Course Overview:Course Materials:
This course will explore various types of natural events that lead to loss of human life and property, the underlying causes of these events and where they are likely to happen, and identify the kinds of things people can do to mitigate, prevent, respond to and recover from them.
In addition to learning about natural disasters, we will try connect what we know with pragmatic and personal actions to help ourselves and others deal with the array of natural disaster risks that we face.
This course will be delivered solely through MyCourses (moodle). All material and resources will be provided either in the text or linked in MyCourses.
Natural Disasters, Patrick L Abbott. 8th Edition. January 31, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0073369373 | ISBN-13: 978-0073369372 |
All assignments are due at 11:55pm (Central Time Zone) on
the day listed. A clock set to the current Central Time is provided at
the top of the main course page for your convenience.
Preparatory/Exploratory Essays: 10 pts each (60 pts total) The
preparatory or exploratory essay prompt serves as a basic guide to
acquiring important information for the week. The key to doing great
work here is to do the work to make sure that you: 1) understand and can
clearly explain the cause and effects of the hazard/disaster we are
discussing. If you can't explain it, you don't really understand it. 2)
figure out the links between the physical event that happens and the
number (population) and way (culture) people live in the wake of the
event. This is pretty significant to whether it's a hazard or a
disaster. 3) figure out what it would take to survive in the face of
this hazard. It might help to think about this in terms of Maslow
Hierarchy of Needs: physiological needs (food, water, air, sanitation),
safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization. You
will articulate your basic understanding of this information in a short
essay (about 750 words or three pages) in length. Your articulation
should be your own. I want to see what you understand about the topic at
hand after you do some research. That means don't cut and paste from
the web, instead, read and understand and tell me what you understand.
Be sure to cite the sources of your information at the end of your essay
in a Works Consulted section and quote and cite any material you insert
in your paper. The link on the course site submits your work to
Turnitin.com*. If you fail to credit your sources appropriately, you
will may receive no credit for your work.
*Turnitin.com only accepts word documents. If you do not have access
to Microsoft Word, please work in GoogleDocs, download as a Word
document (.doc or .docx) and then upload to Turnitin.com
Online Discussions: 10 pts (60 pts total) You will
further explore the topic in collaboration with a small group of people
in the course (Learning Triad, which I'll put you in prior to Week 1).
Your participation in online dialogue is a key component in assisting
you to build more meaningful knowledge of the subject. You should
demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the growth of others and an
earnest graciousness in allowing others to contribute to yours.
Remember, greatness is achieved in community, not in isolation. At a
minimum each person should contribute at least five (5) meaningful
posts. You will need to post at least once by end of the day on Monday,
three times by end of the day on Wednesday and all five times by end of
the day on Thursday. This works most effectively if one person starts
the conversation each week (trade around on this) and the others help
carry the conversation.
Resilience/Disaster Prep Blog/Vlog: 12 pts (72 pts total) Your video blog (4 minutes maximum) or blog post (400 words maximum) should discuss the importance of living in a resilient community in the face of natural hazards/events that can lead to disasters and how you can contribute to making yourself and your community more resilient. Post a link to your video or blog post here as a new discussion topic. Be sure to make your post a link that opens in a new window.
Students are encouraged to engage as a community of learners by commenting on other's videos or blogs. It's okay to agree or disagree, but please be respectful of other's views. I find it's helpful to raise questions rather than saying "I agree." Something more appropriate might be, "But what about..." While discussion is certainly encouraged, you need only post an initial post. No points are awarded for responses. You are encouraged engage in the discussion either on the blog or as a video response/comment on YouTube.
You can see how this assignment will be assessed by looking at the Blog/Vlog Rubric.
DUE: each Friday at 11:55pm (except week 1)
Learning Log: 10 pts (60 pts total) The
learning log is a reflective activity with a few different purposes.
First, you will reflect on what you have really learned each week in the
course. That is a key component to stabilizing your learning. When you
do this, it will also help me identify the overall state of learning in
the course and the topics that interest people. Second, you will discuss
what helped you learn and what hindered your learning. This is useful
to you in that when you articulate those kinds of things, you can make
some changes that will help you learn better. It is useful to me,
because it helps me tweak the course environment to make it more useful
and constructive for you. Finally, you will record your questions...what
do you wish you knew more about. Often, these questions become
“unfinished business” for you and direct ongoing learning either inside
or beyond they class. They may in fact shape your career aspirations in
surprising ways. They also help me shape subsequent editions of the
course in order to make it better every time.
Major Project: (50pts total) You must choose a disaster more than 5 years old and research that particular event. This could be something like The Galveston Hurricane, Krakatoa, The New Madrid Earth Quake, The 2006 Sumatran Quake/Tsunami, etc. You are not limited here, but it must be a natural disaster in the context of our classroom discussions (although it doesn't mean we had to have talked about your disaster, only the type). You will research and include the following information:
Your page should include, but is not limited to the following:
Use this rubric to gain a clearer understanding of how this will be graded.
DUE: Sunday of Week 6