The mission of the Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting (THOR) Center at Caltech is the development of innovative ways to reduce the risks and costs of natural hazards facing society. We take a broad view of natural hazards, to include such diverse phenomena as climate change, extreme weather events, earthquakes, tsunamis, water availability, landslides, and wildfire. The last decade has amply demonstrated the continuing impact of these hazards despite remarkable improvement in scientific understanding and attention from governments. The impact is measured not only in terms of human suffering, but also through policy decisions that allocate and potentially misallocate precious resources to inadequately or inaccurately understood risks. Much more can be done to capitalize on the intellectual talent, knowledge base, and ingenuity of academia to serve society on these issues. Such service is the overarching goal of THOR.