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EDUCATION with Student News

Learning Activity: Geologic Hazards

CNN Student News -- Students will investigate various geologic hazards and determine which ones have had an impact on their region.

Procedure

Point out to students that landslides are one type of what scientists call "geologic hazards." Write this U.S. National Park Service (NPS) definition of geologic hazard (also called geohazard) on the board: "Geohazards are any geological or hydrological process that poses a threat to people and/or their property." Lead a brief discussion of this definition to make sure that students understand its meaning.

Next, challenge students to come up with a list of geologic hazards and write these on the board. Their list should include such processes as landslides, volcanoes, tsunami, earthquakes and floods, plus any others that qualify under the NPS definition.

Then, divide the class into groups, and have each group conduct a geohazard survey of their region. Groups will want to determine which of the listed geohazards have impacted their region and how these geohazards have altered the region's physical features.

After each group presents its findings, point out that while human action is usually incapable of preventing geologic hazards, governments often engage in mitigation to lessen the hazards' impact on lives and property. Ask students: Are there any steps that your local or state governments have taken to mitigate the effects of these geohazards? Discuss.

Correlated Standards

Earth and Space Science

CONTENT STANDARD D:

As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of:

Structure of the earth system

As a result of their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of:

  • Energy in the earth system
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Origin and evolution of the earth system
  • The National Science Education Standards (http://books.nap.edu/html/nses/pdf/index.htmlexternal link) are published by the National Academies Press (http://www4.nationalacademies.org/nas/nashome.nsfexternal link).

    Social Studies

    Standard III. People, Places, and Environments

    Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.

    The Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/strands/external link) are published by the National Council for Social Studies (http://ncss.org/external link).

    Keywords

    landslide, geologists, natural disasters, Laguna Beach, California

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