College Of Arts And Sciences | Earthquakes and Volcanoes
E105 | 0184 | Merino


9:05-9:55 MW GY 126
This course, intended primarily for non-science majors, offers an
introduction to the most exciting-and terrifying-manifestations of the
dynamic processes that are continually reshaping our planet: earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions.  The class will present a general overview of these
violent natural catastrophes, examining their fundamental causes,
documentation of earthquake and volcanic phenomena, the wide range of
secondary effects-such as landslides, mudflows, and tsunamis (tidal
waves)-that are triggered by quakes and eruptions, and the societal response
to these natural disasters.  The class will also focus on aspects of
earthquakes and volcanic activity that are related to critical public policy
issues of our time: energy and mineral resources, global climate change,
nuclear arms control, and natural hazard reduction.

The course has no prerequisites and requires no previous background in earth
sciences.  It consists of two 50-minute lectures and one 2-hour laboratory
per week.  The laboratory exercises have purposefully been designed with an
eye toward variety and include several "in-class" written problems, one or
more computer exercises, a two-hour field trip to local rock outcrops, and
two "experimental" exercises in which students collect and analyze their own
experimental data. The laboratory portion of the course finishes with a
two-week volcanic and seismic hazards assessment of one or more population
centers in the Pacific northwest.  Grading in the course will be based on a
midterm and final examination (50%), problem sets (10%), laboratory
exercises (30%), and a laboratory final (10%).