CEME 7405 - Integrated Natural Hazard Risk Management

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2023

Climate and natural hazard risks such as bushfires, floods, sea level rise and heatwaves are increasing as a result of climate change, population growth, an ageing population and economic development. This course provides participants with the opportunity to explore (i) different approaches to quantifying climate and natural hazard risk, (ii) how these risks could change into the future in response to population and climate change and (iii) how risk can be reduced using a range of strategies, including structural measures, land management, land use planning and changes to building codes. This is done in the context of the risks associated with bushfires, heatwaves, riverine flooding and sea level rise. Participants also have the opportunity to apply the above concepts as part of daily and weekly projects, as well as a project of their choice, enabling them to explore topics such as how risk could change over time under different plausible future scenarios, what the most effective risk reduction strategies might be, how to best manage risks from multiple hazards, what strategies are most effective for increasing community resilience, how to present hazard risk information to best engage communities in natural hazard risk reduction activities, how to present hazard risk information to communities most effectively, or other relevant topics of their choice. This course will provide participants with the basic tools to undertake such analyses using GIS, as well as connecting participants with relevant literature, open-source data and models.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CEME 7405
    Course Integrated Natural Hazard Risk Management
    Coordinating Unit School of Civil, Environmental & Mining Eng
    Term Summer
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 39 hours per week (based on four weeks of intensive study)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible CEME 4005
    Assessment Assessment for this course consists of a mixture of quizzes and reports.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Holger Maier

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Understand the mechanisms underlying a range of natural hazards (e.g. bushfire, riverine flooding, coastal inundation, heatwaves, cyclones and storms, and earthquakes) and understand, quantify, critically assess and discuss the spatial variability in the severity and likelihood of different natural hazards.
    2. Understand, quantify, critically assess and discuss the spatial variability in the impact and risk of different types of “assets” (e.g. buildings, critical infrastructure, people, environment).
    3. Understand, quantify, critically assess and discuss the impact of different drivers of change (e.g. climate and population change) and resulting plausible future conditions on changes in impact and risk.
    4. Understand, quantify, critically assess and discuss the advantages, disadvantages and relative effectiveness of different risk reduction options.
    5. Understand, critically assess and discuss different approaches and mechanisms for increasing the chances of implementing adaptive risk management plans.
    6. Use GIS tools and data sources effectively for natural hazard risk mapping and management, including obtaining and harmonising data from different sources in order to undertake analysis.
    7. Communicate disaster risks effectively through GIS analysis and maps.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A computer is required to watch the online lectures and to pereform the GIS modelling. For on-campus students, computers are available for this. Remote students will require access to a computer. All required software can be accessed remotely through the University of Adelaide's ADAPT system.
    Online Learning
    All lectures are online.  These are given by experienced presenters from a range of universities (e.g. Universities of Adelaide, Wollongog, Melbourne, New England; Curtain and Deakin University; TU Delft), other research organisations (e.g. CSIRO, Risk Frontiers); Government (e.g. Department for Environment and Water (SA), Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (Vic), SA Water; SA Power Networks); Advocacy Groups (e.g. Committee for Sydney; Insurance Council of Australia) and Private Industry (e.g. Climate Extremes Consulting).

    Topics covered in the online lectures include:

    Day 1: Natural Hazards and Likelihood
    • Physical processes and likelihood of a range of natural hazards
    • Compound events

    Day 2: Exposure, Vulnerability and Values
    • Potential impacts of natural hazards on things we value, such as buildings, critical infrastructure, people and the environment
    • Examples of methods for quantifying impacts

    Day 3: System-Wide Impacts and Risks
    • Potential system-wide impacts of natural hazards
    • Different ways of conceptualising and representing risk

    Day 6: Uncertainty and Change in Natural Hazard Risk Assessment
    • Drivers of change affecting hazards, impact and risk (e.g. climate and population change, TCFD )
    • Methods for modelling drivers of change and their impact
    • Real-world case studies

    Day 7: Risk-Reduction Options
    • Risk ownership
    • Risk reduction options (e.g. structural measures, land use planning, land management, building codes, communication)
    • Real-world case studies

    Day 8: Risk-Reduction Option Implementation Mechanisms and Strategies
    • Resilience and adaptation
    • Risk reduction mechanisms and strategies (e.g. economic, financial, insurance, stakeholder engagement, political)
    • Real-world case studies

    Online materials are also available to support the GIS modelling component of the course.  These include videos taking students through the GIS modelling exercises.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course can be taken on campus or remotely.  All lectures are online. For on-campus students, project work will be in the computing suites with assistance from lecturers / tutors. For remote students, project work can be done remotely with online assistance.

