GEOL 107: Natural Disasters

Class Program
Weekly Contact Hours
Course ID
Meets Degree Requirements For
Natural Science

Scientific study of earthquakes, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, extreme weather, wildfires, asteroid impacts, and other disruptive events. Introduces and applies elements of geology, meteorology, physics, and astronomy. Examines human factors, risk reduction, disaster prediction, monitoring, alert systems, and disaster recovery. Includes historic examples and disasters in the news.

Grading Basis

Course Learning Outcomes

Core Topics


  1. scientific methods
  2. plate tectonics
  3. earth systems
  4. weather and climate
  5. natural processes that lead to the following:
    1. earthquakes
    2. tsunamis
    3. volcanic eruptions
    4. floods
    5. landslides
    6. coastal flooding, coastal erosion, and sea level rise
    7. extreme weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, mid-latitude storms, cold snaps, heat waves, droughts)
    8. wildfire
    9. asteroid and comet impacts
  6. how human activities contribute to natural disasters
  7. perspectives on natural disasters from a variety of viewpoints, cultures, and countries
  8. ways to reduce the occurrence of disasters
  9. role of climate change in natural disasters
  10. role of governments and individuals in preventing, preparing, and responding to disaster
  11. how to make infrastructure more resilient to disaster
  12. monitoring methods
  13. warning and alert systems
  14. natural hazards in our part of the world
  15. relating natural disasters in today’s news to scientific theories of what causes them