Postgraduate Course: Natural Hazards and Risk (EASC11008)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||A comprehensive introduction to Natural Hazards and Risk at Honours level. The first part of the course is concerned with fundamentals of measurement and observation, the relevant principles of probability and statistics, the quantification of uncertainty and handling of extreme events. The second part concentrates on applications in forecasting hazards, using earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, climate, extreme weather and flooding events as exemplars. The final part includes assessment of vulnerability and risk, and societal issues such as planning, resilience-building, and disaster risk reduction in a social context, including a seminar you will present on a case study of your choice. This part of the course addresses UN Strategic development goals 11 ¿Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable¿ and 13 ¿Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts respectively¿ with 11.5 and 13.1 being particularly relevant.
This is a quantitative 'applications' course- building on the generic skills taught in the Junior Honours programmes. Students are introduced to a range of natural hazards and risks, including the underpinning science, the necessary statistical analysis, and issues of forecasting and decision-making under uncertainty in a societal context. The course is fundamentally multi-disciplinary, and is taught by staff with strong research interests in these topics, including the interface with wider society. It will open up significant new opportunities for course graduates in Environmental Risk Assessment, Management and Mitigation.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||S1 In-class test: 50%; S2 Assessed exercise 20%; Essay: 30%
1) In-Class Test
2) Formative Oral presentation on a 'specific historical natural disaster', to be chosen by the students and delivered in small groups.
3) Assessed exercise on 'Analysis of extreme weather events' (case study of a flood or drought- e.g. Louisiana floods in 2016, UK floods in 2015, European heat waves in 2006 and 2016).
4) Assessed Essay in Disaster Risk reduction in Volcanology.
Feedback for test 1 as in text and summary feedback. Feedback on exercises 2 and 3 within the scheduled time slots for the exercises. For exercises 4 and 5 the submission date for the report/essay will be 12 noon, two weeks after the exercise is completed, or the date of the essay question being assigned.
Class test: S1, Week 11.
Oral Presentations: (Formative) Case Study event - Semester 2, Week 2
Practical Exercise: (Assessed) Extreme Meteorological Events ¿ Semester 2, week 6
Set Essay: (Assessed) Disaster Risk reduction in Volcanology ¿ Semester 2, week 9
||1) End of term test on material covered in lectures, week 11. Feedback will be provided on submitted test. This test will be similar in style to exams parts A and B in past years.
2) Oral presentation. Feedback sheets will be given out at the start of each presentation and completed by peers in the class and the course lecturers. The course organiser will collate and go through these individually with the students.
3) Assessed exercise. The Met/Climate lead (shared with allied discipline staff if the class is large) will provide detailed written feedback, and demonstrators support students during the computational part of the assessment.
4) Assessed essay. Detailed feedback will be given to the student, again with marking and feedback shared between the course team.
The marking for all coursework and exam material will be moderated.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the science and statistics underpinning natural hazard estimation.
- Estimate hazard and risk quantitatively, including all sources of uncertainty.
- Demonstrate practical skills in data analysis, integration and interpretation in hazard and risk applications.
- Understand societal issues affecting vulnerability, risk and resilience, and disaster risk reduction.
- Have a capacity for a professional career in risk quantification and management
|Bryant, EA, 1993. Natural Hazards. Cambridge|
Keller, EA & RH Blodgett, 2006. Natural Hazards, Pearson Prentice Hall
Not, J., 2006. Extreme events, Cambridge
Woo, G., 2011. Calculating Catastrophe
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Gabriele Hegerl
Tel: (0131 6)51 9092
|Course secretary||Ms Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430