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These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Geosciences (GEOSC)

GEOSC 402Y (IL) Natural Disasters (3) Case studies of the causes and consequences of natural disasters; analysis of disaster impact in different economic, cultural, and social conditions.


GEOSC 402Y Natural Disasters (3)

Is anywhere safe from natural disasters? Can we hide, or should we learn to live with the hazards around us? This course will explore the causes, effects, and societal response to disasters. By learning from previous disasters, we can develop strategies to avert the disasters or at a minimum mitigate their affects. We will look at a variety of natural hazards and related disasters including flooding, volcanoes, landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunami. By the sue of case studies of recent occurences of natural disasters, we will determine how damaging disasters can be, and what we can do to minmimize their impact on society. This course will provide an in-depth, hands-on study of natural hazards, their geography, and their impact on societies worldwide. We will focus on both the physical processes (e.g. underlying geoglogy or geophysics) of selected natural hazards and the humn systems that have developed to minimize the impact of natural disasters.

The course will place emphasis on active learning exercises to investigate processes and responses to natural hazards. We will meet for two periods each week which will include both lecture and group research activities (approximately 30% of time is in lectures, 70% time is in group research activities). Grading will be based on reports for each topic, a disaster diary, and a term report. The term report is an independent project which focuses on a selected city facing significant natural hazards. Cities will be selected from both the developed and developing world to allow comparsions of the impacts of natural disasters under different socio-economic and cultural conditions.

The course is offered once each year with a target enrollment of 25-30 students.

Prerequisites for the course are at least 6 credits in science courses (inluding GN courses).

General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2005
Prerequisite: fourth-semester standing

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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