Instructor: Dr Oladapo Akinlotan
The relationship between human-kind and our ever-changing planet, with a focus on natural geologic hazards (volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, mass movement, floods, extraterrestrial impacts, etc.), and environmental impacts which result from population and land-use expansion and our increased use of water, energy and mineral resources. A study of the sources and impact of pollution and global climate change. Public perception of and response to geological risk.
Available in Winter 2018, Summer 2018 and Fall 2018.
This course is an introduction to natural and man-made environmental phenomena which are regarded as hazards and catastrophes on a regional or larger scale. Understanding geological processes which underpin natural hazards will form the basis of this course. Man-made changes to the environment, for example fracking, which cause their own hazards and sometimes amplify natural hazards, will be examined. Hazards due to earthquakes, volcanoes, asteroids, tsunamis, landslides, subsidence, flooding, sea-level rise, fires, aridity, heating and cooling episodes, soil erosion, salinization, and extraction of mineral and hydrocarbon resources will be discussed. By understanding the geological processes that trigger natural hazards, and man-made interference in the natural environment, the topics of climate change can be better understood. This can enable better decision-making for mitigation, and for managing natural resources.
At the end of the course, the students will:
- Know the basic geological processes governing various natural hazards.
- Identify the anthropogenic changes that cause environmental disturbances leading to hazards.
- Know the key concepts of climate change.
- Have a scientific basis for decision-making on and managing environmental hazards and natural resources.