Wildfire research in an environmental hazards course: An active learning approach

Tamara U. Wall, Sarah J. Halvorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Creating opportunities for students to actively apply hazards theory to reallife situations is often a challenge in hazards geography courses. This article presents a project, the Jocko Lakes Fire Project, that implemented learning strategies to encourage students to be active in wildfire hazards research.Wildfire hazards stand out as an increasing threat to communities in forested areas given current and projected rates of urbanization, the growing concentration of wealth in hazard-prone areas, the increasing costs of forest wildfire reduction, and climate change.Components of the project involved students in problem definition and the articulation of a research plan; identifying and collecting relevant data; and analyzing and documenting the wildfire hazard event. The student-based evaluation of the project and its outcomes highlights the ways in which this approach can increase understanding of local hazard scenarios, familiarity with relevant theory, geographical knowledge, and skills in research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-15
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Active learning
  • Natural hazards
  • Student research experience
  • Wildfire education


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