The Natural Hazards Center is excited to announce the release of the third CONVERGE Training Module, Cultural Competence in Hazards and Disaster Research—made possible with funding and support from the National Science Foundation Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NSF-NHERI). This module introduces participants to academic literature that describes the importance of building cultural competence for extreme events researchers.

This online course is part of a series of online training modules developed by the CONVERGE research team. These interactive, 30- to 60-minute courses cover a variety of topics that researchers—with a special emphasis on students and emerging scholars—can use to quickly educate themselves on conducting hazards and disaster research.



Case studies throughout the module highlight the importance of developing cultural competence. Charts, graphics, and resources are also included to demonstrate how increasing cultural awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity can help hazards and disaster researchers begin to develop a foundation of cultural competence. The module concludes with a discussion of both formal and informal ways to researchers can begin to build cultural competence. Additional resources, including readings and web resources, are also provided.

After completing the Cultural Competence in Hazards and Disaster Training Module, users can take a 10-question quiz to receive a certificate of completion. These certificates will become part of a larger credentialing system for hazards and disaster researchers as more modules are released.

To date, more 700 people have registered for the training modules, with 227 receiving certificates of completion for the two previously released modules on Social Vulnerability and Disasters and Disaster Mental Health modules.

“The increasing frequency and intensity of global extremes often locate researchers and practitioners into the communities where they might lack local cultural knowledge,” said Haorui Wu, assistant professor at Dalhousie University and the Natural Hazards Center and CONVERGE research affiliate who led the development of the module. “It is significant for disaster researchers to build a certain level of cultural competence so they can conduct research and help people with various cultural backgrounds affected by extreme events.”

The next training modules to be released include:

● Institutional Review Board (IRB) Procedures for Hazards and Disaster Researchers
● Conducting Emotionally Challenging Research

Please visit the CONVERGE website to see the full list of planned modules and other availabe resources. To receive updates and information on new CONVERGE training modules and other free online resources, please subscribe here.