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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Amanda Lynch and colleagues


Previously coded GES1070


This unit analyses the wide range of environmental processes (hazards) that pose risks to human lives, livelihoods and settlements. These hazards include earthquakes, tsunami, extreme storms, and forest fires. By integrating physical and human geographical approaches, the unit explores how the risk in any area is a function of both the environmental hazards and the vulnerability of the community. Case studies of significant disasters form a key component of the unit. Other topics considered include risk management, recovery processes, and the role of international aid.


Students completing ATS1310 satisfactorily will

  • be aware of the range of environmental processes that need to be recognised as hazards to human lives, livelihoods and settlements.
  • understand the nature and origin of hazardous environmental processes, including concepts of event magnitude and frequency of occurrence
  • appreciate that there are regional variations in the characteristics of environmental and socio-economic processes that produce catastrophes
  • understand why social and demographic factors are involved in the processes through which an environmental process becomes a human disaster
  • appreciate the range of factors than may influence the vulnerability of particular regions or communities to hazardous environmental processes
  • be able to discuss and summarise some of the strategies that can be used to minimise the risk of environmental disaster and to respond to disasters when they occur.


essay (2000 words) : 40%
Practical class participation : 20%
Final examination (2 hours) : 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Amanda Lynch

Contact hours

2 lectures and a 2-hour support class per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Sustainability, environment and society
Geography and environmental science (ARTS)
Geographical science