Forum for hazard research presentations

Every student needs to prepare and verbally present one hazard research report during the semester. The objective of this activity is for students to get to know one another personally, discuss science in a fun context, and earn science discussion credit. A Hazard Research Presentation is a 5+ minute presentation. It is okay to go over the 5 minute mark by a short period, but please do not present for less than 5 minutes.

The topic of a Hazard Research Presentation needs to fit within one of the topics covered in the course (see schedule below—note that weather events like tornados and hurricanes and fires are NOT a topic in this course—to learn about these please take the dynamic atmosphere course.) 

The student should select a major hazardous event that occurred either in their hometown or in a location especially meaningful to the student or their family. It is okay if the event to predates your birth. Please try to chose an event that no one else will present on. For this reason, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake is off-limits. Please email your instructor for assistance choosing an event, if it is difficult to think up a unique idea. 

Please keep in mind that this presentation should include geologic information that is uncovered by researching the event! Please keep your personal account to the first slide, to allow time for the science. Each presentation is worth 10-16 points total, depending on whether you chose a vitual or live option. The LIVE option earns more credit for less effort. 

Each presentation should rely on lots of impressive visual photos and figures and maps. Please include a minimum of 5 slides including the following information:

1) Title / Introduction Slide—Discussion of the memorable event. When, What, Where? Tell us the story. Why did you chose this location? What happened? Recollect your personal experience of the event, the personal experience of a family member, and / or reports recorded by witnesses of the event. Please include a map of the region, including the nearest city impacted. (2 points)

2) Slide Two—Tectonic Setting of the chosen region. Where is the site of the hazard located with respect to the nearest plate boundary? Describe the plate boundary—what type of forces are present and what type of faults are most common given that plate boundary type? What is the rate of relative plate motion? Show us a map of the local and regional tectonic setting at this location. (2 points)

3) Geologic Setting—Describe the landforms… Is there a major river, mountain range, lake, volcano, ocean, etc.? How were these landforms created? What are the main rock types mapped in your area? Why are these rocks present and how did those rocks form? What is the long term history of geologic hazards at this location? Be sure to include vivid and information visuals. (2 points)

4) Cause of this Geologic Hazard—what happened to cause the incident and why? Please describe the chain of events from a science concept and geologic standpoint. [For example, if the event was a post-fire debris flow the chain of events probably is: a) the steep slope formed slowly over time, b) fire destroyed vegetation on this slope, c) roots that hold the soil together died off, d) major precipitation occurred, which rapidly coalesced on the ground as surface flow, e) surface water captured all the soil and rapidly moved it down the nearest channel is a massive slurry, e) this debris flow impacted houses and residents downstream.] (2 points)

5) What did geologists learn about geology from this event? How did the community adapt its safety plans since this event? What changes have people and businesses made to address future risk of similar hazards? (2 points)

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