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Course Description

Volcanic landscape

This course will offer insight into the mechanisms of natural geological disasters and their effects on Planet Earth, human civilization and life in general. Events before, during and after geological disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteorite impact and climate change will be the focus of this course. This course will not count as a science credit for B.Sc. students.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Assess a landscape and its' important geologic and geomorphic components for the purpose of land-use planning;
  2. Explain the important concepts that reflect the complexity of the integrated Earth system (e.g., lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere);
  3. Describe the mechanisms and effects of major geological disasters and where they are most likely to occur on the planet;
  4. Discuss the contemporary social issues relevant to natural geological disasters;
  5. Apply scientific ideas and findings to writing that is meant for the general public; and
  6. Investigate natural disasters before, during and after they happen to reduce the impact of these disasters on their communities.

Course Topics

  • The Layers of the Earth
  • Plate Tectonics
  • Volcanoes
  • Earthquakes
  • Target Earth
  • Coastal Disasters
  • Slope Failures
  • River Flooding
  • Climate Change

Additional Requirements

Prerequisite(s): 1 of ENVS*1050, ENVS*1060, GEOL*1050, GEOL*1100, GEOG*1300, GEOG*1350

Equate(s): GEOL*2250


Assessment Item Weight
Online Discussion Participation 10%
Quizzes (4 X 10%) 40%
Assignment 10%
Online Final Exam 40%
Total 100%


Additional Technical Requirements

Proctortrack is an automatic remote proctoring tool that uses webcam and video technology to ensure academic integrity during online exams. The software captures video during the exam and allows the instructor to review the video once the exam is completed. The software also enables browser restrictions. In order to use Proctortrack, you must meet the following technical requirements so that you can take the onboarding practice test and final exam:

  1. Operating Systems: Windows 7, 8 or higher; Mac OSX Yosemite 10.10.5 or higher
  2. Processor RAM: Windows dual-core 2.4Ghz CPU, 2 GB RAM or better; Mac Intel/AMD Processor, 2GB RAM
  3. Browsers: Mozilla Firefox v20.0 or higher; Google Chrome v25.0 or higher. Students should use Chrome if there are browser-related restrictions for the exam.
  4. Plug-Ins: Javascript Enabled; Third Party Cookies Enabled
  5. Functioning webcam and microphone. The webcam and microphone can be built into your computer or can be the type that plugs in with a USB cable. (You will be required to do an environment scan of your room, so please ensure you can move your computer, laptop or webcam for this scan.) Camera resolution: 800 x 600 resolution of better.
  6. A broadband Internet connection. It is recommended that you access the Internet via a wired connection (Cable Modem, DSL or better – 300 kbps download, 250 kbps upload).
  7. Laptop or desktop. Tests cannot be taken on Chromebooks, mobile devices, tablets or iPads.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

You are responsible for ensuring that your computer system meets the necessary system requirements. Use the browser check tool to ensure your browser settings are compatible and up to date (results will be displayed in a new browser window).

*Course details are subject to change.


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