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Natural Disasters: Man and the Dynamic Earth

Examine the causes and consequences of natural hazards including earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and coastal hazards. Students work in a team environment and examine case studies of ancient and modern events, emphasizing effects on science, engineering, history, economics, politics, and the arts. Study lessons learned from past events and determine what is being done or should be done to mitigate future disasters. Class includes a field trip.

Course Outcomes

  • The study of natural disasters provides an excellent platform from which to study interdisciplinary issues involving a broad array of disciplines geology, history, geography, economics, the arts, and political science in a team and case studies environment.
  • Student competencies will be developed in knowledge acquisition, knowledge dissemination, critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, scientific literacy, spiritual and social well-being, and citizenship.
  • Economics and Engineering: As populations and affluence increase, more people and infrastructure are moving into areas prone to natural hazards and are suffering the human and economic costs.
  • Political Science and History: Geologic events have influenced and continue to influence the lives of people in civilizations including the Minoans, Romans, ancient Americans, the Middle East, and the United States.
  • The Arts: Natural features, materials, and events have influenced the development and content of art, architecture, and literature. Examples are clothing and climate as reflected in paintings done during the Little Ice Age, and Mary Shelley’s writing of Frankenstein during the year without a summer.
  • Geography: The current positions of the tectonic plates on Earth’s surface and the nature of interactions between those plates shape the geography of Earth and dictate the distribution of natural resources, thereby strongly influencing the economics and politics of today’s world.
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3.0 Credits


Total Course Fee: $18.00


Lecture, Online


Fall, Winter, Spring