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Teaching about Risk and Resilience Activities

These activities have been submitted by faculty from a range of disciplines as part of the 2014 workshop: Teaching about Risk and Resilience. The activities use a wide array of pedagogic approaches to address teaching about risk and resilience.


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Creating a Natural Disaster Blog/VoiceThread to Understand Resilience
Anne Hall, Emory University
Student groups create blogs or VoiceThreads on selected natural disaster events including a description of the event, the cause of the disaster, response & recovery, prediction & prevention and resilience to the event.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Student Selected Problem, Hazards

Using "Dante's Peak" to Discuss Response to Risk
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
In this classroom activity, students watch the movie "Dante's Peak" up to the point where Harry Dalton's supervisor arrives and talks to the town council. Students then compare and contrast Harry's assessment and advice to that of his supervisor, discuss the reaction of the town council members, and develop their own recommendations for how the scientists and town should proceed.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Volcanism, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Hazards

Developing student literacy on risk, resilience, and strategies for living with disaster uncertainty
Monica Gowan, Central Washington University
In this guided research and critical thinking activity, students prepare a research paper comprised of two parts: 1) a "state-of-the-science" review and synthesis of selected literature from risk and resilience research (provided) and 2) a brief critical appraisal of how current knowledge is (or could be) applied to building disaster resilience in a real-world scenario. Part 2 will be set in a student-selected hazard context (coastal hazards, flooding, or earthquake), employment sector (academia, government, private industry, services, non-profit), and geopolitical sphere of influence (e.g., Resilience to earthquake disaster in the student population at Universidad de Lima, Peru).

Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Subject: Geoscience, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science
Special Interest: Hazards

The Science of Disasters eTextbook Activity
Sian Proctor, South Mountain Community College
The Science of Disasters etextbook is a Softchalk activity designed to give students an introduction to disaster terminology including risk and resiliency. It is typically used as a pre-reading assignment for non-science majors in an introductory disasters class.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology
Special Interest: Hazards

Evaluating natural hazards data to assess the risk to your California home
Corrie Neighbors, University of California-Riverside
Students use a series of maps and natural hazard data to evaluate the risk to a building structure of their choice in the state of California. For each hazard, students rate the potential risk in two dimensions: (1) Probability - probability that a hazardous event "may" occur, and (2) Severity of Impact - the size of the impact in terms of cost and impact on human health.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Special Interest: GIS, Data, models, or simulations, Hazards, Local Issue

The 2014 La Habra earthquake: Teaching Risk and Resilience in Southern California with Citizen Science
Danielle Sumy, IRIS
This exercise uses the example of the March 28, 2014 M5.1 La Habra earthquake to teach about earthquake risk and resilience in southern California. Students will examine seismic waveforms recording during the earthquake, as well as read reports from scientific agencies and news outlets to answer basic questions regarding earthquake risk and resilience.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geophysics:Seismology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Special Interest: Local Issue, Data, models, or simulations, Hazards

Calculating sea level changes
Shimon Wdowinski, University of Miami

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geoscience:Oceanography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards, Environmental Science, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Hazards, Quantitative

Developing a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Strategy
This page is authored by Rebekah Green, Western Washington University.
As a culminating assignment in Natural Hazards Planning, students work in teams to create 15-year mitigation strategy for a selected jurisdiction using the FEMA 386 methodology for prioritizing mitigation options.

Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Land Use and Planning, Environmental Science, Geography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Special Interest: Hazards, Student Selected Problem

Ground Shaking and Damage at Your House
Carla Whittington, Highline Community College
In this activity, students use a seismic hazard map from the USGS to estimate the ground shaking hazard in their community. The map shows a 10% probability of ground accelerations reaching or exceeding a certain % ...

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology, Environmental Science
Special Interest: Local Issue, Data, models, or simulations, Hazards

Visualizing the impact of storm surge and sea level rise on coastal communities
Eileen Johnson, Bowdoin College

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science
Special Interest: Data, models, or simulations, Data, Hazards, GIS

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