During the 2011 tsunami in Japan, people were standing on top of their “indestructible” sea walls as the tsunami waves came in, only to be washed out to sea along with the rubble from ruined cities. In this course students will learn about how humans react to the natural world and about the geology of disasters, but it’s the interplay between the two that will be of greatest concern. How does this relationship exacerbate disasters and catastrophes, including how many people are injured or killed and how much damage is sustained by the built environment? Exponentially increasing population growth is causing more people to live in disaster prone regions, and this makes it important to see how loss of life can be avoided and damage to structures lessened. Also, disaster response and rescue, and the dissemination of information about the scope of the disaster will be investigated through laboratory exercises, mathematical-based homework, and discussion.
taught by Jennifer Cole