    Industry participants and students who are not currently enrolled at the University of Adelaide can enrol in this course as non-award students.

    For these students, enrolment  involves the following steps (full process is available here):

    • Complete the non-award enrolment form (form here) and email form to askecms@adelaide.edu.au (please also cc holger.maier@adelaide.edu.au)

    • Once the form has been emailed to askecms@adelaide.edu.au our AskECMS team will process the enrolment and activate the students in the University of Adelaide system and selected classes.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The total expected workload for this course is 150h.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This is a 2-week intensive course, with a subsequent 6-week period during which students can complete a project of their choice in their own time. In each week of the 2-week intensive period, students watch a series of recorded lectures and complete related GIS modelling exercises, culminating in the completion of a weekly project. Each week will be divided into two parts. The first three days will set aside time to watch the online lectures in the morning and time to complete the GIS modelling exercises in the afternoon. These exercises relate to the online lectures to build the “components” of the overall weekly activity and introduce students to relevant datasets, methods, and tools. The fourth and fifth day of each week is set aside to work on the weekly project. At the completion of the two weeks, students have 6 weeks to work on a project of their choice to put what they have learnt into practice in an area of their interest.

    Details of the course structure and activities are given below:

    Week 1: Development of Integrated Regional Risk Map Morning Afternoon
    Day 1: Natural Hazards and Likelihood Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Day 2: Exposure, Vulnerability and Values        Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Day 3: System-Wide Impacts and Risks Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Days 4 & 5: Project Work (Development of Integrated Regional Risk Map) Project Work Project Work

    Week 2: Development of Adaptive Risk Management Plan Morning Afternoon
    Day 6: Uncertainty and Change in Natural Hazard Risk Assessment Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Day 7: Risk Reduction Options        Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Day 8: Risk Reduction Option Implementation Mechanisms and Strategies Online Lectures GIS Exercises
    Days 9 & 10: Project Work (Development of Adaptive Risk Management Plan) Project Work Project Work

    Weeks 3-8: Major Project
    Students work independently on project of their choice (assistance available)
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Daily GIS Modelling Exercises: 18%
    Weekly Projects: 32%
    Major Project: 50%

    There is no exam in this course.
    Assessment Detail
    All assessment tasks are done individually and consist of:

    Structured GIS modelling exercises (during the intensive teaching period in Weeks 1 and 2): 18%
    - Day 1: Summarise and Communicate Hazard Intensity and Likelihood Maps (3%)
    - Day 2: Develop Exposure, Vulnerability and Impact Maps (3%)
    - Day 3: Develop System-Wide Impact and Risk Maps (3%)
    - Day 6: Develop Maps of Changes in Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability, Impact and Risk (3%)
    - Day 7: Develop Maps of Residual Impact and Risk Due to Land Management and Land Use Planning (3%)
    - Day 8: Develop Maps of Residual Impact and Risk Due to Structural Measures and Resilience (3%)

    Weekly Projects (during the intensive teaching period in Weeks 1 and 2): 32%
    - Week 1: Develop and Critically Discuss Integrated Regional Risk Map (13%)
    - Week 2: Develop and Critically Discuss Adaptive Risk Management Plan (19%)

    Major Project (completed independently in the 6 weeks after the 2-week intensive teaching period): 50%
    The focus of the major project is at the disgression of students to enable them to focus on an area of most interest to them, although suggestions for potential projects are also provided.
    Structured GIS modelling exercises (during the intensive teaching period in Weeks 1 and 2): 18%
    On each of Days 1-3 and 6-8, students are required to submit files of all relevant GIS models that have been developed in an operational state. In addition, students have to submit an online quiz answering questions based on the GIS modelling conducted.

    Weekly Projects (during the intensive teaching period in Weeks 1 and 2): 32%
    For each of the weekly projects, students are required to submit two files:
    - All calculations / models, including all GIS models in an operational state
    - A written response, summarising and critically discussing key findings propmpted by the questions provided.

    Major Project (completed independently in the 6 weeks after the 2-week intensive teaching period): 50%
    For the major project, students are required to submit two files:
    - All calculations / models, including all GIS models in an operational state
    - A written response,which should be in the form of a report that clearly outlines (i) the problem being addressed (including scope and objectives), (ii) the data and methods used, (iii) the modelling performed and (iv) the presentation and critical analysis and discussion of results and major findings.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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