Disaster Relief and Response in Oregon

This 2-week study away program will take you to the University of Oregon located in Eugene, Oregon. The course will focus on the causes, mitigation, and response to disasters as well as insight into the disaster management system in Oregon and the United States. While in Oregon you will take trips to Charleston, Oregon – Coast and the Dunes, Trail of Ten Falls Hiking Loop – Silver State Park and Mt. Pisgah Arboretum – Lane County.

Guest lectures will be provided on topics relevant to the course theme. Topics include local and/or University of Oregon representatives from Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience, NOAA, local government Emergency, Management and experts on tsunamis, air quality, and forest fires.

Wilderness First Aid course and certification will be provided through National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

What You'll Accomplish: 

As you engage as an active participant in this program you will have the opportunity to:

  • Obtain the NOLS Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Hike through Oregon's stunning state parks, including lectures by the river 
  • Gain a broader perspectives on disaster response 
  • Learn from University of Oregon faculty and leaders in the region's disaster response efforts 

Two hours south of Portland, Eugene is a town of parks, trees and waterways, a hiking mecca that melds swiftly into the nearby mountains. Home to the University of Oregon, the city attracts people from all around the world. A short walk from campus, where you will be staying, is a revitalized downtown, with a 2,500-seat performing arts venue – the Hult Center - a modern theatre and three independent cinemas. Eugene consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in Oregon and one of best small cities in the United States.

You will also spend a day in Charleston, Oregon, Charleston, a small fishing village, is just 8 miles from the coast, and a gateway to beaches, parks and untouched scenery. The harbor is the heart of the community and you'll be able to explore the bustling marina serving charter boat operators, sports fishermen, crabbers and recreational boaters. The harbor area includes restaurants, tackle, seafood, and specialty gift shops

Where You'll Live: 

Hotel in Eugene, Oregon near the University of Oregon. Double rooms with shared bathrooms. Daily lunch provided. Linens, towels and Wi-Fi provided. 24/7 reception with secure access.

What You'll Study: 

You will earn a total of 4 credits on the Disaster Relief and Response in Oregon program. Everyone who participates on the program will take the same course. The course is taught by local Pittsburgh faculty, but also by local guest lecturers. On this program students will have the opportunity to meet speakers from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience and Naitonal Oceanic and Atmosphreic Administation and more. After completing this program you'll be able to:

  • Understand the elements of disaster perparation and response
  • Recongize the cultural and behavior dimensions of health within the context of disasters setting
  • Discuss ethical dilemmas encountered in disaster settings, with emphasis on the north west region of the United States

If you are seeking to count these courses towards a major, minor or certificate, please meet with your academic advisor to discuss this program and what the courses will fulfill for you. Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Tim Crawford

Hi Everyone! I’m Tim, and I am the Assistant Director for Domestic Study Away Programming. I have experience running international study abroad programs and programs here at home in the United States. I was fortunate to have many experiential learning opportunities, both international and domestic, during my college career. Being from a small town in Central Pennsylvania, my experiences opened my eyes to the rest of the world and helped open my eyes to different cultures and career opportunities I’d love to help you take advantage of the numerous experiential learning opportunities here at Pitt. Outside of the office, I’m always looking for the next adventure. I love traveling, hate sitting still and love doing anything outdoors, in all seasons. Personally, my family and I are on a quest to visit as many national parks as possible. I’d love to talk to you more about any of our study away programs, answer any of your questions and help you find the right opportunity. Please reach me via email at timcrawford@pitt.edu

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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Maighdlin Williams Anderson

As an Assistant Professor the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Maighdlin teaches in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Area of Concentration. She teaches in both the Doctor of Nursing Practice and BNS Programs. Her area of practice includes Emergency and Critical Care Medicine as well as Disaster Preparation and Response. Maighdlin currently teaches courses on Physical Assessment, Trauma and Emergency Medicine Clinical Emphasis for the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Differential Diagnosis Clinical, and the Science of Health Care Delivery . One of her main courses is Fundamentals of Disaster and Mass Casualty Care. She practices as a Critical Care CRNP and a Flight RN and volunteers with local Search and Rescue as a technical rescue field team leader and wilderness medical provider. She is certified in Advanced Wilderness Life Support and Pre-Hospital Registered Nursing.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $3,908 $4,108
Program Fee $292 $292
Study Away Fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $4500 $4700

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $500
Personal Expenses $500

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while away.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

What's Included: 

As a part of your program fee, the follow are included in the program:

  • Tuition for four credits
  • Group airport transfers
  • Housing in University of Oregon Residence halls 
  • Academic site visits and guest speakers
  • Variety of social and cultural activities to help students learn about the local area 
  • Wilderness First Aid course and certification 
  • At least one meal per day 


When You'll Go: 

May 7 - May 21, 2022 

What Else You Need to Know: 
  • This program does include hiking and outdoor excursions. All hiking trips are well marked and guided and offer different levels of difficulty. However, please consider the outdoor nature of this program. 
  • Due to the nature of the program, the schedule is subject to change. There may be instances where a guest speaker or field excursion needs to be rescheduled. We ask for your patience and understanding in advance.
  • Remember that this is an academic program and that you should expect to invest the same amount of time and effort on this course as you would on a course at Pitt.