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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Dangerous Earth: Climatologic and Geologic Disasters

Instructor(s): Kimberly Marsella, Environmental Studies (F05) and Amy Frappier, Geosciences (F10 & F14)

Who will be the victims of the next natural disaster? When, where, and why will it occur? Can we safeguard our communities? In this seminar, students examine the diverse ways in which climatologic and geologic phenomena influence human lives and activities, the root causes of disaster phenomena, and the principles that render seemingly random natural disasters comprehensible and predictable. Through case studies and research projects, students will investigate a variety of hazards, such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis, and will explore the extent to which these events are regulated by cyclic and/or periodic earth processes. This will enable students to make predictions and develop scenarios to mitigate against potential effects of future natural disasters. We will also examine the influence of diverse cultural perspectives about the causes and effects of natural disasters on a community's ability to respond effectively to a disaster event.

Course Offered