Destructive Earth

Queensland University of Technology

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Destructive Earth

  • Host University

    Queensland University of Technology

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Engineering Science, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    In ERB201 Destructive Earth, we will focus on the Science of Natural Hazards. By understanding the conditions and processes that lead to, and cause, severity of natural processes such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, cyclones, tornadoes, storms/blizzards, floods, bushfire, and asteroid impacts, you will be better informed as to why there are natural hazards and disasters, and how to prepare and mitigate for future events that will have a range of social, economic and political impacts. We will build on the knowledge and skills developed in Year 1 to provide you with a global perspective of how we, as a society, will continually be confronted by natural hazards.
    Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this unit, you will provide evidence that you can:
    1. Identify and describe the diversity of natural hazards, their processes and the potential implications on the environment and human populations.
    2. Explain the spatial and temporal distribution of natural hazards, and the circumstances that increase their severity, as a basis for predicting future risk.
    3. Investigate and report how communities perceive threats and risks from natural hazards, in particular, after they have been impacted by a natural disaster.
    The major topics to be covered in this course will begin with defining natural hazards and understanding risk and vulnerability, and what makes a natural hazard become a natural disaster. We will then investigate the physical processes behind the main types of natural hazards including earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanism, a range of weather-related phenomena such as tropical cyclones, flooding, tornadoes, and storms/blizzards, bushfires, and extra-terrestrial threats such as from asteroid impacts. We will also focus on some of the more recent natural disasters, including flooding and cyclones that have affected so much of Queensland since 2010, to understand better the circumstances that increased their severity. As a developing scientist, you will be challenged to consider social, economic and political perspectives of natural disasters, and where human actions or inactions have been a significant factor in the severity of a disaster.
    Approaches to Teaching and Learning
    Lecture/lectorial: 1- 2 hrs/week
    Practicals: 10 per semester, Up to 3 hrs/week
    Field study: Brisbane CBD, Ipswich CBD, Gold Coast ± Sunshine Coast
    Approaches to teaching and learning include formal lectures and a series of workshops/practicals. Lectures are to provide the scientific background on the topics being investigated, and rationale for problem-solving workshops. Problems addressed in workshops and laboratories will be drawn from the exploration of issues specific to the range of natural hazards, such as understanding the basis for their prediction and mitigation.
    The field exercise will be used to develop practical skills in data collection, recording, synthesis and communication, as well as providing the opportunity to gauge and understand community perceptions of natural hazards and their perceived risk and vulnerability.
    *This course has a field trip component. Additional fees, paid directly to the university, may apply.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.