Communicate about Risk and Resilience
Working Across the Divide: The value of disciplinary and cultural perspectives
Cultures and values are also important considerations when considering planning for and responding to risk. There is no 'one solution' for all, and a community's history, culture, and values should be considered when considering risk planning and response. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides a number of documents and teaching resources devoted to disaster and risk reduction as well as considerations for cultural diversity, and more, as part of their Education for Sustainable Development websites.
Living in a Risky World: Strategies for preparation and building resilience
The classroom not only offers an opportunity to learn about how others deal with preparedness, but is also a place to build your students preparedness skills. From low-tech practice and drills to high tech modeling and forecasting, there are many strategies for preparing students for the risks we face around us.
Utilize practice and drills to prepare for natural hazards
- Learn more about the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Project and how to participate.
- The Great California ShakeOut – Teaching Risk & Resilience (Acrobat (PDF) 2.1MB May15 14)
- ShakeOut movie (Quicktime Video 16.1MB May15 14)
- Get Ready to ShakeOut (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 38MB May15 14)
- What's Shaking at SCEC? Education and Outreach Resources for Earthquake Preparedness, a webinar by Mark Benthien, Education Director, Southern Califormia Earthquake Center (SCEC)
- Explore resources that can be used to prepare for a variety of hazards from Ready.gov. Incorporate preparedness in the classroom by tasking students with coming up with a preparedness plan for a natural hazard that exists in their community.
- Check out the Map your Hazards module, from InTeGrate. The module consists of three activities that incorporate gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing data from both a scientific and sociological perspective in order to assess risk and risk perception in their community.
Use the media and social media
Using information from the media in the classroom can help to illustrate hazards and sustainability issues both within the community as well as those that extend outside of the local community (e.g. teaching about hurricanes in Iowa). Sharing images, video, and written media can also put these issues into a broader societal context that demonstrates the magnitude of the impact on real people in ways that students are better able to relate to. Media resources can also be used to study the 'bigger picture' related to emergency response and sustainability by looking at the influences of things like policy, emergency response planning and preparedness, communication, potential media bias, and more.
Social media is another engaging tool to promote communication about risk and resilience. In the event of a crisis, communities can use widely available social media tools to share information coming in from many different sources. This use of social media can also build community during crises - offering both information and assistance within the community. In using social media as an outlet for information, caution should be taken to avoid panic and spreading misinformation. Taking social media into the classroom, exploring blogs can help provide a detailed narrative behind how sustainability issues and hazards affect real people. Parsing Twitter feeds and Facebook posts can also provide insight into how communication systems can aid or hinder disaster response, psychological impacts of natural disasters, and societal and agency response.
- Pedagogic Approaches:
- Learn more about The role of technology in undergraduate research, which includes a sub-section about how to utilize social media to facilitate student research.
Prepare for the future: Scenarios and forecasting
Learning about forecasting and using scenarios for planning not only allows students to envision the future, but also provides an understanding of the modeling process and how to evaluate predictions, what factors may or may not impact our future, and what we can do to mitigate potential problems. By participating in modeling activities, students can also learn about limitations to the models we have available and explore the complex interplay of systems acting within sustainability issues.
Scenarios in the Classroom
Several sites host scenarios that can be explored in the classroom or lab setting. Students can also create their own scenarios using activities such as this: Research project to consider how projected climate change will impact a region of interest to the student by Susan Kaspari. Students can model IPCC scenarios using the interactive Climate Wizard tool or take a deeper look into IPCC scenarios and simulations. See other activity collections that utilize modeling, some of which also involve scenario building and exploration.
Other ideas include having students or analyze reports such as the IPCC Emission Scenarios document. Students could also experiment with models such as done in Earth Exploration Toolbook: Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model or The Climate Challenge: Our Choices Simulator.
- Browse Climate modeling activities from across the SERC partner sites.
- The CLEAN project is home to an extensively reviewed collection of activities, visualizations, and videos related to climate modeling.
- The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation E-Learning (CAMEL) collection of the National Council for Science and the Environment has hundreds of curricular resources and encyclopedia-style articles about climate change science and associated issues.
- Climate of Change is a 2-3 week module that explores climate variability, climate change, and human response using active learning techniques and data-rich activities. The module is made up of six activities, which can be used as stand-alone activities or in sequence.
- Tools for working with large datasets, mapping applications, models or simulation programs, from On the Cutting Edge, provides guidance on using popular and easily accessible tools such as Google Earth and GeoMapApp, among others, in the classroom.
- Learn more about Using computer models to teach about complex systems, from On the Cutting Edge. This page links to further guidance on using programs such as STELLA, NetLogo, Mathematica, and EdGCM programs.
- Pedagogic Approaches:
- Teaching with Google Earth - A comprehensive guide for using Google Earth in the classroom.
- Teaching with Data, Simulations, and Models - A comprehensive resource for using data-rich technology in the classroom. This website includes several links to other SERC resources as well as teaching ideas and online sources.
- Teaching with GIS - This website provides examples of GIS teaching activities and links to online GIS resources. The same content can also be found in the Pedagogy in Action library.
- Teaching with Visualizations - A brief introduction to visualizations with links to online data and software. The same content can also be found in the Starting Point Teaching Methods library.
- Scenarios from external sites:
- See how scenarios can be used in the classroom in the activity: Scenario building to understand complex systems, by Cailin Huyck Orr.
- New Lens Scenarios from Shell Oil Company offer their model scenarios for trends in the economy, politics and energy over the next 50 years in the face of a growing poplulation.
- The Yahara 2070 project from the University of Wisconsin at Madison offers a real-world example of the impact a growing population and land use changes have on the watershed. This NSF-sponsored project provides videos, such as these Water Walk Scenarios, and information educators can use to explore the watershed and potentially make comparisons to their own watersheds.
- Presentations from On the Cutting Edge:
- Natural Hazards Programs at the USGS – Policy and Mitigation, a webinar by David Applegate, Associate Director for Natural Hazards, United States Geological Survey (USGS).
- US Volcanic Hazards, a webinar by Peter Cervelli, Deputy-Scientist-In-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, USGS
- A Climate Modeling Tutorial, a webinar by Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
- Presentations and discussions from the 2010 Climate Models workshop.