EARTHSCI 105G Natural Hazards: A Global Perspective

EARTHSCI 105G | ARTS, BE, EDSW, LC | Semester One 2021 City Campus | Semester Two 2021 Online | 15 points


This course examines how normal processes of the earth-atmosphere-hydrosphere-space systems result in events that are capable of dealing disastrous blows to humans on the scale of individual lives to civilizations. We will focus on the geologic processes of events such as earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, tsunami, tornadoes, climate change, and asteroid impacts, and their local, national and global repercussions.

In particular, we will examine the spatial and temporal occurrences of these hazards, methods and processes for hazard preparedness, response and recovery, and the social, economic and policy aspects that affect and, in many cases, compound the magnitude of the disasters associated with these natural phenomena. Case studies are drawn from contemporary and ancient societies.

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the physical processes that create natural hazards and disasters.
  • Recognize the risks and impacts associated with natural hazards.
  • Recognize solutions for mitigating or minimizing the impact of hazardous events.
  • Demonstrate scientific research, analysis, and writing skills.

Students are introduced to basic concepts and terms used in geology, geography, and chemistry.

Topics covered

  • Volcanic hazards
  • Seismic hazards
  • Earthquake hazards
  • Landslide hazards
  • Floods
  • Large scale storms
  • Localised storms and tornadoes
  • Drought
  • People’s behaviour in facing natural hazards
  • Preventing natural hazards
  • Mitigating people’s vulnerability

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