Jan 20, 2021  
2019-2020 Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)

ESCI 1085 - Natural Disasters Laboratory

Credits: 1
Hours/Week: Lecture None Lab 2
Course Description: Students will investigate the physical processes, origins, and the human and economic impacts caused by natural disasters. This lab will examine earth quakes, volcanic eruptions, severe weather, climate change, floods, wildfires, among other natural catastrophic events. Students will have the opportunity to analyze data and information from government agencies and universities involved in the study of these phenomena.
MnTC Goals
3 Natural Science, 10 People/Environment

Prerequisite(s): None
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: ESCI 1080  or concurrently enrolled

Major Content
  1. Geographic location and natural disasters
  2. Determining earthquake location and magnitude
  3. Sun angles and solar radiation
  4. Severe weather and weather mapping
  5. Hurricane tracking
  6. Climate change
  7. Acid precipitation across the nation
  8. Topographic map interpretation
  9. Regional floods
  10. Plate tectonics and volcanic hazards
  11. Worldwide earthquake activity and distribution
  12. Mega disasters
    1. Tsunami
    2. Impact from space

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. analyze U.S. EPA air emissions data and acidification patterns in the Continental U.S. and predict their long-term environmental impact.
  2. describe climate trends and patterns based on analysis of long-term data records.
  3. explain the change in seasons and weather patterns based on Earth¿s orbit and changes in incident solar radiation for a given latitude and longitude.
  4. explain the current regional weather predictions based on National Weather Service Website Data and Frontal Maps.
  5. identify factors indicating severe weather potential both by sky observation and analysis of on-line National Weather Service radar patterns.
  6. identify factors that influence probability of landfall for Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Tropical Storms and Cyclones.
  7. identify regions of the earth where geologic disasters occur with greatest frequency.
  8. predict the long-term probability of recurring geologic natural disasters for geographic regions based on trends in data from seismological, sediment core, pyroclastic flow, and ground elevation records.
  9. determine development feasibility for locations in the St. Croix River Valley based on topographical map analysis and US Army Corps of Engineer¿s flood plain data.
  10. draw a cross-sectional profile of a transect on a USGS Topographic map and assess suitability of development of a land area based on slope analysis and drainage patterns.
  11. develop a tsunami evacuation plan for a given coastal municipality based on coastal topography.

Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories. 03. 02. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students’ laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty. 03. 03. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing. 03. 04. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.
Competency 2 (7-10)
10. 01. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems. 10. 03. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges. 10. 04. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions. 10. 05. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.

Courses and Registration

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)