Canadian National Earthquake Hazard Program
Review by Cathy Steeves.
Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.
The Canadian National Earthquake Hazard Program is an informative site produced by the Canadian National Seismograph Network. A tremendous amount of valuable and current information on earthquakes is available for both science and social studies teachers (Note: the site can also be accessed in French). This site concentrates on Canadian earthquake activity but also offers easy access to information about earthquake activity around the world.
The site is structured into the following sections:
The "Questions and Answers" section would is a great classroom activity resource. Here you can find a variety of fun questions that will increase knowledge, awareness, and survival skills during an earthquake.
In the "Nuclear Test Ban Monitoring System" section difficult words are highlighted, with hypertext links to definitions. The "Safe Guard" link increases public awareness regarding emergency preparedness.
The "Seismological Data," "Earthquake Reports" and "National Earthquake Database" sections allow the user to explore and research specific areas of earthquake activity. For example, you can request data for all earthquakes in southern British Columbia between June and July of 1980 with a magnitude greater than four. These links are easy to navigate and examples are given to help the user perform searches successfully. Links to maps, damage and injury reports are also given. This type of information makes learning more interesting and fun.
The "CNSN Hourly Plots" section is a bit more complex. The graphics are interesting but are not explained. It assumes that the user has prior knowledge of the subject.
I really liked this site and I enjoyed exploring it. A variety of colours and fonts are used and the material is organized in a simple and coherent manner. The first thing that struck me was the initial graphic for the site. At the top of the page there is a colorful map of Canada. Often when Canadians think of earthquakes or any sort of natural disaster our minds shift to other places in the world. This design reiterates the idea that such disasters do occur in our own country.
This site is full of useful information and encourages further learning as it provides opportunities for the user to find out more. For example, a link to the University of Washington allows the user to access information about seismology from around the world. There is also a link to an Automatic Data Request Manager. This tool permits the user to send an e-mail message requesting specific earthquake facts. The automatic manager sorts the information and sends relevant data back to the user. A link that gives suggestions for other materials and resources that can be used to increase a person's knowledge is also provided. Lastly, there is a link to the home page of the Geological Survey of Canada, where further research can be done.
This site would be a definite asset to a social studies or science teacher as it makes learning fun. The visuals that are provided in the site are extremely helpful. They allow the user to see exactly where earthquakes are occurring. The information within the site is continually updated which makes the statistical data very reliable. Unlike a textbook, this web site is a reference in perpetual present tense because it is in a state of constant change and renewal. I highly recommend this web site!
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TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - APRIL 11, 1997.
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