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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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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

Role playing the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial to debate responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
In this activity, students reenact key events leading up to and following the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake and trial. This leads into a debate on responsibility for communicating and understanding risks and natural hazards.

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

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

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: Student Selected Problem, 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

Evaluating Rainfall, Landslides, and Weather: Big Sur, California
Ana Garcia-Garcia, Monterey Peninsula College
This activity leads to understanding common landslide hazards in the area and how they relate to weather patterns and/or local geology.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geomorphology, Geoscience:Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting
Special Interest: Local Issue, Hazards

Using the pH Scale and Carbonic Acid Formation to Understand the Effect of Ocean Acidification on Organisms with Calcium Carbonate Shells.
Richard Rueb, Clackamas Community College
In this lab activity students use the pH scale and the reaction of carbon dioxide with water to understand ocean acidification and make predictions regarding the effect of ocean acidification on marine organisms by experimentally determining the effect of pH of calcite dissolution.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography, Oceanography:Marine Resources, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Environmental Science:Oceans and Coastal Resources, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science, Ecosystems, Global Change and Climate, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Geoscience

Comparison of Two Hurricanes
David Kobilka, Central Lakes College-Brainerd
In this activity students synthesize ideas from lecture, reading, and viewing two PBS NOVA videos on hurricanes.

Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Subject: Geoscience:Oceanography, Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards
Special Interest: 2YC:Geo2YC, 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

The 2014 La Habra earthquake: Teaching Risk and Resilience in Southern California with Citizen Science
Danielle Sumy, IRIS Consortium
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

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