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ATS1310: Extreme earth! Natural hazards and human vulnerability

Faculty of Arts

Extreme earth! Natural hazards and human vulnerability

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This unit takes as its starting point the catastrophes of our world today, such as droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, fires, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and weather extremes, and seeks to provide a blended understanding between the mechanics and dynamics of these environmental phenomena with the social contexts in which these disasters occur. This subject analyses the wide range of environmental processes (hazards) that pose risks to human lives, livelihoods and settlements, and brings together physical and human geographical approaches to explore how risk in a chosen area is a function of both the hazards and the community's vulnerability. Local and international case studies form a central component of this unit. As well, questions pertaining to the role of international aid and risk management (including mitigation, protection and adaptation strategies) will be discussed.


1 - Case study - 20% 2 - Essay - 30% 3 - Multimedia - 30% 4 - Exercises - 20%


Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Sustainable development goals

Adopted by the UN Member States in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. Read more

This unit covers content related to the following SDGs:

1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 4. Quality Education 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 16. Peace Justice and Strong Institutions