In this one-hour Hot Topics webinar, which is part of the Hot Topics series, Richard Keller, PhD, addresses the role of public health in the history of disasters. He will discusses contemporary crises such as Hurricane Katrina, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the Chicago and Paris heat waves. The session focuses on health and social risks in these crises and the factors that shape poor outcomes for vulnerable populations.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize social risk factors that increase vulnerability to environmental hazards
  • Identify historical cases in which environmental and technological hazards have resulted in poor health outcomes
  • Discuss policy initiatives that could promote greater resilience among vulnerable populations in the face of natural disasters

Intended Audience

Local and state public health practitioners; Public health nurses; Local and state emergency management staff; Physicians and other health care professionals; State and local policymakers


Richard Keller, PhD, is a researcher and historian, and his work lies at the intersection of the history and ethnography of European and global health. His first book, Colonial Madness: Psychiatry in French North Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2007), is a study of cross-cultural psychiatry in the twentieth century that examines behavioral science, mental health, and ideas about race in the contexts of colonialism and immigration in France.

Screenshot of webinar slides.
Air Date: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm PDT
Emergency Preparedness & Disasters
Environmental Health
Vulnerable Populations & Health Disparities
1 hour
Hot Topics in Practice
Competency Domains: 
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
Public Health Sciences Skills