The Center describes their vision, mission, and history as follows:
Vision: We envision a just and equitable world where knowledge is applied to ensure that humans live in harmony with nature.
Mission: We are the one academic center in the nation dedicated to linking researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to reduce the harm from disasters. We share and advance social science and interdisciplinary knowledge, with a special emphasis on the most vulnerable populations and places. Every day, we work to empower a culture where all people are educated and inspired to take positive action to mitigate hazards losses and to build stronger communities.
A Brief History: The Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center was founded more than 40 years ago as a result of the landmark Assessment of Natural Hazards Research in the United States. Among the recommendations included in that publication, which would come to be known as the First Assessment, was that a national information clearinghouse be created to compile, translate, and share information, as well as connect the academic hazards research, emergency management, and policy communities. Shortly after the First Assessmentwas published, Gilbert White, who was the primary author of the work, led the charge to do just that. In 1976, he and his wife Anne—along with a small group of committed staff and students, at the University of Colorado Boulder—began what is today's Natural Hazards Center.