Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM


STULL, Robert J. and MAYO, David P., California State Univ - Los Angeles, Dept Geological Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90032,

Los Angeles residents face a relatively high risk of property loss and personal injury due to environmental hazards. The CSLA Department of Geological Sciences offers two popular undergraduate courses that address hazard assessment and mitigation: (1) Natural Disasters, a freshman-level general education course, and (2) Urban Geology, an upper-division elective. We employ assignments that teach students to perform geologic hazard assessments in their own neighborhoods. Assessment involves instructor-assisted examination of geological maps, study of any soil and rock exposures in their neighborhoods, and Internet research. Students investigate the susceptibility of their homes to damage from earthquakes, floods, landslides, liquefaction, and erosion. They also determine the sources and quality of their drinking water.

Field and Internet research encourage active learning. Student communication skills and collaboration in the learning process are improved. Many students express satisfaction and self confidence not achieved elsewhere in their university education.

The assignments and supportive resources are available online at Resources were drawn from the web pages of numerous public and private agencies, including the Dibblee Geological Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Mines and Geology, and the Southern California Earthquake Center.