Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Environmental Volcanology

Environmental Volcanology

Attila Kilinc

University of Cincinnati
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


After a brief introduction to volcanology students learn the relationships between plate boundaries and plate intriors and volcanism. Next seven major volcanic hazards and what can be done to mitigate them is covered. Finally, students are exposed broader issues between volcanism and climate change, mass extinctions and volcanism, origin of life and submarine volcanoes and cultures developed around volcanoes.The course ends with a class discussion of benefits of volcanoes.

Course URL:
Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Special Interest: Hazards
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Ready for Use: Course Goals Only
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Environmental Geology, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards
Course Type: Entry Level:Geologic Hazards
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is a sophomore-junior level course for non-majors. It has no prerequistes and no labs. Typically one or two students decide to major in geology after taking this course.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to assess volcanic hazards for a given volcano
Students should be able to interpret data from volcano monitoring instruments
Students should be able to analyze and assess volcanic risk given data on "value", "vulnerability" and "hazard"
Students should be able to analyze the cost/benefit ratio for a given volcano

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Course activities such as evacuating a certain area around a given volcano in a given period of time, preparing a document about cost/benefit analysis for geothermal energy for a volcano in New Zealand, designing a hazard map for the Mt. Rainier help students achieve the discipline-related goals

Skills Goals

Student writing
quantitative abilities
Accessing large data bases to extract and analyze data
Communication skills for oral presentations

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Several exercises involve both accessing large data bases to receover needed data and quantitative data analysis

Class presentations (oral) by students about volcano hazards
A term paper on a major volcanic hazard

Attitudinal Goals

Developing students' ability to analyze volcanologic data
Learning how to read a scientific paper critically
Improving students' awareness of volcanic hazards versus benefits of volcanoes
Changing student attitudes toward geological sciences

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Short discussion on how to read and evaluate a scientific paper will help students in their reading/evaluation assignments
A discussion of geohazards will sensitise students toward developing a plan for geosafety


Short quizzes
Rubric for term assignment

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