InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
showLearn More
These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »
How to Use »

New to InTeGrate?

Learn how to incorporate these teaching materials into your class.

  • Find out what's included with each module
  • Learn how it can be adapted to work in your classroom
  • See how your peers at hundreds of colleges and university across the country have used these materials to engage their students

How To Use InTeGrate Materials »
show Download
The instructor material for this module are available for offline viewing below. Downloadable versions of the student materials are available from this location on the student materials pages. Learn more about using the different versions of InTeGrate materials »

Download a PDF of all web pages for the instructor's materials

Download a zip file that includes all the web pages and downloadable files from the instructor's materials

This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:

  • team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
  • multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
  • real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
  • multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
  • review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.


This page first made public: Aug 15, 2014

Summary

Making the difficult decision to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall can save lives and property. This two week module explores how hurricanes connect the ocean-atmosphere-terrestrial systems and society. Students evaluate how hurricane hazards and risks have changed with coastal development. Students use data to track historic hurricanes and compare the impacts from different hurricanes. The module culminates in a role-playing activity in which students identify and represent stakeholders facing hypothetical hurricane evacuation in their town.

Strengths of the Module

Students develop their ability to incorporate systems thinking: hurricanes form as the atmosphere and ocean interact, release energy along the ocean-land boundary and impact human lives and economies on the coast and many miles inland. See this activity for an example of systems thinking.

Students make sense of complex and uncertain data. Using historical records of hurricanes, individual hurricane tracks, recurrence intervals for different locations, flood records, and remote sensing data, students learn many methods of the geoscientist. The module includes links to additional data so instructors may tailor exercises by location or for the most recent hurricanes. For example, see these data-rich activities.

Students learn crucial skills for interdisciplinary problem-solving. The module culminates with students evaluating multiple perspectives and recommending action in the face of an approaching hurricane. See this role-playing activity for an example.

A great fit for courses in:

  • Earth science
  • environmental science
  • oceanography
  • natural hazards
  • global change
  • sustainability science
  • atmospheric science
  • environmental studies
NGSS Logo Very Small

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

As a whole, this module provides students the opportunity to explore and analyze a variety of spatial, temporal, quantitative, and qualitative datasets associated with hurricanes and their impacts. Many activities are quantitative and make explicit connections to physical concepts of energy.

This module is designed for introductory or intermediate students who are potential earth science majors, undecided, or general education students at a variety of university-level institutions. Some of the materials could be used at a more advanced level or extended look at the impacts of hurricanes. These materials have been used as a two-week module of geoscience and marine and atmospheric science courses. However, any of the activities could be used independently. Activities can be used in class or lab, as homework, or online with small or large classes. Materials are designed with particular emphasis on societal relevance. Several of the activities demonstrate and give students experience working with real data. Recent examples are used, and many links to data sources are given so future instructors can adapt the materials with the latest examples.

Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Earth Science Literacy Principles:

  • Earth Science Literacy Big Idea 1: Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet
  • Earth Science Literacy Big Idea 3: Earth is a complex system of interacting rock, water, air, and life.
  • Earth Science Literacy Big Idea 4 and Atmospheric principle 4: Earth is continuously changing.
  • Earth Science Literacy Big Idea 8: Natural hazards pose risks to humans.
  • Earth Science Literacy Big Idea 9: Humans significantly alter Earth when they look at changing risks as population and infrastructure increase.

Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Ocean Science Literacy Principles:

  • Ocean Science Literacy Principle 3: The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
  • Ocean Science Literacy Principle 6: The oceans and humans are inextricably linked.

Addressed community developed, nationally-recognized Atmospheric Science Literacy Principles:

  • Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 6: We seek to understand the past, present and future behavior of Earth's atmosphere through scientific observation and reasoning.
  • Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 7: Earth's atmosphere and humans are inextricably linked.


Instructor Stories: How this module was adapted
for use at several institutions »



      Next Page »

Already used some of these materials in a course?
Let us know and join the discussion »

Considering using these materials with your students?
Get pointers and learn about how it's working for your peers in their classrooms »

These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »