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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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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: Environmental Science:Ecosystems, Global Change and Climate, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Resources, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Oceanography, Geoscience, Environmental Science:Oceans and Coastal Resources

Developing student literacy on risk, resilience, and strategies for living with disaster uncertainty
Monica Gowan, Mayo Clinic
In this guided research and critical thinking activity, students prepare a research paper comprised of two parts: 1) a "state-of-the-science" review and synthesis of selected literature from risk and resilience research (provided) and 2) a brief critical appraisal of how current knowledge is (or could be) applied to building disaster resilience in a real-world scenario. Part 2 will be set in a student-selected hazard context (coastal hazards, flooding, or earthquake), employment sector (academia, government, private industry, services, non-profit), and geopolitical sphere of influence (e.g., Resilience to earthquake disaster in the student population at Universidad de Lima, Peru).

Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Subject: Geoscience, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Special Interest: Hazards

Calculating Resilience, Tipping Points, and Restoration for Lakes at Risk from Acid Rain
Bill Stigliani, University of Northern Iowa
This activity is about the resilience of watersheds at risk from acid rain, how they can lose their resilience and become dysfunctional when a tipping point is transgressed, and how the ecosystem can recover as a result of natural replenishment processes and laws enacted to reduce pollutant inputs.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Chemistry:Environmental Chemistry, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity
Special Interest: Local Issue, Hazards, Data, models, or simulations

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, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science
Special Interest: Hazards, Data, models, or simulations

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

Family Stress theories and risk communication to evaluate and build family resilience
Tatjana Hocke-Mirzashvili, James Madison University
In this activity, students use theoretical knowledge about family stress theories to analyze family vignettes and make predictions about the level of risk or resilience each family might have should a natural disaster occur. To increase resilience, risk communication strategies are discussed.

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

Know Your Audience! Audience Analysis Exercise to Increase Audience Centered Communication and Teaching of Risk and Resilience
Carrie Nelms, University of Arkansas Main Campus
This activity will help develop critical thinking skills in analyzing an audience to customize a risk assessment communication message toward their needs. With climate change disasters becoming more prevalent,scientist will benefit learning an audience centered approach to deliver an effective risk assessment message to a multi-diverse audience.

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

Using GIS to Map Emergency Response to Municipal Flooding
Mary Anne Carletta, Georgetown College
Using GIS to Map Emergency Response to Municipal Flooding

Grade Level: High School (9-12), College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Floods/Fluvial Processes
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Hazards, GIS

Field Trip to Explore Local Natural Disasters
Robert Clayton, Brigham Young University-Idaho
All on-campus Natural Disasters students at BYU-Idaho (1200 - 1800 students per year) go on a field trip to develop field observation skills. We visit the Teton Dam, Henry's Fork caldera (part of the Yellowstone hot spot track), and 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake area.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geoscience, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geography, Environmental Science:Land Use and Planning
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning, Local Issue, Hazards

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