Natural Disturbances & Society
CxC Coordinator Becky Carmichael College of Science
Objectives: Natural disturbances (fires, flood, etc.) disrupt our lives, but are beneficial to ecosystem composition and structure. Manmade disturbances (oil production, industrial farming, etc.) produce outcomes beneficial to society, but may negatively affect ecosystems. Neglect of ecosystem function may result in loss of biodiversity, altered disturbance regimes and increased vulnerability to subsequent natural disturbances and other stresses; thus nature and humans are constantly influencing each other. Understanding the science of natural disturbances and how human activities influence outcomes will allow us to protect disturbance-dependent ecosystems, prepare for future disturbance events and restore areas in the post-disaster environment.
This course will introduce disturbance ecology and explore the effects of natural and manmade disturbances on ecosystems using past and recent disasters, such as Hurricane Andrew and Super Storm Sandy. The course will also emphasize science literacy across disciplines and is communication-intensive, focusing on written and spoken communication.
Honors 1035 will offer 3 hours towards the General Education requirement in the natural sciences.