Natural Disasters

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9/10 stars
based on  38 reviews
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Cost FREE
Start Date TBA

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22043 reviews

Course Description

No region on Earth is immune from natural disasters. As we gain scientific understanding into the causes and nature of such phenomena, we become better able to mitigate the effects of disasters. Yet as the world's population continues to grow, an increasingly large number of people are at risk.

This science course examines different types of natural disasters and our ability, or inability, to control and predict such events. You will gain an appreciation of natural disasters beyond the newspaper headlines, and will better understand how the effects of disasters can be reduced.

There is an urgent need for people from all walks of life to better understand the scientific principles behind the occurrence of natural disasters:

  • City planners need to know where, and where not, to site buildings.
  • Politicians need to make scientifically informed decisions.
  • Emergency management officials need to understand the nature of a pote...

No region on Earth is immune from natural disasters. As we gain scientific understanding into the causes and nature of such phenomena, we become better able to mitigate the effects of disasters. Yet as the world's population continues to grow, an increasingly large number of people are at risk.

This science course examines different types of natural disasters and our ability, or inability, to control and predict such events. You will gain an appreciation of natural disasters beyond the newspaper headlines, and will better understand how the effects of disasters can be reduced.

There is an urgent need for people from all walks of life to better understand the scientific principles behind the occurrence of natural disasters:

  • City planners need to know where, and where not, to site buildings.
  • Politicians need to make scientifically informed decisions.
  • Emergency management officials need to understand the nature of a potential disaster and ways to mitigate such an event.
  • Journalists need to report scientifically accurate information.

Learner Testimonial:

Professors Stix and Gyakum have created and presented an engaging course, and have helped in my quest for a better understanding of the world around me.” – Previous Student

Reviews 9/10 stars
38 Reviews for Natural Disasters

Ratings details

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Very beautiful course and very interesting. Even though I think I have a high level in the subject, I learned many new things. The instructors perfuse passion for the subject and the material is a clear indicator that they have toiled very much to make this course possible.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
It was a great course to learn.I enjoyed the entire length of the course. Both the instructors have covered all contents in& video a simple manner. Course content were taken from all possible modes from all over the world. Presentation & video made the subject matter more interesting.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years ago
I learned a lot in this course, especially about all the weather related contents which I knew little about. I love everything about geology so the volcano, earthquake, tsunami subject were extremely interesting. The instructors, Prof. Gyakum and Prof. Stix are wonderful teachers. The contents are very well explained. edX is an excellent provider and I will continue to take courses with them!
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Mohammad kazem naseri profile image
Mohammad kazem naseri profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
I am a new student here and I registered for the course to learn about the natural disaster. This kind of courses are very useful and valuable because you can learn for free, I mean everybody can learn there is no difference here between those have money and those who don't have it.
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6/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
I took the course before but missed some lectures. I hope that this session (Jan. '16) could supply us with the ability to download lecture slides in addition to the videos, and texts. I had to supply my own slides from Google images in order to better supplement the lectures. It was a long and tedious process to do so. The staff would do well to let us download the slides they use in the lectures.
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student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 3 months ago
Considering the recent deluge in this part of the world (Chennai, South India) and its worst impact on the entire city, there would be many takers for such courses.I intend to publicise this course through my Blog. Congratulations to all concerned for delivering such courses.
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Furhat Subla profile image
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Furhat Subla

5/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 4 months ago
Today we are facing natural disaster which are actually human made such course are important man should be prepared for such disaster earthquakes, tusanmi floods
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Coleen Flory profile image
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Coleen Flory

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 5 months ago
I do not know why people were only giving this a 3 out of 5 stars rating, other than the fact that it wasn't an easy course by any means! It was PACKED with information on how weather/El Niño works, earthquakes, landslides, tornados, floods... yes, it had some math in it! I thought this was an excellent course, giving more than a glossing-over of the science behind these phenomena - it is definitely a course any city planner/emergency planning committee should have to take!
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Eduardo Pons profile image
Eduardo Pons profile image

Eduardo Pons

10/10 starsDropped
3 years, 7 months ago
I thought the course was well designed and full of information/knowledge. The instructors were outstanding. However, I was compelled to drop out sometime in midstream beacuse I was discouraged by technology- issues I encountered using my IPad in doing the course. There were several instances when I could not make the test graphics work. Struggling with them simply took too much time and effort that I decided to drop out. I could have used my laptop instead but I was mostly on the go a lot at the time and my IPad was I thought a much easier equipment to use given my situation at the time. I wish the course will be offered again.
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The entire program was outstanding. I am an emergency physician and a fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. I have basically had all the material in the past. The presentation in this course was simply outstanding, the professors magnificent, the material very relative. The professors passed a zeal for the material. The home experiments were well designed and aided learning tremendously. I have nothing but superlatives for this course. I was challenging and well worth the time spent studying. Thank you.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
I absolutely LOVED this course. so far, it's the best course I took on edX :D ... everything about it was amazing, great topics, remarkable presentation, very organized and interesting, even the assignments were so well-presented, clear and fun. my only regret is that I started this course very late, so I missed the chance to submit 2 assignments and so :( .. and by that I lost the opportunity to get a certificate and/or honor code. I really wish for this course to be available again and self-paced, cuz I will be more than happy to re-take it, and that is a Promise! :)
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The course was informative and interesting without being too technical.The many illustrations, in the form of you-tube or video segments were illuminating and appropriate.The instructors easily managed to convey their expertise and passion about their subject, plus their commitment to to try to educate the participants in the course about our role in climate change and how to minimize the effects. I live in an area of the world that is rarely affected by natural disasters and it was truly awesome to see the enormous power that nature can release, together with the terrible consequences for humans. I will not hesitate to encourage others to take this course thank you! Beverly Ungar Jerusalem Israel
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Student

8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Very good course - covered the topics well, instructors were easy to follow and interesting in their delivery, and appropriately technical for an online course. The lesson questions and exams in general reinforced the material well. The course was well packaged and effective. Recommended!
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
I loved the class and the instructors. I learned a lot and brushed up on some things I knew. The class was well thought out and i enjoyed the videos of experiments and hands on learning that was done. I was surprised to find i could pick up some of the concepts involved and actually figure out answers to things i never thought I would be able to grasp. Wonderful class and i recommend it to anyone
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
I took this course as a foundational spring board to learn some fundamental basics in earth sciences and meteorology. Being that I'm a wife and mom going back to university this summer to continue my goal to obtain a degree in earth and atmospheric sciences with a focus in weather forecasting, natural disasters and emergency management, I found this course exceeded my expectations. The course material content was very in-depth and the two professors were very engaging, The set up of the student dashboard and course-ware was excellent, and my experience during this course was outstanding! I found myself looking forward to the lectures and the increasing knowledge. i especially loved the availability of the video lecture 'transcripts' which where synchronized with each lecture video. The synchronized transcripts made it such that I could read along while watching the lecture videos, when (on a few occasions) open audio nor headset... I took this course as a foundational spring board to learn some fundamental basics in earth sciences and meteorology. Being that I'm a wife and mom going back to university this summer to continue my goal to obtain a degree in earth and atmospheric sciences with a focus in weather forecasting, natural disasters and emergency management, I found this course exceeded my expectations. The course material content was very in-depth and the two professors were very engaging, The set up of the student dashboard and course-ware was excellent, and my experience during this course was outstanding! I found myself looking forward to the lectures and the increasing knowledge. i especially loved the availability of the video lecture 'transcripts' which where synchronized with each lecture video. The synchronized transcripts made it such that I could read along while watching the lecture videos, when (on a few occasions) open audio nor headset was advantageous in my home environment. The Teacher Assistants were exemplary as well, and answered any student questions or concerns in a prompt and thorough manner. Overall, it eased my education jitters usually experienced by middle-aged individuals returning back to university to continue their goal of obtaining a degree, at this point in life. I learned a great deal, and found myself wishing their was a second level course. I'm so glad I took this course. Thanks Professors Gyakum and Stix, the McGillx (University) Team and edX for offering this wonderful and interesting course.
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8/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
Very interesting informations are provided and the material goes quite deep into meteorology and geophysics. The difficulty of the course is, I'd say medium. If you invest enough time, you shouldn't have problems. The instructors are nice people and especially Prof. Stix is quite engaging. Thank you for this course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
A compelling course, an intriguing experience with two teachers with a lot of knowledge, but also a good ability to deliver information and to stimulate interest (rare gift). I would love to follow a second part of this course, I already miss it!
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
The entire program was outstanding. I am an emergency physician and a fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. I have basically had all the material in the past. The presentation in this course was simply outstanding, the professors magnificent, the material very relative. The professors passed a zeal for the material. The home experiments were well designed and aided learning tremendously. I have nothing but superlatives for this course. I was challenging and well worth the time spent studying. Thank you.
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years ago
great class: taxonomy is broad and deep, physics and thermodynamics are clearly linked, lots of metrology, and most important, what do I do now that I could not do before
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Laura Quinn profile image
Laura Quinn profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I only expected to learn the basics, but this class went above & beyond. Each lecture focused on the meteorological, geographical, economical, & sociological aspects of different natural disasters. I now understand (in great detail) the science behind disasters, I know how to spot the potential threats, & I'm aware of how to prepare for/avoid disasters. The only part of the course that I wasn't a huge fan of was the peer assessment portion of the final project - I'm not sure that they were best suited for grading responsibilities, but as long as the rest of the coursework is completed, even a poor peer assessment won't mess up your grade that much. Overall, it was a great class & I hope that they create an advanced lecture series in addition to this first class!
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Ann Schmidt profile image
Ann Schmidt profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 25 reviews
  • 24 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
This is an interesting course which provides many details about natural disasters and how they occur. The Professors are very knowledgeable and are quite fun to listen to. They give many demonstrations. I would recommend this course.
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Debbie Fecteau profile image
Debbie Fecteau profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I don't have any suggestions. I wish I had been able to spend more time digesting the material. Because it was held in the summer months, I was not able to participate as much as I would have liked. I would take this course again, if offered and hopefully be able to complete all requirements. I recommend it to anyone with a desire to know what is going on in the world around them. (waiting for that El Nino!) Thanks EdX!
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Student

8/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 7 months ago
The course was very informative. I am an Earth Science teacher for 8th grade and have gotten some great ideas for my class!
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 7 months ago
I used this course to 1\. review topics i learned 35 yrs ago,, get tips from master teachers on how to teach these subjects today, and improve my technical writing skills. i'm thrilled to say all the objectives were met. The teaching assistants were good and right on top of everything. You McGill folks are great. I am not used to MOOCs, so submitting the writing assignment was awkward. I expected my first submission to be carried over from the self to the peer assessment, and that has been done in other MOOCs. Additional photos of mine overwrote the previous one I submitted, making it awkward to submit a full project all at once. Perhaps you can get your programmers to allow submission of pdfs. I have seen that. Other than that, well done. ,,
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 7 months ago
The video lectures were good. Most of the problems were technical issues.
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Kevin Dineen profile image
Kevin Dineen profile image
10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
Wow. What can I say? I have a much better understanding of natural disasters. This may help me prepare for them (knowing is half the battle ;o)
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10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 7 months ago
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Ilaria Meggetto profile image
Ilaria Meggetto profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
A great experience. This was the best course I have taken in 2 years of edX learning. Excellent management, organization of contents and activities (with short, practical and crystal clear lecture videos and lots of intermediate tests). For the first time I have also seen a complete use of all edX tools including various kinds of testing options, interactive labs and peer assignments. I wish the Final Projects had been more enhanced and perhaps directed to a side platform for rating and discussion (as for the TechniCity course on Coursera). Tutors were always prompt to reply and instructions were extremely clear, even for non English speaking students. The overall duration and deadline schedule were perfectly calibrated too.
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Deb Andrews profile image
Deb Andrews profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
As a sailor for 20 years I had some background and knowledge of extreme weather, but this took it to a whole new dimension both in knowledge and in understanding the global implications of our changing weather patterns. This was my first course and cannot believe how much I enjoyed it and looked forward to each weekly module. Now I am hooked and have no idea where it will all end! I strongly recommend this course to anyone who likes to stand in the garden and look up at the quiet clouds, you will never see them the same way again!
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Tracy Kane profile image
Tracy Kane profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I learnt loads and consolidated my learning on topics also. I enjoyed the variety of topics and being tested on my understanding. Although, at times the task were quite hard to follow! One thing that could be improved is the feedback provided by peers which could be more structured so that we receive constructive feedback.
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Rating Details


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  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
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  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.