InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Major Storms and Community Resilience > Instructor Stories > Lorraine Motola
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Lorraine Motola: Using Major Storms and Community Resilience in Disaster Response and Recovery at Metropolitan College of New York


About this Course

Upper division, major course.

2
students
One 1 hour and 50 minute lecture
per week
Disaster Response and Recovery Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 294kB Oct23 16)

A Success Story in Building Student Engagement

My course is designed for upper level Disaster Management students currently in the field, or seeking to enter the field. That said I think it is advantageous to seek out real world materials that support the academic goals of the program with career preparation in mind. Therefore the module satisfies those desires while offering systems thinking, building interdisciplinary connections, using real world examples and local data. This methodology is an extremely beneficial framework.

This module showed the students how to get to know their local hazards and how to mitigate them. It also stressed the importance of learning what the geoscientist community knows and how to embrace that information to convey it during a Town Hall meeting.

My Experience Teaching with InTeGrateMaterials

Because class enrollment was extremely low, group projects had to be adapted for individuals. For example, the town hall meeting took on the presidential town hall formats. The student presented their policy paper, instructor served as the event moderator and asked a series of questions. Then the other student was given an opportunity to ask questions.

Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course

The course is fourteen weeks long and the module was introduced during the second half of the semester. Topics introduced before the module included the Four Phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management/What is the Difference between Mitigation & Preparedness. ISDR The Four Elements of Effective Warning Systems — "Failure in any one part can mean failure of the whole system" and the Tilly Smith tsunami warning video. DHS 16 Critical Infrastructures and the American Society of Civil Engineers/ Infrastructure Report card. That said the module course materials blended with and reinforced earlier systems thinking lectures.

Assessments

I found that the students were most engaged during the Concept Map Activity and the Probability and Comparative Probabilities of Risk Activity. These activities served as an excellent foundation in preparing for the other module assessments I used; Hazard Vulnerability Analysis, Hazard Mitigation Plan memo, press release, Town Hall Debate and in developing their policy papers.

The information armed the students with confidence and expertise displayed not only when completing the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis matrix but in defending their positions in class. Additionally the activities were extremely helpful in order to develop and/or deliver their press releases, town hall debate and policy paper.

Outcomes

The things that I had hoped students would take-away from the module were:

  • conduct independent research on hazards, storm events and policies by embracing the contents of a Hazard Mitigation Plan;
  • analyze Hazard Mitigation Plans ... what worked, observations/recommendations ... what did not work, observations/recommendations;
  • compile and deliver Lessons Learned information for leadership and stakeholders as a way to improve emergency preparedness and community resilience in a variety of venues including a Town Hall style meeting.

I observed that the students were able to Incorporate the above goals in the module activities and assignments.

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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 »