InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Map Your Hazards! – Assessing Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:

  • team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
  • multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
  • real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
  • multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
  • review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.


This page first made public: Oct 20, 2014

Summary

The Map Your Hazards module provides students an interactive mechanism to engage in place-based exploration of natural hazards, social vulnerability, risk and the factors that shape their communities perception of natural hazards and risk. The module is interdisciplinary in nature as it allows students to integrate interdisciplinary geoscience and social science methodologies to understand societal impacts that result from natural hazards. Students will (1) identify and apply credible geologic and social science datasets to identify hazards and social vulnerability within their region, (2) collect and evaluate survey data on the knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their social networks, and (3) make recommendations, based on the findings of their work, to potential stakeholders for continued development of a prepared, resilient community. In summary, students will gain insight into how our knowledge and perspectives of the world shape how we interact with it, and how we promote and build resilient communities through understanding the relationship between human systems (built environment) and natural systems.

Strengths of the Module

Students discover local natural hazards and social vulnerabilities, and assign levels of risk to areas within their community. By personalizing risk in their communities, students are motivated to develop skills in locating and applying credible geologic and social science data to map hazards (see Unit 1).

Students examine their community's state of knowledge, degree of risk perception and level of preparedness by conducting survey research within their social networks. Students analyze survey results by developing and testing research questions, which require them to compile and plot data and interpret graphs of results (see Unit 2).

Students synthesize and present their findings to specific stakeholders in their communities. Students make recommendations, based on their module results, to increase the level of preparedness for natural hazards that can impact their community. Students involved in the piloted module trials reported sincere interest in learning more about their community's risk from natural hazards and vulnerabilities (see instructor stories). They also reported feeling empowered to make a positive impact on their communities through making preparedness recommendations (see Unit 3).

A great fit for courses in:

  • natural hazards
  • environmental studies
  • environmental science
  • earth science
  • environmental sociology
  • global change
  • social problems

This module is appropriate for both introductory-level and upper-division science and social science courses. The module is designed to stand alone as a research project and can be adapted to many class sizes and formats (large- or small-enrollment classes, online/distance learning courses, and interdisciplinary courses). The module includes three units with lab/homework and in-class group activities. While these units are designed to build upon one another, the units can be adapted to stand alone. ​

Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Earth Science Literacy Principles:

  • Earth Science Literacy 1.1: Earth scientists find solutions to society's needs.
  • Earth Science Literacy 1.2: Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
  • Earth Science Literacy 1.5: Earth scientists use their understanding of the past to forecast Earth's future.
  • Earth Science Literacy 8.1: Natural hazards result from natural Earth processes.
  • Earth Science Literacy 8.7: Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, but can engage in activities that reduce their impacts.
  • Earth Science Literacy 8.8: An Earth-science-literate public is essential for reducing risks from natural hazards.

Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Ocean Science Literacy Principles:

  • Ocean Science Literacy Principle 6 F: Coastal regions are susceptible to natural hazards (such as tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, sea level change, and storm surges).

Supported Essential Principles of Climate Science:

  • 7 C: Incidents of extreme weather are projected to increase as a result of climate change. Many locations will see a substantial increase in the number of heat waves they experience per year and a likely decrease in episodes of severe cold. Precipitation events are expected to become less frequent but more intense in many areas, and droughts will be more frequent and severe in areas where average precipitation is projected to decrease.

Addressed community developed, nationally-recognized Atmospheric Science Literacy Principles:

  • Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 7.4: Weather forecasts and predictions of future climate assist us in implementing mitigation strategies and adaptation to new climatic conditions.
  • Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 7.5: Citizens need to become educated about Earth's atmosphere to make informed decisions on issues at local, regional, and global scales.


Instructor Stories: How this module was adapted
for use at several institutions »



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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »