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GEOS 272
Earth Hazards and Risks Spring 2021
Division III Writing Skills
Cross-listed ENVI 272 / GEOS 272

Class Details

As individuals, communities, and societies we live with risk from a variety of natural hazards. Depending on where we live, we may be more at risk from hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, flooding, landslides, drought, wildfire, asteroids, or other hazards. Which hazards can be predicted? How far in advance and with what uncertainty? How we evaluate our risks from hazards is important for how we make decisions for ourselves and how we engage with others in decision-making. In this tutorial, we will examine the innovative ways earth scientists currently forecast these hazards. Students will use geospatial and time series data to assess the comparative risks of several hazards at a location that is significant to them (e.g., hometown, site of personal/historical importance). We will combine forecasting effectiveness with vulnerability assessments to strategize ways of proactively mitigating risk. This course is in the Sediments and Life group for the Geosciences major.
The Class: Format: tutorial; This class will meet remotely. Students will meet in pairs or small groups weekly with the instructor for one hour. The entire class will meet once at the beginning of the semester for organizational purposes and at the end of the semester for a synthesis.
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 5099
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Assessment will be based on participation, tutorial papers, peer reviews, presentations, and a final paper.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: sophomores, Geosciences and Environmental Studies juniors and seniors
Distributions: Division III Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 272 Division III GEOS 272 Division III
WS Notes: Students will write four (5 page) tutorial papers evaluating the predictability/uncertainty of Earth-related hazards and make short (5 minute) presentations assessing risk of the hazard in their hometown or other location. A final (10 page) paper will synthesize two of the hazards and ability of forecasts to mitigate associated risks. Students will give/receive feedback in the form of peer reviews and receive frequent feedback from the instructor.
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives
GEOS Group B Electives - Sediments + Life

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