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GEOL265 Natural Hazards of New Zealand and Beyond.

The nature of environmental hazards related to earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, mass movements, hydrology and severe storms; the physical basis for such hazards; and the investigation of an interactive case study of the impacts of extreme hazard events.

This is a paper that will be both interesting and relevant to a wide variety of students: interesting because it will expose students to all aspects of natural hazards (i.e. physical basis, recognition, quantification, management and mitigation); relevant because students will acquire skills and insights that will make them more employable. Teachers will bring a wide range of experience from the Departments of Geology and Geography and from academia and industry.

Paper title Natural Hazards of New Zealand and Beyond.
Paper code GEOL265
Subject Geology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2018 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Prerequisite
EASO 111 or GEOL 112 or GEOG 101 or ENV 111
Restriction
GEOL 365
Schedule C
Science
Contact
geology@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Professor Mark Stirling
Associate Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett
Professor Sean Fitzsimons
Professor James White
Paper Structure
A laboratory programme will run concurrently with the formal lectures. Labs will be arranged to enable practical investigations of various hazards and provide students with a more hands-on understanding of the subject matter presented in the lectures. The lecture topics are as follows.

Part 1: Nature of natural hazards
  • Paper introduction and scope
  • Hazards and social science
  • Social construction of hazards
  • Conceptual frameworks for understanding and mitigating hazards
  • Extreme event statistics
  • Risk, risk acceptance and risk avoidance
  • Engineered approaches to hazard mitigation
  • Societal responses to hazard mitigation
Part 2: Physical basis of natural hazards
  • Earthquake hazards
  • Tsunami
  • Volcanic hazards
  • Mass movement hazards
  • Hydrological hazards: floods
  • Hydrological hazards: droughts
  • Severe Storms
  • Environmental change
Part 3: Case study
  • Antecedent conditions
  • Anatomy of the event
  • Emergency management
  • Mitigation, avoidance and social adaptation
Part 3 will be collaborative classes that involve several lecturers present at the same time to provide multiple perspectives on the hazard and enhanced staff-to-student collaboration. The purpose will be to demonstrate system componentry and complexity by way of a case study approach. While a New Zealand case study (e.g. Canterbury earthquake sequence) would be the logical choice in this respect, an international case study would also be appropriate if there is clear relevance for New Zealand in the legislative/regulatory context.

Assessment for GEOL 265/365 is split between internal (60%) and external (40%) assessment. GEOL 365 includes an extra assignment to the number required for GEOL 265. Students in GEOL 365 will be expected to demonstrate greater background knowledge and abilities than students in GEOL 265.
Teaching Arrangements
Fieldwork: Local one-day weekend field trips will be undertaken to observe natural hazards. Dunedin is close to a number of significant natural hazards, so students will get to see these without having to go on multi-day excursions.
Textbooks
Smith, Keith. Environmental hazards: assessing risk and reducing disaster. Routledge, 2013. (6th edition; also available online through University Library)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong Learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental Literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge of the social construction of hazards, conceptual frameworks for understanding and mitigating hazards, social and engineered approaches to hazard mitigation, and the time-dependent adaptation of humans to the threat of future hazard events
  • Understanding of cause, recognition and quantification of the natural hazards of earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, mass movements, hydrology, severe storms, and the environment
  • Knowledge in the recognition, quantification and mitigation of a natural hazard by way of case studies
Eligibility
GEOL 265 is for students in their second year of a geology, geography or other degree.

GEOL 365 is for students in their third year of a geology, geography or other degree.

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Friday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 15-22

Practical

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
A2 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22