GO125 Natural Disasters

for S2Z 2005

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Course Number: GO-125
Course Descriptor:ML
Course Title: Natural Disasters
Term: Spring II
Instructor: William B. Hansen
Title: Adjunct Instructor
Faculty Office: 2809 Stagecoach Ave
Office Hours: M & F 10am - 12noon
Office Teleph: 406-452-6783
Park Email: William.Hansen@pirate.park.edu
Other Email: wbhansen@mcn.net
Web Page: N.A.
Term Dates: 3/21/05-05/18/05
Meeting Time: T/TH 19:45-22:15
Site: Malmstrom AFB
Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 3


The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.


Park University will be renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learner within the global society.


This course will study the earth’s natural processes and phenomena that impact the earth. These natural impacts will be studied which result in massive damage to the earth and to its inhabitants. The course will explore how humans cope with natural disasters. Humans typically measure the damage in terms of loss of life or economic loss, but the end result is that these natural disasters influence human culture and population distribution.


The instructor’s educational philosophy is based on lectures, readings, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites, written homework, and occasional field trips. The instructor will engage each learner in interactive learning with practical examples, Powerpoint presentations, and current topics to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues, and contradictions.


On completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate a basic level of competence in recognizing the earth’s natural processes and phenomena that impact the earth. Students will be able to analyze the relationship between people and the physical environment they live in and explore how natural disasters influence human culture and population distribution. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the relationship of geologic hazards to building structures. Students will be familiar with attempts at predicting natural disasters, be able to know how humans cope with natural disasters, be able to discuss the scientific process, and be able to distinguish the difference between good science and junk science when reading reports about impending natural science in the popular media.


Natural Disasters, fourth edition, by Patrick L. Abbott, 2005, published by McGraw/Hill

IV. Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers pr other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.


Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community. Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments. Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.

VI. ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences. The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties. Students are to inform the instructor ahead of time of absences due to work or illness, or their absence will be counted as unexcused (you may leave a message at my 24 hr voice mail number 452-6783; email wbhansen@mcn.net). Two to three consecutive unexcused absences will be reported to the Education Office. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”. An incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student. Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

VII. LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Assignments are due the day indicated. Late assignments will be penalized. Assignments up to one week late will be docked 10% automatically; two weeks late will receive an automatic 20% off, three weeks late 30% off, etc.

VIII. COURSE ASSESSMENT: Grade evaluation will be based on the following:
Attendance (10%)
Class Participation-including Field Trips (10%)
Homework (25%)
Mid-Term Exam (25%)
Final Exam (30%)
Letter Grade Percentages


Students are welcome to eat light snacks and drink pop or coffee during classroom as long as they do not disturb other students listening to the lecture, and as long as they place their trash in the garbage can during break or after class. Talking will not be allowed during class lectures, except to ask questions of the teacher, or answer questions posed to the students. Students are encouraged to submit homework assignments and papers printed out from computer word processing programs. However, students are responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines, despite periodic technology glitches (in other words, have a spare ink jet cartridge on hand if you know a paper deadline is approaching and you will need to print out several pages before class.).

X. DISABILITY GUIDELINES:Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: www.park.edu/disability .


Monday, March 21 - Introduction- Film- Chapter 1- Intro to Natural Disasters (Read Chap 1, p. 1-25).

Wednesday, March 23 - Chapter 2: Plate Tectonics & Earthquakes (Read Chap 2 p.29-56)

Monday, March 28 - Chapter 3 Earthquake Geology, Seismology, & Tsunamis (Read Chaps 3,
p. 59-93)

Wednesday, March 30- Earthquakes in Western N. America, (Read Chap 4. p.96-125)

Monday, April 4- Chapter 5: U.S. and Canadian Quakes (Read Chapter 5 p.128-149),

Wednesday, April 6 - Chapter 6: Lecture on Volcanoes!, Film (Read Chap 6, p. 151-175).

Monday, April 11 - Chapter 7: Volcanoes Cont. Mid Term Review Session (Read Chapter 7 p.180-206)

Wednesday, April 13 - Mid Term Exam Chaps 1-7

Monday, April 18 -Chapter 8:Mass Movements (read Chap. 8 , p.208-239)

Wednesday, April 20 - Chapter 9: Climate Change (Read Chap 9 p. 242-270)

Monday, April 25 - Chapter 10: Severe Weather, Movie (read Chap 10 p. 273-299)

Wednesday, April 27 -Hurricanes & The Coastline, Film (read 11, p. 302-331)

Possible Weekend Field Trip (weather permitting) April 30, 2005

Monday, May 2 -Lecture- Floods - Chapter 12 (read chap 12, p. 334-362)

Wednesday, May 4 -No Class (Instructor out-of-town) Makeup will be scheduled: Read Chapter 13 - Wildfire (p. 366-387)

Monday, May 9 –Chapter 14-Extinctions-The Great Dyings (Read p.388-406)

Wednesday, May 11 - Chapter 15-Impacts! (Read p. 407-426), Film on impacts

Monday May 16, May 18 - Final Review.

Wednesday, May 18 – Take Home Final Exam Due


Midterm Exam - 100 pts (25 % of grade)
Final Exam - 100 pts (30% of grade)
Homework - pts will vary from 20-50 pts per assignment (25% of grade)
Class Participation - depends on how active you are answering questions and asking questions during class and how willing you are to join class field trips (10%)
Attendance - (10%) Depends on the number of unexcused absences you have during class.