Summer 2023 - GEOG 312 OL01

Geography of Natural Hazards (4)

Class Number: 1378

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Instructor:

    Andrew Perkins
    Office: RCB 6231
  • Prerequisites:

    One of GEOG 100, 104 or 111 or one of EASC 101 or 104.



An exploration of human response to our hazardous Earth. The dynamic causes of natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides and floods will be illustrated. Students will gain an appreciation for how humans perceive, predict, and recover from hazards and how their effects may be reduced. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.


Largely via the motivating force of fear, natural hazards can mobilize massive numbers of individuals and resources in short periods of time. The 21st century response to natural hazards has been significantly impacted by globalization, disaster capital and the geospatial revolution. This course will explore the human-related effects of geophysical hazards including: earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tsunami, severe weather, river floods, and sea-level rise, through a geographic lens. Discussion groups will evaluate local to global scale examples of natural hazards culminating in perspectives on improved response and mitigation.

Asynchronous course components:

  • Weekly lecture modules.
  • Weekly tutorial assignments
  • Geoscapes final project

Synchronous course components:

  • Optional attendance at live weekly tutorial question and answer periods with TA supervision.
  • Final Examination (students must complete this during the scheduled timeframe)

There are no tutorials in the first week of class.


  • Demonstrate how natural hazards are understood through scientific investigation/ analysis.
  • Estimate risk based on frequency and severity components of specific hazards.
  • Visualize connections between natural hazards and the spaces in which they occur.
  • Identify changes in the impacts of natural hazards due to factors such as global population growth, socio-economic development and global distribution of wealth.
  • Contextualize the human dimensions of hazards by exploring the stories of those directly involved in hazard case studies.
  • Evaluate successful mitigation strategies for the adverse effects of natural hazards.


  • • Participation 5%
  • • Tutorial assignments 35%
  • • Geoscapes Project 20%
  • • Final Exam 40%



Tutorial Resources:

  • Tutorial resources will be provided through CANVAS (SFU’s online learning management system).

Technical requirements:

  • Internet connected device (computer recommended) for weekly access to CANVAS (SFU’s online learning management system).
  • Periodic access to web-based tools and resources such as Google Earth (, and potential for web-based (e.g., Zoom) interaction with the TA during live office hour/tutorial sessions.


  • Readings in Natural Hazards – Open-textbook available at no cost online.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.