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First-Year Seminar (102-6-02)


Earth is Out to Kill You: Earthquakes & Volcanoes


Elvira Mulyukova

Meeting Info

Technological Institute F391: Tues, Thurs 9:30AM - 10:50AM

Overview of class

In this seminar, we will learn about some of the most devastating natural disasters in Earth's recorded history. We will explore the science and the human toll of earthquakes and volcanoes - frequent reminders from our dynamic planet that it has little respect for human life. We will cover current events, as exemplified by recent destructions in Haiti and Spain, as well as historical events such as the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 which kicked off the Age of Enlightenment, and the volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 which led to the Year Without a Summer, and which gave us Dracula and Frankenstein. There will be several writing assignments on science-related topics. In the words of Voltaire, bemoaning the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755: "Come, ye philosophers, who cry, "All's well," And contemplate this ruin of a world."

Class Materials (Required)

Book: Natural Disasters
Author: Patrick Leon Abbott
Publisher: McGraw Hill (2020)
ISBN: 9781260220636
preferably 11th edition, but 10th edition is ok too
rental ~$70

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only