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GE488 Natural Hazards

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

The course provides the students with insights into different kinds of natural hazards. Focus is laid on landslides, floods and wildfires and their impact on inhabited environments and infrastructure. Examples of specific hazardous events and the processes involved are investigated during practical exercises. An important part of the training aims to enable the students to recognize and understand the potential danger of natural hazards and assess their risk. This training allows the students to evaluate the need for mitigation measures and the potential in risk reduction for different types of measures.

Learning Outcome

Students gain knowledge about:

  • driving and triggering factors of natural hazards and how they interplay
  • process development and propagation of hazardous events
  • how climate change can affect the frequency and magnitude of natural hazards
  • the potential impact of natural hazards on infrastructure and society

Students will be able to:

  • understand the content of articles and reports dealing with natural hazards
  • conduct basic assessments of the danger and extent of potential events based on the analysis of existing maps, databases, available reports and numerical models

Students will be able to:

  • communicate with decision-makers and the general public about natural hazards
  • identify and specify potential hazard zones in a given area

Entry requirements

90 ECTS in environmental sciences or geoscience at the time of application

Recommended previous knowledge

GE489 Past and Present Climate/ GE483 Climate Change

GE487 Hydrology and Runoff Management

Teaching methods

Lessons, assignments and excursions



Field trips to different locations in western Norway, where students investigate unstable/slide-prone slopes, morphological landslide features and flood damage

Compulsory learning activities

  • Approved reports from 3/3 written assignments
  • Approved digital test (1/1)
  • Attendance of all field excursions and approved associated field reports


Written examination under supervision. Individual 4 hrs.

Grading A-F

Examination support material

  • ruler
  • calculator
  • dictionaries in the international participant's native language

More about examination support material