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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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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, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Volcanism
Special Interest: Hazards

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: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
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: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Student Selected Problem, Hazards

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

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

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

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

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

Comparison of Two Hurricanes
David Kobilka, Central Lakes College-Brainerd
In this activity students synthesize ideas from lecture, reading, and viewing two PBS NOVA videos on hurricanes.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience, :Oceanography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards
Special Interest: Hazards, 2YC:Geo2YC

Evaluating natural hazards data to assess the risk to your California home
Corrie Neighbors, University of California-Riverside
Students use a series of maps and natural hazard data to evaluate the risk to a building structure of their choice in the state of California. For each hazard, students rate the potential risk in two dimensions: (1) Probability - probability that a hazardous event "may" occur, and (2) Severity of Impact - the size of the impact in terms of cost and impact on human health.

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

Developing a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Strategy
This page is authored by Rebekah Green, Western Washington University.
As a culminating assignment in Natural Hazards Planning, students work in teams to create 15-year mitigation strategy for a selected jurisdiction using the FEMA 386 methodology for prioritizing mitigation options.

Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Subject: Environmental Science:Land Use and Planning, Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geography, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Hazards, Student Selected Problem

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