Natural Hazards And Catastrophes Degree Track

Natural Hazard And Catastrophes Natural Hazard And Catastrophes
Master of Professional Science

Society is experiencing more frequent natural catastrophes, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, storm surge, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hail, wildfires, and earthquakes. As many of these disasters are exacerbated by a rapidly changing climate, communities face substantial challenges to achieving resilience within the engineering, architecture, public health, business, and governance sectors.

To address these challenges, the Natural Hazards and Catastrophes MPS track offers comprehensive training to students in assessing risks and exposures associated with natural hazards. The curriculum provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand atmospheric, oceanic, geological, and hydrological earth system natural hazards. It also familiarizes students with data analytics tools required to assess associated risks, such as statistics, data management, programming, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and remote sensing. Graduates of this track are employed in the private and civil sectors, including the insurance and reinsurance industry, architecture, emergency management, engineering, as well as public health and science.


Bachelor’s degree in any field; at least one semester of statistics or calculus, or six credits in geoscience

Course topics:

Statistics, environmental law, decision analysis, hydrological hazards, Geographic Information System (GIS), modeling of rare events

Job titles:

  • Catastrophe Management Analyst
  • Environmental and Historical Specialist (FEMA)
  • Geospatial Analyst
  • Meteorologist (NOAA)
  • Risk Consultant


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  • Why is this track important?

    Miami is the leading city which is exposed to natural hazards, such as hurricanes, sea level rise and potential loss of wildlife by ocean pollution, with both the population being very much in tune with these emerging issues as well as a large concentration of experts at the Rosenstiel School and the University of Miami studying these problems.

  • Why Miami?

    This is an emerging field very much like engineering 200 years ago and computer science 50 years ago. It is a growth area globally as well being shaped by graduates and new data. In particular, there is an increasing need in companies in the business of environmental risk assessment.


  • What can students do with this degree?

    Typical careers so far have been in sectors of insurance/reinsurance companies, risk assessment business, local and federal government agencies dealing with environmental emergency response and policy.


  • What makes this track unique?

    This track combines the questions of "what are the emerging major environmental risks facing the global societies?" with "what can we do about it?". The emphasis is distinct from long-term climate change but rather focussed on near-term rapidly-evolving problems over the time scale of a single human life or career. 

Track Leader

Dr. Tamay Ozgokmen

Natural Hazards and Catastrophes Track

(305) 421-4053
Tamay Ozgokmen is a Professor in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science. He is interested in oceanographic studies that combine social impact with a grand scientific challenge. In particular, he strives to better understanding oil spills and turbulence.

Plan Of Study Grid

Fall Course Title Credit Hours
RSM 612
or EVR 624
Statistics for Marine Scientists
or Statistics and Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Policy
EVR 620 Environmental Law and Policy * 3
MGS 635 Geological Hazards 3
EVR 633 Decision Analysis: Natural Hazards and Catastrophes 3
RSM 700 Research Ethics 0
Credit Hours 12
Spring Course Title Credit Hours
OCE 637 Natural Hazards: Atmosphere and Ocean 3
MGS 634 Hydrological Hazards 3
EVR 660
& EVR 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory 1 
RSM 613 Statistical Modeling of Extreme and Rare Events * 3
Credit Hours 12
Summer Course Title Credit Hours
OCE 805 MPS Internship 2 2-6
Credit Hours 6
Total Credit Hours 30

*  or other approved Elective

1  Can be taken in Fall or Spring

2  Enrollment in 2 - 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 internship credits must be approved by MPS Director. Students may enroll in more than 6 internship credits with the approval of the Program Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS.

Elective Options

Students may request elective courses with the consent of their Academic Advisor. Refer to the course schedules for a list of classes available on the Rosenstiel School campus. The course offerings may vary from semester to semester. For more details, visit the UM Academic Bulletin.