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 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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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.
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Instructor Materials: Overview of the Map Your Hazards! Module

Module Goal: Students will recognize and develop an understanding of how to identify and apply credible data sets to identify local natural hazards, vulnerable groups and structures, and levels of risk for their community. Additionally, students will learn how to collect and analyze relevant social data on individual and community knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their local social networks. Finally, students will synthesize this collection of information and produce recommendations to potential stakeholders on how to develop prepared communities for disasters and make connections in evaluating community interactions with natural hazards.

Summative Assessment: Student success in this module can be assessed through a series of three assignments: (1) creating maps of local hazards and vulnerabilities to asses overlapping components of risk, (2) analysis of survey data to assess complications of knowledge, risk perception and preparedness in their social networks, and (3) presentation of recommendations for preparedness to specific stakeholders in their community for mitigating potential disasters.

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

This module gives students the opportunity to collect their own data through the use of a survey, develop research questions to probe the results of the survey, and propose solutions to improve hazard preparedness. A particularly strong aspect of the module is addressing real world hazards in the local community, making it easily adaptable to any setting.


Unit 1 Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk: Creating local hazard and risk maps

Unit 1 addresses Learning Goal 1: Students will identify and apply credible geologic and social science data sets to identify local hazards and vulnerable groups and structures, and assess risk for their community.

  • Activity 1.A: Students are instructed to take and distribute a natural hazard and risk perception survey to their local, social network (e.g., friends, family, teams, organizations).
  • Activity 1.B: Uses a group discussion or "think, pair, share" on vulnerability, hazard and risk (e.g. how would you define hazard, vulnerability and risk). Students will then create hazard, vulnerability and risk maps for their area in PowerPoint.

This unit addresses the following literacy principles: ESLP 1.2, 1.5, 8.1; CSL 7.C; OSL 6.F

Unit 2 Perception of Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk: Analyzing survey data from their social networks

Unit 2 addresses Learning Goal 2: Students will collect and analyze relevant social data on individual and community knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their local social networks.

  • Activity 2.A: In this activity, students examine and analyze a small subset of the survey data, and then the class discusses the survey data.
  • Activity 2.B: This activity tasks students with answering questions assigned by the professor using the full set of survey data. Students then pose and answer research questions to be answered with full set of survey data.

This unit addresses the following literacy principle: ESLP 8.8

Unit 3 Translating the Message

Unit 3 addresses Learning Goal 3: Students will identify potential stakeholders and assess the importance of communication and interaction between these groups to make recommendations on how to define and develop prepared communities. Students synthesize and evaluate data sets from Units 1 and 2 for stakeholders to generate recommendations for preparedness, resource allocation and city planning to promote building a more prepared community.

  • Activity 3: Students discuss stakeholders and presenting information to different audiences. They then develop and practice presentations using results from Units 1 and 2 for their specific stakeholder, including making recommendations for developing a more prepared and resilient community.
  • Activity 4: This activity tasks students with giving 5–7 minute presentations to the class and (possibly) stakeholders in the community (e.g., general public, local emergency managers, community planners).

This unit addresses the following literacy principles: ESLP 1.1, 8.7, 8.8; ASL 7.4, 7.5

Making the Module Work

To adapt all or part of the Map Your Hazards! module for your classroom, you will also want to read through

  • Environmental Sociology — upper division course (see case study)
    • Provide a lecture (or lecture slides) on introduction to natural hazards.
    • Provide lecture (or lecture slides) on introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Social Science Courses."
    • 3-week module:
      • Week 1 Unit 1
      • Week 2 Unit 2
      • Week 3 Unit 3
  • Non-major social science lower-level honors course
    • Provide a lecture (or lecture slides) on introduction to natural hazards.
    • Provide a lecture (or lecture slides) on introduction to risk perception using either "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability" PowerPoints.
    • Apply learned objectives from module for students to take a step further and produce a mitigation plan (e.g., capstone project).
  • Non-major geoscience honors courses, such as "Volcanoes and Society" (see case study)
    • Because this class only focused on volcanic hazards, it is a good idea to briefly discuss other types of natural hazards using the "Introduction to Natural Hazards" slides.
    • Provide a lecture or introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Geoscience Courses."
    • See optional lectures for additional ideas based on your class needs.
      • Week 1 Unit 1
      • Week 2 Unit 2
      • Week 3 Unit 3
      • Presentations during final exam time slot
  • Geoscience 100-level lecture (see case study) <40 students
    • Provide a lecture or introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Geoscience Courses."
    • See optional lectures for additional ideas based on your class needs.
    • Less rigorous on sources.
    • Students may need to bring personal computers if no lab is available.
    • 3-week module
      • Week 1 Unit 1
      • Week 2 Unit 2
      • Week 3 Unit 3
    • Unit 1 or Unit 2 can be used independently if the instructor has less time available.
  • Geoscience 100-level lecture (see case study) > 40 students
    • Provide a lecture or introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Geoscience Courses."
    • See optional lectures for additional ideas based on your class needs.
    • Less rigorous on sources.
    • Students will need to bring personal computers.
    • Require posters, voiceover presentations using jing, or just do not run Unit 3. The learning objectives of Units 1 and 2 are significant even without Unit 3.
  • Geoscience 100-level lab (see case study)
    • Cover necessary lectures in a lecture period.
    • Provide a lecture or introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Geoscience Courses."
    • See optional lectures for additional ideas based on your class needs.
    • Less rigorous on sources.
    • Designate 4–5 two-hour lab periods.
    • If taught in a non-traditional community college setting where students are not on campus often to work outside of class, the module will likely require 6 lab periods.
    • Unit 1 or Unit 2 can be used independently if the instructor has less time available.
  • Geoscience upper division natural hazards course
    • Provide a lecture or introduction to risk perception using the "Introduction to Risk and Vulnerability for Geoscience Courses."
    • 3-week module
      • Week 1 Unit 1
      • Week 2 Unit 2
      • Week 3 Unit 3
    • Apply learned objectives from module for students to take a step further and produce a mitigation plan (e.g., capstone project) or outreach plan (pamphlets, worksheets, modifications to existing state websites).

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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 »