Mount Royal University’s recently launched in September 2014 the “Centre for Community Disaster Research” (CCDR). The Centre is the first of its kind in Canada and is a trans-disciplinary hub for research, education, and outreach related to natural, social, technological, and economic disasters. The Centre is mandated with promoting rigorous academic research that is led by community need and involves university researchers, students, community groups, government stakeholders, and end-users of research as meaningful partners.

Following the catastrophic Southern Alberta flood of 2013, the CCDR grew out of widespread recognition that communities across Alberta, Canada, and the world will increasingly need to plan and prepare for extreme events. The Centre strives to generate academic research, sustained discussions, programming, and policy recommendations that will help to mitigate disaster risk, lessen vulnerability, and contribute to community resilience.  The Centre is supported by several funders including: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), The Calgary Foundation, The Institute for Environmental Sustainability, and Mount Royal University Faculty of Arts.

Dr. Timothy J. Haney, from the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Mount Royal University is the Director of the CCDR. Dr. Haney states “After living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina (2005) and in Calgary during the Southern Alberta flooding (2013), I finally came to terms with my identity as a disaster researcher. My interests revolve around how families, neighbourhoods, and communities prepare for, evacuate from, and recover from floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, oil spills, and other catastrophic events”. Dr. Haney has published an extensive number of scholarly papers, as well as has presented at numerous academic conferences in the area of disasters. His research on disasters ranges from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster, the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill disaster, and more recently the 2013 Southern Alberta Flood disaster.

Dr. Caroline McDonald-Harker, also from the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Mount Royal University is a Faculty Affiliate of the CCDR.