Human Response to Natural Hazards

Course Number
Geog 402
Course Type
Course Description

Geography 402 focuses on collective human causes of and response to natural hazards.  The emphasis is on the human-environmental interactions that may result in natural disasters to human lives and properties. The course has four objectives: (1) Understand the physical processes that may lead to detrimental outcome to human lives and properties, which sets the foundation for the second objective; (2) Survey historical hazard causes and coping strategies, i.e., why natural processes would become disastrous to human societies and how humans make trade-offs between gains and losses in hazardous environment, which leads to the third objective; (3) Evaluate current natural hazard mitigation with case studies of recent and/or major natural disasters in order to gain insights into the role of stakeholders in mitigation strategies, which establishes a framework for the fourth objective; (4) Apply basic concepts and tools for hazard mitigation, focusing on hazard prevention (management) instead of disaster (emergency) response, and developing a conceptual framework of sustainable development in human-environmental interaction.