For general discussion among students.


Hi, my name is Ching. I am a return UAF student with a senior standing in geosciences: geophysics. I am expecting to graduate this spring that I still need to take a 300 400 level geoscience class fitting in my schedule. I am so glad to find this online course! As I already work in the ski industry as a sport manager. Avalanche is the hazard I cared the most. It is extremely sad seeing the global warming with the uncertain weather in winter caused the avalanche. Almost every year I see the mountain community has someone passed away in avalanche. I personally never experienced one, and don’t ever want to experience the avalanche. I took the avalanche rescue course before to just play safe in snow.



My name is Casey and I am a junior in the Geoscience program currently! This class sparked my interest because of how many different types of disasters I have been in the proximity of! I grew up in Missouri in the midst of ‘Tornado Alley’ and also went to high school up in Barrow where we commonly experienced harsh weather and frequent flooding. As a result, it will be easy to find passion in this subject. I am really excited to learn about earthquakes, as I have experienced quite a few yet only know an extremely basic understanding of that type of event. I have never really experienced a severe natural disaster, but have been in close proximity of some. Throughout my childhood we had plenty of tornado warnings, but I was never closer than 4-5 minutes away from the tornado at any given time.

I look forward to learning with you all! Have a great weekend!


Hi all, my name is Brandon. I am a senior in the Geoscience program and my focus is Geospatial Science.  This class seemed very interesting because I think we should all know a bit more about geologic hazards. If everyone knew more about geologic hazards perhaps we as a nation could be more prepared to mitigate and possibly even prevent them.

Although I have been through several earthquakes and three hurricane’s, fortunately I have never truly had to experience the aftermath of a geologic disaster up close.  Loss of power, downed power lines, and the occasional debris from hurricanes is about the extent of it. I consider myself lucky, because others I have known have been through them and have lost all of their wordly possesions.

I hope we all have a good and productive semester, and I look forward to learning more about geologic hazards.





Hi All,

My name is Michelle and I am a Geology and Geological Engineering student at UAF. Prior to moving to Fairbanks this past summer, I have lived in Utah, Washington, and New England. Alaska is a beautiful place and I am happy to be here. I am taking this course because I have always been fascinated by natural disasters. Natural disasters can change a landscape in a second, and I’d like to look into these disasters from a geology perspective.

The natural hazard I find the most interesting are hurricanes. I chose hurricanes because they are the natural hazard that I have the most experience with. After growing up in the beautiful desert and mountains of Utah, I had never encountered a hurricane. This changed when I moved to Connecticut when I was 20 years old. While I was not living on the coast at the time, I was about 50 miles inland. I lived in a small town and news began to spread that a hurricane was going to hit Connecticut. I did not know how to prepare for such an event, and I wasn’t really worried since I was pretty far from the coast. I was cautioned by neighbors and co-workers to make sure that I had all the essentials and to get ready to hunker down. I did not heed their advice and simply carried on as usual, all while there was a run on the grocery store for bread and water.

When the hurricane was coming through, there were strong winds and torrential rainfall. As this was an August hurricane, there were plenty of leaves and branches to take down power lines. I had never lived in the woods prior to this, and was used to suburban living. The power was out for 10 days. Since I was using well water for the first time, I quickly learned that the water stops working when the power is out. This was a surprise because I was used to being on city water that works even without power. At the time, I was working at a bank about 10 miles from where I lived. The roads were impassable for a few days until the powerlines and trees were removed from the road. Once I was able to make it to work (which had power), my co-workers and I each made use of the water in the bathroom by taking turns taking “showers” in the sink.

Everything in my freezer and fridge went bad, and I had a windshield wiper get ripped off of my car. While this was not significant damage, I learned really quickly how unprepared I was. From then on, I became fascinated with hurricanes. To add insult to injury, a Nor’Easter came through about a month and half later and knocked out power for two weeks. I quickly learned, trial by fire, how to be prepared for some of the natural hazards of the area and living in the woods. The next year, a tornado hit a few miles from my home. The experience prompted me to add a motorcycle helmet to my safety kit, just in case. Being in a new place, I learned a lot in a short time.

After my experience with Hurricane Irene, I looked forward to tracking the hurricanes during hurricane season. I would see the spaghetti models on the Weather Channel, and how they compared to the European model. From there, I would try to guess the track that the hurricane would ultimately take. I was there for other tropical storms, and when Sandy hit. Being present for various hurricanes and tropical storms helped give me a new perspective on government response, individual preparedness, and the destruction that can occur in such a short time.

