ENVR 325

Geological and Environmental Catastrophes

This course is a survey of natural and human-influenced geological "catastrophes," and focuses primarily on four hazards that are relevant to the Puget Sound region: (1) volcanic eruptions, (2) earthquakes, (3) floods, (4) landslides. It examines the relationship of science and other fields, including economics and politics, in the development of policy to help us cope with potential catastrophes. The course reviews some of the scientific literature bearing on each disaster, discusses points of controversy with the scientific community, and considers ways in which our society - primarily government - uses this information to develop hazard mitigation strategies and regulations. Each unit concludes with analysis and discussion of one or more case studies.