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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

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

Earth Sciences (EARTH)

EARTH 107 (GN) Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society (3) Processes responsible for formation, diversity, and evolution of coastal landscapes; socioeconomic and policy responses to changes in coastal regions.

EARTH 107 Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society (3)

Ten percent of the world’s population or approximately 600 million people live on land that is within 10 meters of sea level. This low elevation coastal zone includes some of the world’s most populous cities including New York, London, Miami, Calcutta, Tokyo, and Cairo. This zone is threatened by a host of environmental challenges, none less daunting than sea level rise. The overarching goal of the proposed blended course is to provide students with a global perspective of coastal landscapes, the processes responsible for their formation, diversity and change over time, as well as socioeconomic and policy responses to current biophysical changes in the coastal zones around the world. Students will use real-world coastal data sets to evaluate hazards such as hurricanes and tsunamis and effects on coastal populations. Coastal processes to be considered include tectonic settings, effects of glaciation, sediment supply, and wave and tidal energy. The impacts of sea level rise and its local effects on communities will be a focus. Engineering solutions to projected sea level rise impacts such as coastal flooding and habitat loss in coastal areas will also be examined.

The students taking the course will participate in a student-centered active learning process, including analyzing real data sets such as sea level rise records, shoreline erosion rates along barriers, comparison of wave data for Hawaii versus the East Coast and other major influences affecting coastal evolution. Students will also be asked to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to real-world coastal issues that affect human populations. An example is how communities can effectively plan for emergencies such as catastrophic flooding of densely populated low-lying areas such as the Ganges delta. Active learning elements include analyzing real data sets and applying critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real-world coastal issues that affect human populations. Students will complete a capstone project in which they consider a real-world coastal issue. The course will comprise twelve modules, each lasting 1-2 weeks. The course will initially be offered in blended format and later in 100% online format.

General Education: GN
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2015

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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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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