Battening Down the Hatches

I’m excited to announce that my team’s proposal, “Battening Down the Hatches: Major Storms & Community Resilience,” was accepted by InTeGrate through SERC (the Science Education Research Center at Carleton College). InTeGrate is “a community program, a collaboration between faculty in the sciences and other disciplines, educational specialists, and evaluation experts at a diverse group of institutions,” which focuses on interdisciplinary methods for teaching about the Earth and sustainability.

The “Battening Down the Hatches” team is made up of a geoscientist in New Hampshire, an emergency management specialist in New York, and myself – a political scientist in Massachusetts. We will spend the next two years creating, piloting, and revising a teaching module that focuses on the risks and hazards posed by extreme storms.

The module will help prepare students in many different disciplines for the uncertain level of risk from weather extremes, by enabling them to be well-informed about potential risks, effective mitigation, and response strategies. To do so, the module will illustrate storm-related risk and resilience measures, using one or more high-profile events as case studies. It will also have students explore storm preparedness in their own region, with a focus on risk assessment, management, and resilience. Students will be expected to conduct their own research on storm events and local impacts through various assignments. In addition, as part of the module, students will take on roles as different stakeholder groups (local officials, citizens, schools, civil engineers, etc.), culminating in a final interactive group presentation that uses an in-class debate as the forum for evaluating need and for setting policy.