1. Mayhem and destruction -- the geologic events that make Earth a deadly planet! 
  2. We will explore the origin and evolution of Earth and life, extraterrestrial impacts, mass extinctions, earthquakes and volcanism, hurricanes, large catastrophic floods, and the history of climate that sets the context for modern change.
  3. What causes these dramatic and catastrophic geologic events to occur? What governs their frequency, and can they be predicted as natural aspects of Earth’s evolution.
  4. What potential mitigation measures can humans can take to protect us from this deadly planet.

Course Description

This course investigates those events so dramatic and catastrophic that they have left evidence in the geologic record that suggest they significantly impacted life on the planet.  These included, but are not limited to, violent volcanic eruptions, mega-earthquakes and associated tsunamis, landslides and collapse of volcanoes, megafloods, rapid climate change, superstorms, and impacts from asteroids and comments.  The intent is to use examples from recent events and processes to frame and interpret evidence for these types of events observed in the rock record.