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Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes

Author(s): Lisa Gilbert1, Josh Galster2, Joan Ramage3

1. Williams College 2. Montclair State University 3. Lehigh University

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Making the difficult decision to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall can save lives and property. This two week module explores how hurricanes connect the ocean-atmosphere-terrestrial systems and society.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 11 Jan 2018 doi:10.25334/Q47T15 - cite this


Students develop their ability to incorporate systems thinking: hurricanes form as the atmosphere and ocean interact, release energy along the ocean-land boundary and impact human lives and economies on the coast and many miles inland. See this activity for an example of systems thinking.

Students make sense of complex and uncertain data. Using historical records of hurricanes, individual hurricane tracks, recurrence intervals for different locations, flood records, and remote sensing data, students learn many methods of the geoscientist. The module includes links to additional data so instructors may tailor exercises by location or for the most recent hurricanes. For example, see these data-rich activities.

Students learn crucial skills for interdisciplinary problem-solving. The module culminates with students evaluating multiple perspectives and recommending action in the face of an approaching hurricane. See this role-playing activity for an example.

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