Geohazards and Natural Disasters

Discipline: Environmental Science
Instructor: Anderson
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1550
End: 1705
Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesay, 14 January | Hawaii, United States Download Syllabus

This course focuses on understanding the processes creating and triggering natural phenomena that we perceive as hazardous or disastrous. We will consider the science that governs these phenomena using case studies from the countries that we will visit. Topics include plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, coastal erosion, tropical storms and wildfires.

Field Work

Country: Hawaii, United States
Day: 1 - Wednesay, 14 January

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth, and impacts the lives of tens of thousands of Hawaiian residents, as well as over 1 million visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park per year. The scientists who conduct research on this volcano seek to understand how this volcano works, and how it can impact the lives of local residents and visitors. We will investigate the deposits of the 1983-present and other recent eruptions to get an understanding of the types and scale of activity produced here, talk to scientists that use our understanding of Kilauea to make informed predictions and mitigate hazards in order to appreciate the difficulties associated with their line of work, and discuss how this “unusual” landscape is actually an example of the most common type of geologic surface in our solar system. Academic Objectives:

  1. Understand the type and scale of volcanic events associated with eruption of Kilauea volcano
  2. Understand  the pressures and responsibilities associated with using science to predict and mitigate volcanic hazards
  3. Discuss the prevalence of these basaltic landscapes in our solar system.