Initial Publication Date: October 12, 2020

Mini short course: Teaching about Surface Process Hazards: Living with Landslides

Thursday October 22, 2020

12-2 pm PT | 1-3 pm MT | 2-4 pm CT | 3-5 pm ET | 7-9 pm UTC

Registration closed Tuesday October 20, 2020

This course is part of the GETSI Virtual Mini Short Course Series.


Becca Walker (Mt San Antonio College)
Beth Pratt-Sitaula (UNAVCO)

Mini-course Description

This mini-course will give instructors a chance to learn about the Surface Process Hazards: Living with Landslides introductory-level GETSI module. It will include interactive opportunities for instructors to actually work through parts of student exercises, discuss ideas with peers, and work on implementation planning. $50 stipend* for completion of the course and short implementation plan.

Worldwide mass wasting causes hundreds if not thousands of deaths per year and billions of dollars in damages. Many of these losses would be preventable if societies prioritized landslide mitigation. In this 2-3 week module, students use a variety of geodetic and other data to analyze the natural and human characteristics of landscapes that contribute to mass wasting hazards. Most of the geodetic data sets are high resolution topography from Lidar and radar, but some InSAR data are also included. Students consider the environmental and societal impacts of mass wasting and landslides as well as the physical factors behind mass movements. Materials for student reading and preparation exercises, in-class discussions, lab exercises, small group activities, gallery walks, and a final project are provided, as well as teaching tips and suggestions for modifications for a variety of class formats. Case study sites include Peru, Italy, and a variety of North American sites from Alaska to Utah to New York.

Mini-course elements

  • Watch ~7 minute video (MP4 Video 10.4MB Oct20 20) prior to the first mini-course you attend.
  • Participate in the full 2-hour session.
    (If you are unable to attend the mini-course at its scheduled time, we recommend watching the webinar related to teaching the same module: Addressing Landslide Hazards in Introductory Undergraduate Courses.)
  • Complete an Implementation Planning Form by the end of Sunday following the mini-course (expected time ~20-30 minutes; you will have some time near the end of the 2-hour session but may need to take a bit of additional time to complete your plan and feedback)
  • $50 stipend* for participants who complete the Implementation Planning Form by the deadline (Sunday October 25). Must be US citizen or permanent resident to receive a stipend; however, others are welcome to participate without compensation.


The mini-courses are intended for undergraduate instructors: college and university faculty (including adjunct), post-docs expecting to teach soon, and graduate students with teaching or TAing responsibilities. Secondary K-12 teachers are also welcome; the introductory level modules have been successfully adapted to K-12. You may attend multiple mini-courses and receive the $50 stipend for each. Maximum of 50 registrants per mini-course so please only sign up if you intend to attend.

If you attended the short course @GSA 2019: Preparing Undergraduates -- Data-Rich Introductory Teaching Modules and Connecting Content to Geoscience Careers, this mini-course would be redundant so please leave the spot for someone else.


At the end of this mini-course, participants will:

  • Be able to teach more effectively about surface process hazards using geodetic data and methods
  • Be able to integrate societal challenges and interdisciplinary solutions into earth science courses
  • Make implementation plans for adopting elements of the module into their courses

*Must be US citizen or permanent resident to receive a stipend; however others are welcome to participate without compensation.
You may attend multiple mini-courses. Stipends will be compiled and sent out after the end of the term during which the mini-course was held.

Files for the course

All these files are available in the Surface Process Hazards: Living with Landslides module. However, we have bundled the specific files that we are using during the course here for simplicity.


Beth Pratt-Sitaula - prattsitaula AT