GEOG2020 - Geophysical and biological natural hazards


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
2 assignments 4/10
Written exam 6/10 4 hours D

Course content

This course provides students with an introduction to natural hazards and their major drivers over a wide range of spatial and time scales. Including not only mountain hazards such as snow and avalanches, rockfall, landslides and floodings but also oceanic and atmospheric hazards and biological hazards. Further the concept of risk terminology and risk management frameworks will be discussed.

Special emphasis will be placed on the Scandinavian alpine, polar, and boreal environments, zooming in on examples of risk assessment and mitigation measures of flooding, snow and avalanches, landslides, glacial lake outburst floods and adverse impacts of invasive species.

Learning outcome

A student who has completed this course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:


By the end of the course, students will:

  • be able to define and describe geophysical and biological natural hazards;
  • understand the risk terminology including risk management and how to quantify risk;
  • critically evaluate potential impacts of climate change and pollution on natural hazards and biodiversity in Scandinavia and worldwide;
  • have introductory knowledge about different types of observations and models that are currently used to predict future natural hazards.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • recognize the signs of impending natural hazard events;
  • evaluate which landscape elements, environmental conditions and human activities increase the likelihood of future natural hazard occurrences and why;
  • assess the causes and effects of different natural hazards and identify potential mitigation measures;
  • have some basic hands-on experience in interpreting data and applying basic models to assess specific dangers such as flooding or landslides.

General competence

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • recognize factors that are critical to risk assessment and management of natural hazards in Norway and worldwide.
  • demonstrate advanced presentation skills, improved ability to read and write scientific articles;
  • demonstrate independent, critical thinking and apply their knowledge to advance risk assessment projects;
  • communicate knowledge about the processes leading to the occurrence of natural hazards in a changing climate to both specialists and the general public.

Learning methods and activities

Up to 32 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars.

Please note that mandatory activities and lectures may start prior to the registration deadline.

It is expected that the exam and compulsory assignments must be completed in English. Exceptions must be clarified with the lecturer responsible for the course.

Teaching will only be given if a sufficient number of students register for the course and if the Department has sufficient teaching resources. See for the most recent information on the courses not offered.

Compulsory assignments

  • In-class quizzes and individual presentation

Further on evaluation

The examination consists of two parts, a 4 hour written examination (worth 60% of the final grade) and up to 2 graded assignments (worth 40% of the final grade). All parts of the exam must be submitted and graded E or better in order to pass the course.

It is possible to retake parts of the exam. The written examination is offered both semesters. The assignment can only be taken in the semester the course is taught. Candidates wishing to retake the assignment part of the exam must register for classes and examination.

Required previous knowledge


More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Geography
  • Social Sciences
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Geography


Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Written exam 6/10 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD 2 assignments 4/10 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written exam 6/10 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD 2 assignments 4/10 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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