This past semester I completed the course ESCI 410, Earth Hazards. This course was heavily based in physical science, examining mainly earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods, and landslides. The pertinence to researching these hazards at this time stood within the idea that with a growing world population, humans are encountering natural hazards more frequently.
As this was a science-based course, lab work was completed often to understand the different processes. Two labs that stood out to me are explained below.
Seafloor Spreading –
The Seafloor Spreading assignment took a closer look at the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates at ocean spreading centers. Within these movements, actions take place to cool magma and form rocks along the edges of plates. To complete this assignment, we used GeoMapApp which was a very interesting program to learn. When using this database, you can set a location and look at different geophysics within that area. Examining the seafloor crustal age and other relevant data points you can analyze rock age and spreading centers within the seafloor.
Check out the GeoMapApp Website Here!
Natural Hazards in Hawaii –
Within this assignment, we created hazard zone maps for earthquakes, tsunamis, lava flows, and explosive eruption on the island of Hawaii. After creating these maps from past events, you can analyze possible causes for hazards in each location and examine patterns within areas for years.
For the final project in this course, we were able to choose a site within a location anywhere in the world and analyze all the natural hazards specific to that area. I choose a property in Juneau, Alaska. With further research, I discovered preliminary causes and effects of common natural hazards there including earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, and flooding.
Check Out My Earth Hazards Final Paper!
The labs and final project within this course brought a lot of real-world connectedness to mind and I enjoyed focusing on the more science side of climate related issues. This was the first SDM elective I took that was more analytical based and exploring the different programs and data used to come to certain conclusions gave me a lot of important, new knowledge.