A branch of public health, disaster management is nothing if not multidisciplinary. It is everywhere and in everything. Its principles are ingrained in our very instincts. Every area of study can benefit from adopting disaster management techniques and practices.
Recent UGA grad, Jada Smith, is the perfect example of this concept. After graduating in Spring 2023 with a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences, Smith went on to work with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) as an Environmental Compliance Specialist.
“…About 2-3 days out of the week I am visiting my air quality sampling sites that are located around the Atlanta area. At these sites, I typically pick up used filters, which were used to capture particulate matter (PM) such as PM10 or PM2.5, write down the data the sampler collected, and then set up new filters,” said Smith.
Though not technically a disaster management student, Smith found value in IDM’s undergraduate classes when she took Dr. Michelle Ritchie’s DMAN 3200: Disaster Policy course.
“While I did not receive a minor in disaster management, the class Disaster Policy taught by Dr. Ritchie has helped plenty with my job. For example, at the start of my job, they wanted me to read up on air quality policies, but because of that class I was already familiar with those policies so I was ahead of the game,” Smith replied when asked how the course prepared her for her current role with the EPD.
Smith is taking what she learned in DMAN 3200 and applying it to her work in environmental protection every day, focusing on community health, equity, and environmental justice.
“…Because the class talked about how underrepresented communities are most affected by air pollution, I am able to take what I learned in class about different environmental justice topics and apply it as I move forward with being an expert in low-cost sensors,” said Smith.