Unit 1 Introduction

Hello Everybody, I am a senior in the Earth Science program. I took this course because it sounded interesting and I know there is a lot I don’t know about geological hazards.

Right now I probably find large floods to be the most interesting geological hazards. I have just recently learned about the theorized flooding from Lake Missoula across the scablands of Washington which was probably caused by the bursting of a glacial dam. The immense volume that swamped Eastern Washington and the scars and geological structures left behind are really remarkable and gave me a new humble appreciation for flooding.

I experienced a hazardous event last August in the Wind River Mountain range in Wyoming. I was on a week long hiking/fishing trip with my some family in which we covered about 75 miles. On the second morning of the trip as we were hiking east we noticed black smoke only a few miles to the southwest of us. As we climbed higher it became obvious there was a wildfire not too far off and the wind was blowing in our direction. It was a good incentive to hike a little faster. We Climbed until we got to a lake very close to timberline and right at the base of the continental divide, so if the fire got any closer we could head up and over and out of harms way. The wind changed and it was never much of a threat to us. We caught dozens of brook trout and camped under the stars. However the next day we “in-reached” a friend who informed us that our trail out was closed down due to the fire. We fished for another 4-5 days and by the time we were out of TP and food other than fresh caught fish and ready to hike out the trail was opened again. Although we were probably never in immediate danger it was a little nerve racking and an eye opening experience.


Hello everyone. My name is Irina. I am a geoscience major with a concentration in geospatial sciences and I’m in my senior year at UAF. I am interested in better understanding the processes behind geological hazards, and how they affect society. 

I find wildfires to be particularly fascinating because they can make the affected regions prone to other hazards such as floods or landslides.

One disaster I experienced was the 100-year flood in Colorado in 2013. A low pressure system collided with the Rocky Mountains resulting in several days of continuous rain in September along the Front Range, leading to the soil becoming saturated and overwhelming rivers. I lived near Boulder at the time, and while my house was on a hill and wasn’t affected, many of my friends’ houses were flooded, and a few even had to be evacuated. A lot of roads and bridges were washed out, and some towns, such as Lyons, were completely cut off by flooding. A group of 5th graders on a field trip got stuck at an education center because of bad road conditions and had to be evacuated by helicopter. 

Good explanation of what caused the floods:

Pictures and day-by-day details:

AM Introduction

Hi, My name is Arika. I’m a senior and this is my final semester in the Homeland Security/Emergency Management program. In May, I will have my Bachelor’s in Emergency Management. I am taking this course to fulfill one of my elective requirements, but I am excited for this course because geological hazards are something I have been doing a lot of research on during my internship helping to write hazard mitigation plans.  Geological hazards are also something I will continue to study throughout my career so It will be great to get some more information about them and have a sort of baseline knowledge about multiple types of geological hazards.

Thankfully, I have never been in a natural disaster or hazardous event. I was not in Anchorage last year when the earthquake hit. One natural hazard I find really interesting are volcanoes. I have always loved and been healthily afraid of volcanoes and the kind of destruction they can cause, as well as how they can be beneficial, such as how they formed the islands of Hawaii. I am interested in learning more about them, plate tectonics, and many other types of hazards over the course of the semester and finding ways to integrate the knowledge into my internship and into my future career. Plate tectonics is always so interesting to learn about, and I was able to learn a lot about them in a past course that covered volcanoes and earthquakes.  I also see that there is a section on preparedness and I am very excited to learn ways to be prepared for all the different hazards covered in this course as well as create disaster resilient communities and hopefully study some of the ways communities that are prone to certain natural disasters are able to be prepared and to mitigate the effects. I hope to learn a lot that I will be able to apply in my current internship and as I continue to work in the emergency management field in any capacity.

Wishing you all a great semester!

Lor Introduction

Hello everyone! I am a junior in the geoscience program. My reasons for taking this class are that geologic hazards are so interesting! No matter where you live, at least one hazard is prevalent and the more we understand them, the better we can stay safe and keep the people we are with safe as well.

The most interesting type of natural hazard are tornados. I’ve never seen one before and they seem so unnatural, even though it is all explained by science! The idea of a raging funnel of air tearing up the Earth could originate from a myth or work of fiction. They are the hazard that I know the least about and I’m excited to understand the process and damage the cause.

