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Teaching about Risk and Resilience Activities

These activities have been submitted by faculty from a range of disciplines as part of the 2014 workshop: Teaching about Risk and Resilience. The activities use a wide array of pedagogic approaches to address teaching about risk and resilience.


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Role playing the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial to debate responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
In this activity, students reenact key events leading up to and following the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial. This leads into a debate on responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Special Interest: Hazards

Creating a Natural Disaster Blog/VoiceThread to Understand Resilience
Anne Hall, Emory University
Student groups create blogs or VoiceThreads on selected natural disaster events including a description of the event, the cause of the disaster, response & recovery, prediction & prevention and resilience to the event.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Special Interest: Student Selected Problem, Hazards

Using "Dante's Peak" to Discuss Response to Risk
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
In this classroom activity, students watch the movie "Dante's Peak" up to the point where Harry Dalton's supervisor arrives and talks to the town council. Students then compare and contrast Harry's assessment and advice to that of his supervisor, discuss the reaction of the town council members, and develop their own recommendations for how the scientists and town should proceed.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Volcanism
Special Interest: Hazards

Ground Shaking and Damage at Your House
Carla Whittington, Highline Community College
In this activity, students use a seismic hazard map from the USGS to estimate the ground shaking hazard in their community. The map shows a 10% probability of ground accelerations reaching or exceeding a certain % ...

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Structural Geology
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Local Issue, Hazards

Calculating sea level changes
Shimon Wdowinski, University of Miami

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography, Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Quantitative, Hazards

Understanding flood risk at the community level
Lisa Doner, Plymouth State University
University level activity on floodplain risks. Uses FEMA maps and SERC river geomorphology videos.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards:Floods/Fluvial Processes
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations:Data, Local Issue, Hazards

Using the pH Scale and Carbonic Acid Formation to Understand the Effect of Ocean Acidification on Organisms with Calcium Carbonate Shells.
Richard Rueb, Clackamas Community College
In this lab activity students use the pH scale and the reaction of carbon dioxide with water to understand ocean acidification and make predictions regarding the effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms by experimentally determining the effect of pH of calcite dissolution.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience, Oceanography, Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Environmental Science:Oceans and Coastal Resources, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science, Ecosystems, Global Change and Climate, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Resources

Visualizing the impact of storm surge and sea level rise on coastal communities
Eileen Johnson, Bowdoin College

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Hazards, GIS, Data, models, or simulations:Data

Evaluating Rainfall, Landslides, and Weather: Big Sur, California
Ana Garcia-Garcia, Monterey Peninsula College
This activity leads to understanding common landslide hazards in the area and how they relate to weather patterns and/or local geology.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology, Geology:Geomorphology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Hazards, Local Issue

The Science of Disasters eTextbook Activity
Sian Proctor, South Mountain Community College
The Science of Disasters etextbook is a Softchalk activity designed to give students an introduction to disaster terminology including risk and resiliency. It is typically used as a pre-reading assignment for non-science majors in an introductory disasters class.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Special Interest: Hazards

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