The Hub New Course: HERM 672 Heritage and Risk Management

New Course: HERM 672 Heritage and Risk Management

Athabasca University’s Heritage Resources Management Program is offering a new course this fall- HERM 672 Heritage and Risk Management.

A response to recent natural disasters

image of 2013 calgary flood

The increasing number of disasters has had a tremendous impact on human lives, livelihoods, communities, properties, and global sustainable development. In 2013, Alberta experienced a heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flood events in many areas. It is described as the worst flooding in Alberta’s history. Many national historic sites and museums, including Bar U Ranch and the High River Museum of the Highwood, historic houses and properties, the Calgary Zoo, and a number of significant paleontological and archaeological sites in southern Alberta were impacted. The 2016 wildfire destroyed large parts of Fort McMurray in Alberta. Currently, the province of British Columbia is fighting wildfires in its inland area.

Canada is celebrating its 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017. At the same time, parts of the country are facing various natural disasters that affect Canadian communities. Canada, the world’s second largest country in total area, has a wide range of weather patterns, from numbing cold to heat waves, from seemingly endless rains to drought. Canada’s geoclimatic regions, including mountains, plains, forests, and tundra, are subject to all types of severe weather and geological hazards. According to the Geospacial Canadian Disaster Database, from 2000 to 2015, 246 biological, meteorological, hydrological, and geological disasters occurred in Canada.

Build knowledge in Disaster Risk Management

The main goal of HERM 672 is to build knowledge for disaster risk management for cultural heritage sites and collections. It examines how cultural heritage may be impacted by different types of disasters, and how cultural values can be changed or transformed during crises and disasters. In doing so, the course shows that cultural heritage is not only a victim in disasters and armed conflict; rather it can actively be a driver for resilience and can potentially contribute to disaster risk reduction and disaster recovery.

This course focuses on the measures and actions that cultural heritage professionals should undertake before, during, and after a disaster. This course is unique in Canada in that it examines existing international, national, and local frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage, while offering students the flexibility of an online, distance based learning environment.

Course dates

The course will run in the upcoming Fall semester, September 5th to December 15th. The registration deadline is August 1st.

If you are interested in taking this course this September, please contact the Heritage Resources Management office before August 1st at or toll-free by telephone at 1-800-788-9041 ext. 6721.

If you would like to discuss how this course may fit into your current or past academic work, or if you have any other questions, please contact the Heritage Resources Management Program Director, Dr. Shabnam Inanloo at or 780-458-1105 / 1-855-337-8590.

  • July 14, 2017