Geologic Hazard Community Action Plan (Capstone Presentation)

Jennifer Pickering, Alaska Pacific University and Anchorage School District
Bonnie Magura, ShakeAlert
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO

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When people play a proactive role, communities can achieve greater community resilience to earthquake hazards. This activity empowers learners to use their knowledge of geoscience and preparedness planning to engage community stakeholders in ways to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the hazards and risks posed by earthquakes. Participants will prepare an informativepresentation where they will "ask" an agency or entity to respond to an issue or concern with a specific action affecting earthquake community preparedness.

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Depending on the resources and scaffolding provided for research, this activity is appropriate for middle school students and up.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have at least started learning on plate tectonics and geologic hazards.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a culminating project for an entire unit on plate tectonics or geologic hazards. In addition to science learning, activities such Engaging With Earthquake Hazard and Risk or Geologic Hazards and the Built Environment. This activity requires 2+ class periods.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Learners will:

  • Understand basic hazards and risks due to earthquakes
  • Demonstrate and communicate relevant geoscience understanding of the factors affecting their community preparedness capabilities
  • Identify a specific preparedness vulnerability in their community and interpret the challenges and constraints related to the issue
  • Identify and communicate possible solutions for taking action to resolve the challenges and constraints
  • Construct an argument about how challenges and constraints impact decision-making and implementation of best practices in seismic safety preparedness

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • Evaluating and prioritizing information

Other skills goals for this activity

  • Synthesizing information from multiple sources
  • Communicating findings

Description and Teaching Materials


See attached file for instructor guide, NGSS alignment, and links to supporting resources.
Geological Hazards Community Action Plan Activity ALL.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 781kB Feb13 22)

Supporting presentation/audiovisual

Supporting files

Teaching Notes and Tips


Student teams will give a presentation to another student team (or class) who will act as an official agency, community council, or school board to advocate for a particular solution to an identified community need that will improve earthquake resilience and preparedness. Use the provided rubric to evaluate the presentations (see Instructor Guide).