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Hurricanes 101

USF has set up a summer program dedicated toward a better understanding of how to deal with hurricanes and their social impact.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Honors College are presenting a new program named Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), which will give students the opportunity to receive $500, seven credits, as well as many other benefits.

REU consists of hurricane courses such as Hurricane Humanitarian and Social Interventions, Hurricane Research Seminar, and Hurricane Research Methods, all of which will be offered in summer session A.

Naomi Yavneh, director of undergraduate research, said the hurricane courses are available because “hurricanes are, unfortunately, an important part of life in Florida, and our University. It is important for a university to serve the community in which it exists.”

Students who successfully complete the REU will receive $500.

“We understand that students enrolled in a program such as this will be working very hard and may not have time to work” Yavneh said.

Part of the program, the Hurricane Humanitarian and Social Intervention course, is a 3-credit-hour course that teaches about hurricane relief efforts, and students will be certified to volunteer with the American Red Cross.

“Today’s USF students are tomorrow’s community leaders and therefore play an important role in promoting the best strategies to facilitate recovery,” said Robin Ersing, who will be co-teaching Hurricane Humanitarian and Social Interventions.

A 3-credit-hour Hurricane Research Methods course will also be a part of the program.

“Students can expect to learn quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the social impacts of hurricanes on communities,” said Beverly Ward, who will be teaching Research Methods. “This will include basic research design and application of research methods.”

The last course offered is a Hurricane Research Seminar. This course allows students to connect with USF faculty from a variety of colleges and departments that are conducting research on hurricanes.

“There will only be one section, and we will set up the times according to when the students can meet,” Yavneh said. “We may allow interested students not participating in the REU to enroll in this class or sit in on the presentations.”

Students who participate in REU will likely be involved in a series of workshops. The workshops will cover topics such as how to write an abstract, how to design a poster and how to present a poster, among other topics. The workshops will be open to all USF students who are interested. There will also be movies and picnic socials so students can mingle and get to know each other.

“We will probably also have a small REU symposium this summer,” Yavneh said.

All students who would like to participate must apply by Thursday. Students will be notified of acceptance no later than May 3. For more information on how to apply students can contact Yavneh at