Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Monash Passport categoryResearch Challenge (Investigate Program)
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)David Dunkerley


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.


Written assignment (2500 words): 50%
Practical class participation: 20%
Final examination (2 hours): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

David Dunkerley

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
Climate change and society
Conservation of biological diversity and cultural heritage
Land and water management
Urban, regional and international development