FDSCI 201 - Natural Disasters: Man and the

Dynamic Earth


  1. Critically analyze scientific issues.
  2. Identify various natural hazards and explain how, where, and why they are formed.
  3. Explain the historical impacts of natural disasters.
  4. Make informed decisions on practical, political, and economic Earth-related issues.
  5. Identify economic impacts of natural disasters.


FDSCI 201 provides an interdisciplinary introduction to geologic hazards and disasters. Topics addressed include plate tectonics, world geography, earthquakes, volcanoes, mass wasting, floods, coastal hazards, subsidence and their impacts on people, history, economics, art, civilization, engineering, and science.


FDSCI 201 is designed to prepare you to understand the science behind natural disasters and their impacts, but more importantly, the goal of this course is to train you to think critically about scientific issues. After taking this course, you should be able to identify natural hazards and understand how, where, and why they formed; understand and evaluate news reports, magazine articles, books, and documentaries on related topics; make informed decisions on practical, political, and economic Earth-related issues; evaluate how to buy a home in a safe location; and gain a greater appreciation for the creations of our Father in Heaven.


This class has weekly due dates. You will not be able to procrastinate and complete the course in the last few days.

Study the material to be covered before you begin your various assignments. Take quizzes and tests on time. Assume responsibility for instructions. Participate by asking and answering questions and being involved in your weekly group discussions, group presentations, and reflective journals. Comply with all school policies.


The Academic Honesty clause of the honor code states, "We agree to be completely honest in all our dealings, including class assignments and tests. This means we don't plagiarize material, fabricate or falsify information, or cheat."

In accordance with this clause, we require all submitted work to be in your own words and voice for all assignments, quizzes, and discussion boards. Your intellect and creativity should add something to the material that you submit. "Sharing" of assignments with another student, borrowing language from past semester submissions, or copying and pasting from any place carries serious consequences at this university and diminishes your ability to learn. This course uses Turnitin, which is a tool that compares the text of online submissions to other student submissions and internet sites.

Do not upload any of your work or course materials and exams to websites for sharing, such as Quizlet, Brainly, or Coursehero. Do not submit any work from those sites or any other place that is not your own. If academic dishonesty is discovered, consequences may include failing the course, even retroactively.

Please remember the importance of academic honesty. You may read more about BYU-Idaho's policy regarding plagiarism here: http://www.byui.edu/student-honor-office/ces-honor-code/academic-honesty

Required Materials

You will be required to use Microsoft PowerPoint in the course. If you do not already have access to this software, a free download of the Microsoft Suite for PC or Mac is available through the University Store. Other materials, such as readings, are provided within the course.

Grading Policies

Grades are based on assessment of student's preparation before class, performance on assignments, and performance on exams. Taking responsibility for completing assignments on time is part of your grade. The grade cut-offs are listed below.

93% to 100% = A
90%to92% = A-
87%to89% = B+
83%to86% = B
80%to82% = B-
77%to79% = C+
73%to76% = C
70%to72% = C-
67%to69% = D+
63%to66% = D
60%to62% = D-
59% and below = F