Teaching about Hazards in Geoscience

Developed by John McDaris of SERC.

Major hazardous events and natural disasters provide geoscience educators with powerful opportunities to engage their students with class content and the general public with how the geosciences impact their everyday lives. These teachable moments come with the imperative of "striking while the iron is hot," that is, while student (and public) interest is high. In addition, many schools feature Natural Hazards courses as a way of getting students interested in the geosciences. The purpose of this site is to provide access to teaching materials to respond to sudden hazard events in the classroom as well as more generalized materials that will help faculty teach about hazards when there isn't one bearing down.

Hazard Event Pages

View all the Events Pages.

General Hazard Topics

These topical pages have been developed to showcase general resources about particular kinds of hazards as a complement to the pages about specific hazard events. From Earthquakes to Wildfires, these pages give quick access to trusted sources of information and materials that you can use to help your students learn about these types of hazards.


There are a number of pedagogical considerations to teaching about hazards that can affect how well students can be engaged in learning. There are opportunities and challenges related to affective versus cognitive learning domains, science in service to society, and the inherently multidisciplinary nature of various hazards.

Hazards Webinars

As a part of the run up to the 2012 workshop on Teaching Environmental Geology, there were a series of webinars on topics related to hazards. These webinars were held in November 2011, January 2012, February 2012, and March 2012. You can access presentation and resources from the webinars and watch recordings of all of them as well in the Webinars area .

Assignments and Activities

Search and browse through a collection of more than 250 teaching activities dealing with various hazards in different contexts available for you to use in your class.

Hazards Courses

Hazards Courses are a popular offering on campuses everywhere. Browse through this collection of course descriptions to see how other faculty are teaching these important topics and get ideas for your own courses.

Internet Resources

Browse through the extensive annotated bibliography of internet resources related to hazards and teaching about hazards.

Join the Discussion

You can join the Hazards Email List and take part in discussions related to the teaching of hazards in geoscience courses.

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