Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

Summary and Final Tasks


A natural hazard is an extreme event that causes harm to humans or to other things that we care about. Natural hazards include earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, floods, droughts, and many other types of events. Vulnerability to specific natural hazards varies across space and also within a place, based on factors such as age, gender, education, and so on. There are several steps that we can take to reduce our vulnerability to natural hazards, including increasing our overall resilience to them, preparing for specific extreme events, and responding and rebuilding after the event occurs. Researchers and professionals across several fields including geography have careers dedicated to reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and reducing the harm caused by specific extreme events. Community members also play important roles in reducing vulnerability and reducing harm. While discussions of natural hazards often focus on events that occur at local and regional scales, there are global-scale hazards. There is also much to be learned from studying natural hazards (and, in particular, the human role in natural hazards) that can be applied to other topics in global environmental change.

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You have finished Module 8. Double check the list of requirements on the first page of this module to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before beginning the next module.