Environment and Society in a Changing World



About Module 8

In Unit 1 (Modules 1 to 4), we learned key concepts used throughout the course. In Unit 2 (Modules 5 to 7), we learned about what development is and how it can be sustainable. We now turn to our Unit 3 on global environmental change. Simply put, due mainly to human development, the global environment is currently undergoing major changes – changes that are, in turn, causing major disruption to human systems and environmental systems alike.

Module 8 focuses on natural hazards. Natural hazards are threats of natural events that cause harm to humans or to other things that we care about. Many natural hazards are not initially caused by humans, but the damage inevitably has a strong human component. We start the final sets of modules this way because studying hazards helps us understand environmental impacts on more local scales, giving us valuable perspective on global environmental change.

    What will we learn in Module 8?

    By the end of Module 8, you should be able to:

    • explain the relationship between natural hazards, extreme events, and disasters;
    • present and compare several major examples of natural disasters;
    • describe factors that make some people and places more vulnerable to specific types of natural hazards;
    • explain steps that can be taken to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and reduce harm from specific extreme events;
    • discuss connections between natural hazards and global environmental change.

    What is due for Module 8?

    There is just one required reading for this module. Next week's Written Assignment will draw on material from Modules 8 and 9.

    Module 8: Lesson Assignments
    Requirement Location Submitting Your Work
    Reading Assignment: Knowledge Without Modern Education Vulnerability to Natural Hazards No submission


    If you have any questions, please post them to our Course Q & A discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum often to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate. If you have a more specific concern, please send me a message through Inbox in Canvas.