GES1070 - Natural hazards and Human vulnerability
6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate Faculty of Arts
Leader(s): Professor Amanda Lynch and colleagues
Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)
This unit analyses the wide range of environmental processes (hazards) that pose risks to human lives, livelihoods and settlements. These hazards include earthquakes, tsunami, extreme storms, and forest fires. By integrating physical and human geographical approaches, the unit explores how the risk in any area is a function of both the environmental hazards and the vulnerability of the community. Case studies of significant disasters form a key component of the unit. Other topics considered include risk management, recovery processes, and the role of international aid.
Students completing GES1070 satisfactorily will
- be aware of the range of environmental processes that need to be recognised as hazards to human lives, livelihoods and settlements.
- understand the nature and origin of hazardous environmental processes, including concepts of event magnitude and frequency of occurrence
- appreciate that there are regional variations in the characteristics of environmental and socio-economic processes that produce catastrophes
- understand why social and demographic factors are involved in the processes through which an environmental process becomes a human disaster
- appreciate the range of factors than may influence the vulnerability of particular regions or communities to hazardous environmental processes
- be able to discuss and summarise some of the strategies that can be used to minimise the risk of environmental disaster and to respond to disasters when they occur.
essay (2000 words) : 40%
Practical class participation : 20%
Final examination (2 hours) : 40%
2 lectures and a 2-hour support class per week