Field Trips

GEOG 230 Geography of Natural and Man-made Hazards
Instructor: Dr. Robert Donnell

Weston Geophysical Observatory. Professor Donnell's Hazards class visited the Weston Geophysical Observatory, in Weston, MA, to learn about earthquakes in New England and the St. Lawrence Valley of Canada. They had a guided tour by Observatory staff who explained all the various types of seismographs and discussed the causes and past incidents of earthquakes in New England and Eastern Canada. They also learned about and studied seismograms of the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Japan, Haiti, Turkey, and Indonesia.

The Hazards class students acquired much information about how earthquakes are measured and recorded at the Observatory. They also learned about how and why earthquakes can and do occur in New England and Eastern Canada, and how we might be due for a potentially damaging earthquake in New England.

MEMA. The Hazards class also visited the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of preparing for and responding to any type of natural or man-made disaster in Massachusetts. MEMA is located on Route 9 east in Framingham next to the State Police Headquarters. The guided tour focused on the actions MEMA takes to respond to any type of disaster emergency and the mitigation measures that MEMA develops to guide cities and towns to plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

Students learned about the planning and mitigation measures that our state emergency management agency develops. They toured its underground bunker and offices built during the 1960s to be impervious to both natural and man-made hazards. They also met with two former FSU Geography graduates who are now fully employed as hazards analysts and GIS specialists. 


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