Fall semester 2014
GE4150/GE5150 Natural Hazards
Description and scope of the course: We will explore the causes and mitigation of a broad range of natural hazards and their impacts on society, with an emphasis on volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods. In addition to technical aspects of these hazards, we will examine the agencies that are responsible for hazard mapping, warnings, and information. Technical skills are obtained by hazard mapping with ArcGIS, a widely used GIS package, as well as satellite imagery including Landsat, ASTER, and SRTM data.
Dr. Greg Waite
Office phone: 7-3554
e-mail: gpwaite AT mtu DOT edu
MW from 9:05-9:55 in Dow 610
F from 9:05-9:55 or 10:05: 10:55 in EERC 421
Required Text: Smith, K., Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster, Routledge, 6th edition, 2013. (It's about $62 in paperback from Amazon) or buy directly from
Routledge.com with code RRK99 for about $60. Earlier editions of the book (written by Smith with co-author Petley) are also OK.
Prerequisites: GE2000 or GE2100 and junior or senior standing for GE4150, graduate student standing for GE5150
Readings: Multidisciplinary reading and analysis are a large part of this course; material will come from the books, journals, technical papers, and the internet. Class discussion of the readings are an integral part of the course. Brief written analyses of the reading assignments will be due at the beginnin gof class the day the reading is due to be discussed. You will be allowed two unexcused free passes on the writen analyses.
Course web page: Some information is available here (http://www.geo.mtu.edu/~gpwaite/teaching/nathaz), but handouts, lecture PDFs, assignments, and most other correspondence will be done through the Canvas page (mtu.instructure.com).
Grades: Final grade will be based upon in-class discussion (10%), homework, including written discussions of reading (25%), laboratory assignments, including term project (35%), mid-term (15%) and final exams (15%).
Online natural hazards-related resources.