Jamie BaxterWestern Social Science

Evaluations

Assignment #1 - Recent Disasters Trends

Assignment 1 Outline

In class you have seen a number of graphs and tables concerning disasters over both time and space.  However, many of these charts are aggregated for the entire world.  The purpose of this assignment is for you to use a well-respected international database - EM-DAT to explore recent trends and to explore if the the spatial patterns are consistent with theory.  This assignment will also reinforce the limitations of calculating disaster trends.  You will use Excel (or your favourite spreadsheet software) to assist you with this assignment.

For a full description of assignment 1, please see the outline posted here.

 

Assignment 2 - Understanding Hazards in Context

Assignment 2 Outline

The purpose of this assignment is to further hone your critical thinking skills regarding hazards and disasters, their impacts, and how we adjust to them. One of the drawbacks of assignment 1 is that it is highly reductionist, in the sense that you only see the summary numbers concerning these tragic events.  This assignment will focus more on how those numbers are actually felt on the ground in places that experience disaster.    You will review one type of hazard/disaster in a formal essay.  You are required to use primarily academic literature: journal articles and books - which can be supplemented with other reference materials.  The primary goal of this assignment is to understand some of the key issues studied by academics concerning hazards/disasters.  Where possible cite empirical papers (research studies) as opposed to only theoretical papers (summaries of the literature).

For a full description of assignment 2, please see the outline posted here.

 

Midterm

Weight: 20% Duration: 1.5 hours Date:
Oct. 21 Location: B&GS-0165

Possible Format: mixed, all answers on exam paper - 85 marks

Multiple Choice and True/False - 20

1 mark ea.

MC usually 1 of 5 choices (a - e)

NOT scantron, circle on exam paper

no "correction factor" (i.e., NO subtraction of incorrect answers from correct answers)

Definitions - 25

5 marks ea

Choice - you will choose 5 from at least 7

Identify what the thing is, why it is important, how it relates to other things in the lectures and provide an example(s)

I have been told by students that I, "expect a lot in a definition". I agree.

only those definitions that include an example will receive full marks

space - use only the space provided - approximately 1/5 of a page

Sample Question

technological hazard

Short Answer - 40

10 markes each

choice - you will choose 4 from at least 6

address the question directly and include at least one example.

e.g., if you are asked to "compare" - identify and describe both similarities and differences e.g., for policy?

examples - only those short answers that include at least one example will receive full marks

space - use only the space provided - approximately 1/3 of a page.

Sample question
Distinguish the sociological, geographical and critical perspectives in hazards research.

Material Covered

All lectures and readings up until the end of the class immediately prior to the midterm date. The focus will be on lectures, but the readings typically overlap the lectures considerably. Generally speaking you do not have to know specifics like who said what in what year for the multiple choice, but it would not hurt to know some of the more important figures mentioned in class to round out your definitions and short answer.

Final Exam

Weight: 35%

Duration: 1.5 hours

Date: Dec. 16 14:00 - 17:00 (always verify on official exam schedule)

Location: UCC 37

Possible Format: mixed, all answers on exam paper - 100 marks

Multiple Choice and True/False (15 marks)

1 mark ea.

MC usually 1 of 5 choices (a - e)

NOT scantron, circle on exam paper

no "correction factor" (i.e., NO subtraction of incorrect answers from correct answers)

Definitions (25 marks)

5 marks ea

Choice - you will choose 5 from at least 7

Identify what the thing is, why it is important, how it relates to other things in the lectures and provide an example(s)

I have been told by students that I, "expect a lot in a definition". I agree.

only those definitions that include an example will receive full marks

space - use only the space provided - approximately 1/5 of a page

Short Answer (30 marks)

10 markes each

choice - you will choose 3 from at least 5

address the question directly and include at least one example.

examples - only those short answers that include at least one example will receive full marks

space - use only the space provided - approximately 1/3 of a page.

Essay (30 marks)

choice - you will choose 1 from 2

address the question directly and include examples.

space - use only the space provided - approximately 1/3 of a page.

outline - though there are no marks explicityly awareded for this, sketch an outline on the extra sheet of paper provided (back of last page)

Material Covered

All lectures and readings since the midterm date. You are also responsible for material you might use in an essay answer. That is, the essay question will be quite general and will allow you to draw on material from the entire course. The focus will be on lectures, but the readings typically overlap the lectures considerably. Generally speaking you do not have to know specifics like who said what in what year for the multiple choice, but it could not hurt to know some of the more important figures mentioned in class to round out your definitions and short answer.