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Natural Hazards and Society

Department: Environmental Science 

Instructor: Zoe Yin 
Instructor Emails:
Dates: July 10 - July 28, 2023
Schedule: 9am - 4pm (Lunch from 11:30am - 1:30pm)

Location: TBD
Room: TBD

Course Description

In this course we will explore natural hazards, how they can generate disasters, and how they impact society. Some natural hazards like hurricanes and droughts are increasing in frequency due to climate change, while others like earthquakes and volcanoes have persisted throughout human history. Natural hazards of all kinds have generated damage and impacted people’s lives and their communities. In this course we will probe how these hazards impact societies, how communities can better prepare for and respond to hazards, and the role that public policy plays in preparedness and mitigation.

Course Goals / Learning Objective

  • Identify and summarize hazard vs. risk and the characteristics of common natural hazards
  • Identify and summarize the concepts of hazard, fragility, risk, resilience, built environment, and infrastructure. Apply these concepts to specific natural hazards
  • Identify and summarize the natural hazards cycle and apply the conceptual parts of the cycle to specific hazard types
  • Identify and summarize building codes, life safety standard, shelter in place standard, functional recovery standard, community resilience
  • Respectfully discuss how natural hazards affect different communities differently. Explain the empirical relationship between natural hazards and inequality
  • Describe the role that policy plays in natural hazard mitigation and broadly summarize current legislation

Course Topics

  • Hazard vs. Risk 
  • Common Natural Hazards 
  • Natural Hazards Cycle 
  • Hazard Types 
  • Natural Hazards and community relationships 
  • Natural hazards and inequality 
  • Natural Hazard legislation 

*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students. Courses have been modified for online teaching.