9. Capstone Project

I am sure that by now you have an appreciation for how disasters can be mitigated, if not completely prevented, through a combination of monitoring, improvements to infrastructure, and education. The purpose of the Capstone Project is for you to use the skills and knowledge you gained in this course to teach others about hazards.

There will be one assignment, described below.

Dates:   April 22 to April 29

Estimated Time to Complete:   9 hours over one week

  • Individual research and blog post/comment  — about 3 hours
  • Educational Product creation —   about 6 hours

Learning Goals:

  1. Choose one of your case study disasters from Unit 5 or 6.
  2. Review your case study and correct any issues or errors (if needed)
  3. Design an informational product that could be used to teach people about the science behind the disaster, monitoring and mitigation efforts, and how to prepare to safeguard life and property should a similar disaster strike again.
  4. How to use video, poster, or comic book (or other clear, simple, and engaging tool) to convey to people important hazard, monitoring and mitigation, and preparation information in case a similar disaster happens again.


Assignment 1 – Blog post and comment

  1. Find an example of an educational product made to educate a community about a specific type of hazard or disaster. If you can find one that is directly related to your Case study disaster – great!If not, just choose one that focuses on the same type of hazard (ie earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc).
  2. Write a blog post critiquing the educational product you found:
    1. Is the resource easy to read, quick to understand?
    2. Did they use graphics, video content effectively?
    3. What is one way you see that you could improve upon the product to make it more accessible to all, easier to understand, or more informative?
    4. Be sure to provide the link to your product and a citation.
    5. Read another student post and share one thing you like about the product they found by commenting.

Assignment 2 – Upload to Canvas

Conveying hazard information to at risk communities should be through clear, easy to use, engaging (or even interesting or fun) media. Commonly used tools include: short video “infomercials”, easy to display posters, or even comic books! For this project, you will choose one of your Case Studies and use it as the basis to create an engaging, simple educational tool to teach others about one of your case study hazards and what they can do to prepare for the next disaster. You choose the tool you want to use for the most impact with a public audience. Examples are given on the Tools/Resources page. Use your completed Case Study assignment for the relevant information you need for each part of your educational tool that can be used to teach a public audience with little to no science background about the hazard, how to be prepared, and what to do afterward.

A few tools you can use:

Comic books

Pixton Classic – should have a free trial!

Make Beliefs Comics  – free as far as I can tell

Videos for infomercials

Screencast-O-Matic  – free!

YouTube –  Through your UA google apps account

Presentation media (for videos, posters)

PowerPoint – make posters, slides for a video – and you can record voice over too!

Keynote (for mac users)

Canva – a way to make posters for free

Adobe Spark – Free!

Option 1 – Create a   ~15   minute long “Infomercial”

Option 2 – Create a Comic Book (must be at least 3 pages long, at least 2 strips on each page)

Option 3 – Create a poster (multi-panel, must address each category below)

Required components for your project:

  1. Include a simple, clearly-labeled hazard/risk map to explain to a public audience the type of hazard most likely to impact them, and an overview of their risk for a future, similar, event.   The map should be simple and easy to read.
  2. Include a description of the basic science of the hazard using at least one, clearly-labeled diagram that describes the science (e.g., how faults work, how a landslide works, etc). Be sure to include a figure caption explaining the figure.
  3. Teach people about one current monitoring method in place. Include a  figure explaining how the  monitoring  method works . Be sure to include a figure caption explaining the figure.
  4. End by giving a brief overview of how the community should prepare for the next disaster. Use the FEMA course you took for Unit 8 for specific disasters as a guide as to what to include. For example:
    • How to become educated about the hazard
    • What to do before disaster strikes to prepare
    • Specific supplies to have on hand
    • How to survive the event. For example, in case of tsunami, head uphill away from the coastline.
    • What to do afterward to reconnect with family, friends and find help if needed

*Please let me know if you are willing to let me share your project with the University community and/or the public.

GEOS 380