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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert Joseph Turner
BES 397
Bothell Campus

Special Topics in Environmental Science

Unique course offerings designed to respond to faculty and student interests. Possible topics may include economic and environmental issues, air pollution, water quality, ecological restoration, global warming, or conservation biology.

Class description

The subtitle of this offering of BES 397 is Natural Hazards and Human Disasters. In this course we will be learning about the factors that control the genesis, distribution, frequency, and magnitude of geological, hydrological, and meteorological hazards. We will also investigate the factors that cause (or do not cause) these natural hazards to prompt human disasters. What do we do to change our vulnerability to these extreme events?

Student learning goals

Characterize the earth processes driving the genesis, geographic distribution, frequency, and magnitude of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and floods

Characterize and predict the impacts of natural hazards on natural and human systems

Evaluate the influence of culture and socioeconomics on a society’s vulnerability and response to natural hazards

Discuss the ramifications for coastal populations associated with projected trends in estuarine degradation

Demonstrate facility in collaborating with a partners in group work

Articulate how they have improved in their ability to conduct research, write abstracts, format a bibliography, and design a research poster

General method of instruction

Primarily interactive lectures and group discussions. A few field trips.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites, though an interest in natural science will help.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly online quizzes and/or discussions. There will be periodic homework assignments, a midterm exam, and a term-long research project resulting in a research poster presentation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Robert Joseph Turner
Date: 11/13/2013