Growing up in Anchorage I experienced many earthquakes, some at school, some at home. Often they would wake me up late at night. Sometimes a picture or knick-knack would fall off a shelf, but I never witnessed  any major damage. I was in Fairbanks when the large, damaging quake happened in Anchorage November of 2018 so I was only jolted awake. I wish I had been there! Earthquakes just fascinate me to no end. My mom was living in Anchorage during the 1964 earthquake and she remembers the earth and her house rolling and the destruction caused. She is still very afraid of earthquakes due to this harrowing experience. It interests me to think of how Anchorage would fair if another earthquake of that magnitude would happen. The building codes and construction standards have improved exponentially since then, but it city also is much larger. There is a higher population density and some buildings are old and rundown.


Hi, my name’s Katarina and I’m a junior studying geophysics at UAF.  Most of my required coursework is math and physics focused, so I enjoy taking elective geoscience classes when I can to broaden my knowledge base.  So that’s why I’m enrolled in this course.

I wouldn’t say that there’s a particular type of natural hazard that I find the most interesting, as they’re all quite fascinating and different.  I now live in Alaska, but I spent a portion of my childhood living in Tennessee, where tornadoes and flooding were the most common hazards.  However, my family is from Mississippi, so I was well acquainted with the effects of hurricanes, as well.  For instance, I distinctly remember packing up supplies in my parents’ truck for them to take down to southern Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina.

Recently, many of my old acquaintances have been complaining of dramatic temperature swings in Middle Tennessee and the tornadoes and flooding that typically accompany such weather.  Living in Alaska now, I’ve gotten so used to wildfires, avalanches, volcanoes, and the like being the primary sorts of hazards that I’d forgotten what it was like living in that sort of environment.

This is rather funny to me, because right before I first moved to Alaska in 2010, my home region at the time of Middle Tennessee experienced dramatic flooding, which is now typically referred to as the 2010 Nashville flood.  This flooding affected much of Middle Tennessee and Kentucky, causing the deaths of 26 people, but it was most dramatic in the city of Nashville, which lies along the Cumberland River.  Despite living about an hour outside of Nashville, my family and I were actually in the city at the onset of the flooding, as some of us had been preparing to run errands, while my father had been planning to go visit family in Mississippi but had to turn around due to the interstate being closed from flooding.  More than 13 inches of rain fell in a 36 hour period, and the resulting flood caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure.  Many of the city’s most popular institutions, such as historic music venues and a large mall, remained closed for several months – or in the case of Opry Mills mall, 2 years – to renovate.  When I briefly moved back to the city from Alaska a couple years later, I could still see the effects of the flood in many ways.  Nashville was still rebuilding, and many homes and businesses were just a complete loss.  At the time, I was taking piano lessons at a Steinway piano dealer, and they were actually still trying to refurbish several Steinway pianos that had been rescued from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony building.

So, having lived in a variety of different regions that experience different natural hazards, I’m very excited to learn more about the various types of hazards, as well as the mitigation methods associated with them.


A. Parrish Introduction

Hi My name is Alex Parrish.

Currently I’m a sophomore at the campus in Fairbanks, and I’m originally from Sitka.  My reason for taking this course is I only have a basic understanding of geological hazards, so naturally I wanted to further my knowledge on the topic.

Tornadoes are the most interesting for me personally. I’ve never really seen a tornado before which lets me fantasize about the phenomena a little bit more. Tornadoes are more interesting for me because of the body that it creates and moves with.  It’s also very interesting seeing the circular motion make such a large vortex.

In 2015 a large landslide slid down the side of Gavin hill. This was about a mile to a mile and a half from my house. In the event three men were killed and a decent amount of property damage occurred for a small town. Also a family I know had part of their house taken away with the slide. The area the was hit was a residential area, and I don’t know how many other houses were taken out but I know at least a couple were.  I believe during the event I was sleeping in my house, but I didn’t wake up to it so It hard for me to say exact time from when the slide started to stopped. I’m not familiar with with sizes of other landslides compared to this on, but this one seemed big. The base of the slide was about twice the size from where the start of the slide began. In our town it isn’t uncommon to receive over ten inches of rain in the span of a couple of days and during one of these occurrences is when the slide happened. It is also believed that the rain caused the ground to become over saturated to the point of causing a landslide. The aftermath of the slide was intimidating because the area that the slide moved through was heavily forested, and most of the trees were definitely not small. It was also very easy to see how houses could be swept away along with the mud, rock, and trees.