Month: December 2016

IB 12 Homework for the holidays


In addition you should watch a (1) documentary film related to an issue we have studied (or will study) in class and be ready to discuss it during the first class of January.

Here are some suggestions, but you can rent a DVD or browse sites like youtube or if you want to find something that really interests you.

Remember, the course topics are:

  • P1: Population in Transition
  • P1: Disparities in Wealth in Development
  • P1: Patterns in Environmental Quality and Sustainability
  • P1:Patterns in resource consumptions
  • P2: Oceans and their Coastal Margins
  • P2: Hazards and Disasters
  • P2: The Geography of Food and Health (HL only)
  • P3: HL extension: Globalization (see all topics in IB guide) (HL only)

Here are a few suggestions

Addicted to Aid (disparity, HL extension, food)

Demographic Winter (population)

Earthlings (food)

Acidic Oceans (coasts)

Life and Debt (development, aid, financial flows, disparity)

Welcome to Lagos. (development, urbanization, disparity)

China from the Inside (development, disparity)

How the Banks Won (financial flows) (HL)

Sicko (health, disparity)

The Inside Job (financial flows, development, disparity)

The Oil Factor (financial flows, resources, environment)

The End of Oil (resources)

The Curse of Oil (Resources)

The Great Challenge: Oil (Resources)

Fuel (financial flows, resources, environment)

Manufactured Landscapes (development, disparity)

Flow: For Love of Water (food, development, environment, disparity)

Deep sea (coasts)

The Death of Oceans (coasts)

The Cove (coasts)

The 11th Hour (resources, environment)

Earth: The Climate Wars (environment)

The End of the Line (coasts, food)

Syria, Songs of Defiance (violence), (Disparity, HL extension)

Occupation 101: Voices of the silent Majority (violence), (Disparity, HL extension)

The Future of Food (food and health)

What in the World are they Spraying?  (Food and health)
The World According to Monsanto (food and health)

Fast Food, Fat Profits  (food and health)

Super Hurricanes (hazards)

When the levees broke (hazard)

NOVA: Japan’s Killer quake (hazards)

Then and Now: Ishinomaki (hazards)

Inside Tchernobyl (hazards, HL extension)

The Battle of Chernobyl (Hazards, HL extension)

Chernobyl Heart (Hazards, HL extension)

Arctic Meltdown lecture (coasts)

Battle for the Arctic (coasts)

Have a wonderful holiday! Get lots or rest and have fun!!!!

IBDP Hazards: Adjustment and Response

Haiti Response Game


Preparedness adjustments – Damage limitation

What other methods do you use to:

  • be prepared to an earthquake event
  • reduce risk
  • vulnerability

Modify the event:

Modify loss:

Quick, 1 per table group. Find one example the following in relation to either earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes or the Fukushima Disaster

  1. Risk assessment of a specific hazard event
  2. Preparedness adjustment
  3. Hazard event modification
  4. Modify loss

Next: Fill out this document. 

Then, for 2 of your case studies, (3/11, 01/12/10 -Haiti, Katrina, 2005-present US drought, Fukushima Daiichi) add a section titled: Assessment, Adjustment and Response and answer the following questions:

  1. What type of assessment was done prior to the disaster event?
  2. What was done to limit the hazard event itself?
  3. Describe strategies designed to limit the damage from the hazard event. (insurance, zoning, government policies, education etc)
  4. To what extent were the residents prepared for such an event?

Finally, answer these questions:

  1. What is the difference between rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction?
  2. How are these responses affected by individual and community perceptions?
  3. For each of your (2) case studies, list the short-term, mid-term and long-term responses after the event.
  4. For each of your case studies, discuss the importance of re-assessing risk, and re-examining vulnerability, following the disaster.

IB 12: Hazards: Human Induced Disaster

  • Explain the characteristics and spatial distribution of any one recent human induced (technological) hazard (explosion or escape of hazardous material)
  • Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects
  • Explain the causes and impact of any one recent human induced hazard event or disaster
  • HL Extension: Describe one major pollution event affecting more than one country and examine the consequences of and response to this event.


  • Was the Fukushima Nuclear accident a hazard event or a disaster?
  • Was it human induced? Justify your answer
  • Describe the geographic location of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear POwer Plant

What happened:

Take detailed notes of the causes of the event

Was it man-made? Start at 1:50

Take detailed notes on the human causes of the event. You will need to make that case in your essay introduction. 

Further reading on the report: Man-Made Disaster could have been avoided Japan Nuclear Disaster Man Made

New Scientist Fukushima nuclear disaster down to human factors

Exercise 1: List and explain the causes of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster in terms of:

  • Geographic location
  • Tsumami and earthquake event
  • Political failings
  • Tepco’s lack of an emergency plan

Part 2: Impacts

You will read William T. Vollman’s Invisible and Insidious Living at the edge of Fukushima’s nuclear disaster over the holiday break.

In groups, create a short presentation and factsheet,  explaining  and giving precise examples of the impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster in terms of.  Include the basic details on your slide, and you will be asked questions from the class to fill the gaps.

  1. Social and demographic change (people living close to the plant, health issues, IDPs, etc
    1. The Ecologist
    2. The Other Sociologist
    3. Activist Post
  2. Political change (Review the report on man made disaster and empowerment of anti-nuclear movement)
    2. Washington Post
    4. Spiegel Online
    6. The Guardian
    7. See readings on teh report above
  3. Economic loss (Local and national level)
    1. Physicians for Social Responsibility
    3. The Japan Times
    4. The Balance
    5. Japan Center for Economic Research
  4. (bigger group) Environmental degradation (local, national and international of land, air and water)
    1. include the spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset)
    2. Explain how it has affected more than one country
      1. Physicians for Social Responsibility
      2. Greenpeace
      3. Elsevier
      4. Dr Alex Rosen
      5. Global Research
      6. Oceanus Magazine
      7. PBS
      8. Daily KOS
      9. Deep Sea News

InS 9: Intro to Development

We will start the unit in January, but here are a few concepts we need to understand to discuss the issues related to development:

Types of Government:

  • What do we mean when we call people and their ideas right or left wing?
  • What is the difference between socialism and communism?
  • What are possible drawbacks to the various government systems we have discussed?

