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National course “Geohazards in Norway”


Photo: Aart Verhage, NVE

Geological and environmental hazards (i.e. earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc.) are a threat to society, and bound to increase in a changing climate. Therefore, we need competent Earth scientist to help society tackle these challenges. Hence, it is a pertinent question how educational institutes can fulfil the obligation to create a learning environment that helps to equip students with the relevant knowledge and tools to understand geohazards and implement necessary mitigation measures.

Our vision is to help students build broader skills and competencies, integrating a strong theoretical basis with real-life work and research experiences. Therefore, iEarth is developing a cross-disciplinary national online course on geohazards, including a two-day hands-on excursion.  A unique feature of the course will be that students will benefit from the expertise of all partnering institutes (UiB, UiO, UiT, UNIS, NVE), exposing students to the research environment beyond their home institution and outside of academia. A digital platform is being developed to provide the basis for activities, webinars and group work. The focus is on research-based active learning and the use of information and communication technology. All teaching will be tailored to reduce threshold terms and redundancy in the curriculum.

This course leaves a good opportunity to research the challenges and opportunities such a course poses, being multi-institutional, combining several techniques new to the teachers and distance learning with local teaching. A scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) structure will be designed and implemented for the course.

With this course at the core of iEarth we want to initiate a shift in Earth science education in Norway towards an inter-disciplinary Earth System approach. We aim introduce a more holistic perspective to change education from a teaching culture to a learning culture, creating a student-active research-based learning environment that is supportive of innovation and delivering graduates with a broad understanding of key issues in the Earth sciences, as well as future societal and industrial needs.

For more information about this project, contact:



Jostein Bakke
Professor, UiB
Anders Mattias Lundmark
Associate professor, UiO
Anne Stensland
Network coordinator, UiB