The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) would have been impressed by year 9 geographers carrying out a recent challenge as part of their Restless Earth topic.
The students had to think on their feet to act as Hazard Risk Assessors, Geologists and Crisis Managers to plot, plan and track a sequence of events that happened on the Caribbean island Montserrat in 1997 when the dormant volcano Soufriere Hills underwent a series of violent eruptions.
The teams had to take information that was being fed through from a “helicopter” at intervals, decide the likely consequences using relief maps and their knowledge of volcanic activity, and then make decisions on action from sending out search parties to evacuating whole towns.
When the student teams made the right decision, they received points for successful management of the hazard. The task made the geography students really consider not only the devastating effects that tectonic activity can create, but also how the type of response and management can minimize, or add to, the economic, environmental and social costs of a disaster.
Thanks to ‘Juicy Geography’ for the lesson resources.