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Volcanic Hazards Teaching  

List the name of one course you teach that covers Volcanic Hazards. How much time do you devote to volcanic hazards in this class?

GLG101 - Intro to Physical Geology; Approximately 2 50-minute lecture periods.

What kinds of activities and strategies do you use to address volcanic hazards?

Identification of volcanic structural features using the application of composition and viscosity. For example, the students examine a slide showing features of a shield volcano and then describe the size, shape, rock color, and how explosive the volcano appears to be. They must then hypothesize what the volcano's igneous composition is (mafic) and how viscous the magma was to produce this type of eruption/structure (low viscosity).

Provide URL or citation for books, articles, videos, or websites you find useful to teach about volcanic hazards.

I utilize "Understanding Volcanic Hazards" by IAVCEI and a worksheet/grid that I have the students fill out while watching the video.


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Name of course that covers volcanic hazards: Investigating Earth - introductory geology course


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I teach GEOL 1305 a Geologic Hazards class. Depending on class participation, I spend anywhere from one week to a week and a half discussing volcanoes and their hazards.

I introduce the students to magma chemistry and differences in viscosity due to silica content. I use the analogy of hot and cold maple syrup to explain viscosity. I then post images of different types of volcanoes and ask the students to tell me eruptive styles and what evidence is in the image to determine the various eruptive styles.


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I teach a quarter-long, introductory-level volcano class, titled "Volcanoes". Volcanic hazards make up roughly half of the syllabus.

I use a variety of images and multimedia, including videos and clips of real-world volcanic phenomena in addition to a number of analogue demonstrations to demonstrate and teach about volcanic processes.

I also utilize "Understanding Volcanic Hazards" by IAVCEI, in addition to the NOVA special "In the path of a killer volcano"


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I teach a year-long Earth Science class to 9th graders at a public high school. Hazards are currently about 1/3 of the curriculum but we are in the process of developing a GeoHazards elective for upper level students.

I introduce students to volcanoes by using corn syrup and lava to demonstrate the properties of different types of lavas. I also spend a day talking about the Yellowstone supervolcano to spike their interest.


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GEOL 105 Geologic Hazards (non-majors. 250-300 students)

About 2 weeks. Volcanoes and tsunami always the favorite for the students.


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GEOL 107 - Geologic Catastrophes

This is the class I teach about geologic hazards, specific to the Pacific Northwest. I devote 3-4 weeks on volcanoes.

Our college is about 15 miles south of the Seattle area. We draw students from King and Pierce County. Many of these students live within the lahar hazard zones of Mt. Rainier. Those that don't would still be affected by a major eruption of this volcano -- they work, have family, play, etc in the lahar hazard zones.

My students evaulate and write about their risk from volcanic eruptions. We use the Volcanic Hazards Maps for all five of Washington's potentially active volcanoes!


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I teach an environmental hazards class that spends two weeks on volcanic hazards. We cover the basics of igneous rocks, specifics related to volcanoes, volcanoes relative to population centers, the short and long term effects of eruptions, and how to mitigate volcanic hazards.


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I discuss volcanic hazards in several classes. This semester we are team teaching a class on the geology of Hawaii in preparation for a field trip in April. We have 25 undergraduate and graduate students.

What kinds of activities and strategies do you use to address volcanic hazards?
We are using activities developed at an NAGT-USGS sponsored workshop run by Mike Poland. Many of the activities are posted on the SERC webpages.


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I discuss this topic in Physical Geology, which I teach every semester. I am only able to devote 2.5 hours or so to this topic due to time constrains. We discuss volcanoes after ~2 hours or so talking about igneous rocks. I typically refer back to volcanoes throughout the semester several times.

I try to use a few video clips when time allows. I almost always show them where to find links to webcams of active volcanoes on the USGS website and we look at them periodically, hoping to catch one "doing something."


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I discuss volcanoes in Earth Science, Environmental Geology and Physical Geology with emphasis adjusted for each course.


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