GEOG 30
Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

Learning Activity: Vulnerability Reduction

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In this learning activity, you’re going to revisit the city or town that you discussed in the Module 7 learning activity, this time to discuss how to reduce its vulnerability to natural hazards. This should be a town that you have lived in or are otherwise familiar with (not one of the cities that you compared it with in Module 7). The aim is to identify what natural hazards your city or town faces, and how it can reduce its vulnerability to these natural hazards.

Learning Activity Directions

Part I: Create your entry

Your entry should have four sections, each one a paragraph of 100 -150 words in length.

  1. Using the Nathan World Map of Natural Hazards (by Munich Re), identify the natural hazards that your city or town faces. The map is on pages 3 to 5 of the pdf. Comment on how well suited the Nathan map document is for this task.
  2. Visit The Hungarian National Association of Radio Distress Signaling and Infocommunications' (RSOE) Emergency and Disaster Information Service (EDIS). Identify a current disaster highlighted anywhere on the map. Choose a disaster that interests you (do not choose a vehicle accident) and click on the icon to reveal the details of the disaster. For more information on the disaster, click on "more information" in the icon pop-up window. You will be sent to the "Event Description" page where you will need to navigate to the "Description" tab located at the top of the page. Explain the following:
    • Can your hometown experience the same type of disaster? If so, what is the risk of such a disaster, how vulnerable is your hometown, and why? If your hometown could not experience such a disaster explain why using details.
    • Consider the scale of the event and relate it to your hometown. What is the scale of the disaster relative to the size of your hometown? How does it compare to the area where the disaster is currently occurring? How does the impact of the disaster change if it were to occur at the same scale in your hometown?
    • Consider the severity of the disaster on the human population of your hometown. Why do different people in your town have different levels of vulnerability? Explain some of human factors that affect vulnerability in your hometown and which human factors would lead to the disproportionate impact of the disaster. How could you reduce your town’s vulnerability to such a disaster? (Note: you may have to choose a specific place for the disaster to strike in order to adequately answer this question. You can choose any reasonable location.)
  3. Using whatever other resources you can, perform your own assessment of the natural hazards that your city or town faces. You can use insights from steps 1 and 2, other online or offline resources, your personal experience, the experience of others who know the city or town well, or anything else you can think of that could be useful. Describe your assessment and be clear about the resources that you are using for it. Be sure to provide in-text citations and a resource list.
  4. Drawing on course concepts from this module and your own creative ideas, describe:
    • What actions could be done to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards in your city or town?
    • Who would be the best people to perform these actions?
    • What can you do?

Post your response

To post your Learning Activity response, go to the Module 8 Learning Activity: Vulnerability Reduction Forum in Canvas.

  • Select Reply from the instructor's original post.
  • Copy/paste your initial/original response to the Learning Activity into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Part II: Read and comment on other students' entries

Read other students' entries

After Part I has been completed, module 8 entries from all students will be available to view. Read through entries by about 20 other students, and respond by writing comments for two of these student entries. Please choose students whose entries have fewer comments. Also pick students whose entries are interesting to you for any reason.

Post a comment

Post a comment on the two entries you have chosen. Briefly introduce yourself and what you wrote for your own entry. Then respond to their entry in some way by using concepts from this or other modules. You might compare and contrast your own entry with theirs. You might ask a question, or pose a challenge based on course concepts. As always, keep your comments polite and respectful.

The comment should be 4-6 sentences long, not counting greetings. 

To post a comment on TWO of your classmates' Learning Activities, go to the Module 8 Learning Activity: Vulnerability Reduction Forum in Canvas and follow these steps with TWO Learning Activity posts:

  • Select Reply from a student’s Learning Activity post.
  • Copy/paste your response into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Grading Criteria

You will be graded on the quality of your participation. See the Grading Rubric for specifics on how this assignment will be graded (accessible through “Resources” >> "Grading Rubric").