDN) and is coadministered by GDN and the Natural Hazards Center. The award recognizes that vulnerability to disasters and mass emergencies is influenced by social, cultural, and economic structures that marginalize women and girls. The award was so named to recognize Mary Fran's sustained efforts to launch a worldwide network among disaster professionals for advancing women's careers and for promoting research on gender issues, disasters, emergency management, and higher education. A goal of both the GDN and the Natural Hazards Center is to promote and encourage such research and practice.

More information about the award, along with profiles of past winners and eligibility requirements can be found here.