Hurricane Isaac

On the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the northern Gulf Coast of the United States.  Forty percent of Louisiana was without power for an extended period of time, and the heavy rains put pressure on canal locks while at the same time providing some much-needed drought relief.

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • What is a hurricane?  Why is it considered a natural disaster?
  • How do scientists study hurricanes?  Who else is involved in studying and reporting on hurricanes besides scientists?
  • Describe the track and category levels of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.  How many U.S. states and countries were impacted by Isaac?
  • Why is studying hurricanes important?
  • What do you think will be the short-term impacts of Isaac on the environment?  What do you think will be the long-term impacts of Isaac on the environment?
  • Do you think another hurricane will impact New Orleans?  How many have made landfall in this region in the past? 
  • Should people be able to rebuild their homes and businesses that were destroyed by a hurricane?  Why/why not?

Big Ideas

From the Earth Science Literacy Principles

  • Big Idea 1. Earth scientists use repeatable observations and testable ideas to understand and explain our planet. (1.2, 1.3)
  • Big Idea 3. Earth is a complex system of interacting rock, water, air, and life. (3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7)
  • Big Idea 5. Earth is the water planet. (5.6)
  • Big Idea 8. Natural hazards pose risks to humans. (8.1, 8.4, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8)

From The Big Ideas in Earth and Space Science (ESBD)

  • The Earth System (1, 2)
  • The Atmosphere (10)
  • The Hydrosphere (11, 12)
  • The Nature of Science (21, 22, 24)

Compiled September 02, 2012, by L.A. Guertin

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