In groups, fill in the boxes below. You may use

Definition Name a specific present example

In groups, you will pick on form of government listed and create a 30 second ad, trying to sell your form of government as THE BEST for the people.

1. In groups of 2 or 3, research one of the government systems you have defined in question 1. (If possible, no 2 groups should research the same system.)

2. Create a 30 second, single shot TV advertisement showing your findings and persuading your audience that your system is best for them. (Even if you personally disagree)

3. Write the script for your advertisement:

  • include all text

  • include all visual cues (this can be written or drawn as a storyboard)

4. Be creative. You may choose to be overly enthusiastic, even exaggerate some facts ( but don’t lie) to get your point across.

5. We will shoot the commercial and present next class.

6. Hyperlink your video here

Part 2: UTOPIA (if time)
Before moving on, let’s think of what we believe would be a “perfect” government, if there is such a thing.

  • What is utopia?
  • What specific characteristics would be necessary to create a perfect government? A perfect world?

First, let’s think about what Utopia is. In groups, read one section of the Wikepedia page on utopia. You will the create a strand on this google doc. Explaining the main ideas related to your topic.

Then, you will work on creating your own perfect government. 

Here is a useful sparknote reading on Thomas More’s Utopia

IB 12 Droughts

Bishop p. 111 – 116

  • Drought is an extended period of dry weather leading to conditions of extreme dryness.
  • It is a characteristic of moisture deficiency, when lower than normal rainfal occurs for an extended period of time.
  • Because the ecosystem and/or human system is adapted to a certain amount of rainfall, the deficit will have a negative impact.
  • Impact will vary depending on evapotranspiration,  runoff and infiltration.
  • “For a drought to develop the lack of rainfall must be enough to cause the soil and groundwater stores to decline” (Bishop, 111)
  • There is a difference between drought, aridity and desertification (see Bishop table 6.5, p. 112)
  • Mainly in semi-arid areas
  • Large human influence

Pictures of the ongoing California drought

Thake your notes on this shared google doc: IB12 -Hazards -Droughts

Define:  drought

Define flash floods:

1. Use this link to define, in your own words, the following terms:

  1. Meteorological drought
  2. Hydrological drought
  3. Agricultural drought
  4. Socio-economic drought

2. Find a map of the global distribution of droughts and their severity, and write a short description of the spacial distribution of droughts.

3. Explain the difference with your answer in Q2 and the global distribution of drought mortality



3. Explain the four physical reasons why droughts are more prominent in certain areas:

  1. Continentality
  2. Cold ocean currents
  3. ITCZ
  4. Rain-shadow effect

4. Describe:

  • the main features  of the Palmer Drought Indices and evaluate its efficiency in comparing droughts
  • The method of measuring rainfall

5 describe the following characteristics of droughts:

  1. Frequency
  2. Duration
  3. Speed of onset
  4. Areal extent
  5. Spatial dispersion
  6. Regularity

6. Case study: California / American South West  drought of 2012


  • Santa Barabra County, California
  • Santa Ynez River
  • Lake Cachuma
  • Gibraltar Reservoir
  • Jameson Lake















Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Complete the case study questions on the doc:

Each of of you will read one article from MSNBC’s California drought special report or,  ormy diigo and briefly explain it to the rest of the class. 

Make sure these areas are covered:

  • Will El Nino end the drought?
  • Causes
  • Response
  • Prevention / management strategy (reduce use by 25%)
  • Land use planning
  • Economic impact
  • Measuring the drought
  • Social impacts
  • Environmental impacts
  • prediction


IB 12: Risk

Socratic discussion:

  • Define Risk
  • What is the difference between risk and vulnerability?
  • What variables are used to measure the Saffir Simpson Scale?
  • How do they predict hurricanes? How accurate are they?
  • What are the main threats of a hurricane? Name 3
  • How can we predict hurricanes?
  • What factors make a population more vulnerable to hurricanes?

Discuss these issues with Katrina as a Case study Risk Assessment Process


  • Examine the relationships between the degree of risk posed by a hazard and the probability of a hazard event occurring, the predicted losses and a community’s preparedness for it.
  • Explain the reasons why individuals and communities often underestimate the probability of hazard events occurring.
  • Discuss the factors that determine an individual’s perception of the risk posed by hazards.

Exercise 1: 

In your CS Hurricane CS notes, find the following values of a hurricane

  1. —Frequency
  2. —Duration
  3. —Areal Extent
  4. —Speed of onset
  5. —Spatial dispersion
  6. —Regularity

Exercise 2:

Image below: These are images showing sea surface temperature (left) and sea surface heights (right) from Augut 24th to the 29th. The dots indicate the location and intensity of Hurricane Katrina (circle data from the National Hurricane Center). Image credit: NOAA








  1. Describe Katrina’s intensity and direction [3 + 3]
  2.  Explain the relationship between intensity and sea surface temperature [4]

Exercise 3: Risk: Exposure of people to a hazardous event

Based on your Bishop reading p. 13,14. Complete the following questions:

  1. Define Risk [2]
  2. Basing your observation on the Park model, evaluate the risk to hurricanes of the people of New Orleans in August 2005. [10]

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