Disasters in the Movies

After completing this project, you will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between the magnitude, frequency, seasonality, or cycles of natural disasters
  • Identify the dynamic interconnections between earth processes and their effects on the environment
  • Use scientific methods to gather, analyze, and synthesize quantitative and qualitative data from multiple sources
  • Make inferences and formulate predictions using scientific data, observations, and methods
  • Examine the effects of natural hazards on human environments
  • Demonstrate how natural hazards become disasters and ultimately catastrophes
  • Determine the roles of federal and local governments, non-profits, communities, and individuals in natural disaster mitigation preparedness, response, and recovery
  • Give examples of how population growth, social and economic inequality, poor land-use practices, and concentration of infrastructure in hazardous areas are increasing our vulnerability to natural disasters
  1. Choose a film that contains a Natural Disaster we are studying in class.
  2. Watch the movie!
  3. Choose a natural disaster to research (if there is more than one in the film).
  4. Use books, news articles, textbooks, governmental websites, and scholarly articles to learn more about the science behind this phenomenon (minimum of three references). Please DO NOT cite Wikipedia pages, though they may be a good start to steer you toward more appropriate references.
  5. Write a 500-700 (or more) word blog post or web page
  • How was this film related to the disaster? How was the disaster used to move the story forward?
  • What is the science behind the phenomenon you chose to research?
  • How well or poorly did the film depict the reality of this phenomenon?
  1. Make sure you include appropriate graphics/videos, embedded into the post. Also, hyperlinks to appropriate pages can be useful as well.
  2. At the end of the post make sure you include your references (minimum of three) cited in a consistent style.

Here is an example of a blog analyzing the scientific accuracy of “Gravity”:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/10/04/ba_movie_review_gravity.html (Links to an external site.)

Here are some possible films. There are MANY other possibilities. If you have a question about if a film will work, feel free to message me and ask!

-San Andreas; 2015; Directed by Brad Peyton

-Into the Storm; 2014; Directed by Steven Quale

-The Impossible; 2012; Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona

-2012; 2009; Directed by Roland Emmerich

-The Day After Tomorrow; 2004; Directed by Roland Emmerich

-The Perfect Storm; 2000; Directed by Wolfgang Peterson

-Armageddon; 1998; Directed by Michael Bay

-Dante’s Peak; 1997; Directed by Roger Donaldson

-Earthquake; 1974; Directed by Mark Robson

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