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GEOG 106 Introduction to Natural Hazards & Disasters • 5 Cr.


Primary focus is on earth and atmospheric hazards that appear rapidly, often without warning. Emphasis placed on the interrelationship among hazards and the role Humans play in, not only enhancing potential disasters, but also how, through education, to minimize future environmental problems. Same as GEOL 106. Either GEOG 106 or GEOL 106 may be taken for credit, not both. Fulfills a natural science course requirement at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Define terms, facts, and descriptions relevant to natural disasters and hazards.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the randomness of natural events and difficulty of predicting catastrophe.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of hazard locations, risk assessment and mitigation.
  • Explain the important role public education plays in elevating peoples’ awareness of natural processes and how to learn to live with and avoid hazards.
  • Encourage exploration of environmental local, state, and federal policies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of ways to be prepared for natural disasters
  • Summarize the concepts of the scientific method and how it is applied in understanding natural processes.
  • Discuss societal behaviors as well as individual and government responsibilities and the role that insurance plays in catastrophic loss.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of plate tectonic theory.
  • Contrast and compare the different types of plate boundaries.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of earthquake processes including earthquake waves and behavior, and causes of earthquakes and fault types.
  • Explain how earthquakes are located and scaled.
  • Identify the types of ground motion. Describe the effects earthquakes may have on structures and slopes earthquake effects on buildings.
  • Describe how tsunami are generated and their impact.
  • Explain the difficulties of earthquake prediction.
  • Explain what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
  • Summarize types of volcanic materials, hazards, and eruptive mechanisms.
  • List the types of volcanoes and their behavior and risks.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of eruption warnings and precursors.
  • Describe fundamental stream dynamics and stream types.
  • Demonstrate an ability to define what a flood is, how they are measured, types and predictions.
  • Describe the fundamental principles of mass wasting
  • Explain how to assess risk and mitigate mass wasting impacts
  • Contrast and compare global warming and cooling models.
  • Identify climate cycles such as El Nino.
  • Understand the basics of weather and climate.
  • Identify the types of cyclones.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how cyclones are scaled. Define the Saffir-Simpson and Fujita scales.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the difficulty in hurricane and tornado prediction.
  • Describe different types of impacts, and the effects of a large meteorite impact.

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Contact info

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000