2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 207-8
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM-10:15 AM

LIVING ON THE EDGE: AN INTERNATIONAL FIELD COURSE IN GEOLOGIC HAZARDS AT SUBDUCTION ZONES

GARVER, John I., Geology Department, Union College, Union College, Olin Building, Schenectady, NY 12308-2311, garverj@union.edu, RODBELL, Donald T., Geology, Union College, Olin Building, Schenectady, NY 12308-2311, and SMITH, Jacqueline A., Earth Sciences, Syracuse Univ, 204 Heroy Geology Laboratory, Syracuse, NY 13244-1070

Teaching local and regional geology has been the hallmark of the geology curriculum at Union College in upstate NY. Our field-rich curriculum has grown in the last decade as we have added field components to virtually all of our introductory and advanced offerings. With the advent of 3-week stand-alone mini-term courses at Union College, we were able to design and teach a new offering titled “Living on the Edge,” which explores the geologic hazards at subduction zones. This new international field experience, focuses on understanding the science and policy behind geologic hazards that lead to catastrophic events and loss of life. We have taught this course twice, once in New Zealand and once in Peru. Fieldwork for the course is aimed at getting students to recognize hazards, to understand the processes behind the hazards, and to see the role that society plays in mitigating these hazards. We designed this course to capitalize on heightened awareness of geologic hazards and the role of hazards in public policy and planning. We have noted that many potential geology majors are less interested in traditional fields in the Earth Science and are very interested in hazards, coastal/marine geology, and climate change. These students see geologic hazards as interesting and relevant to society. In New Zealand the main focus of the course is on seismic and volcanic hazards. The course concentrates on volcanic hazards in the Taupo volcanic zone and on seismic hazards, mainly around Wellington. In Peru, the main focus is on seismic hazards and mass movements in the Cordillera Blanca. Students map and determine the chronology of moraines cut by an factive normal fault, and then evaluate deposits associated with aluviones (breakout floods) and massive landslides, including the 1970 Yungay disaster. In both cases, the inclusion of policy and engineering components in the course provides an effective balance that allows students to see the relevance and applicability of the science they learn.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 207
Teaching Local Geology: An NAGT Session In Honor of Robert Christman
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 2A
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 524

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