Geology 303 Natural Disasters – Portugal and Azores Islands

Geology 303 Natural Disasters – Portugal and Azores Islands

 Join us for a 4-week expedition to the Azores Islands and Lisbon, Portugal.

Fulfills GE Explorations Requirement


waterfall, Azores

DATES: June 2 – June 30 2017.  (Need to depart USA June 1; free to return June 30th.)     This will be a six week course, 4 weeks of which will be abroad, and 2 weeks of which will be at SDSU.  While in Europe, 2 weeks will be spent in the Azores Islands, followed by 2 weeks in Lisbon.

PRICE:  $2,640.

Course Credit:  3 units Geology 303, Natural Disasters.   This course fulfills the following SDSU General Education requirement: IV EXPLORATIONS – Natural Sciences.

Apply Here!  

Affiliated Universities:   Universidade dos Açores, Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal

Excursions included in price

  • Visit to Gruta do Carvão – Ponta Delgada (lava tubes)
  • Visit to University of Açores
  • Day trip to Fogo Volcano
  • Day trip to Sete Cidades
  • Cultural excursion to Nordeste with visit to tea factory and waterfalls
  • Day Trip to Furnas Volcano
  • Visit to University of Lisbon
  • Visit to the Baixa (downtown Lisbon)
  • Visit to Alfama quarter
  • Day trip to Serra da Arrábida, Cabo Espichel and Azeitão
  • Walking visit to Museu da Cidade/Lisboa

Meals included in price:

Daily breakfast

5 group meals, including a welcome dinner and a farewell dinner.


geologists inside lava tube

Exploring a lava tube, Azores Islands

Grant Funding:  Grant funding is currently being provided from FLAD, a non-profit partner that promotes international study in Portugal. FLAD  is the acronym for  Luso-American Development Foundation. (Luso=Portuguese). This has decreased the cost of the enrollment by approximately $800 per student.

Included in the Price:  All accommodations: Hotel in Lisbon, Hostel in Ponta Delgada, Azores.  RT flight from Lisbon to Ponta Delgada, Azores. All in-city transport (bus/metro) in Lisbon and Ponta Delgada. All excursions.  All breakfasts, and some lunches/dinners.

Not included in the price:  Round trip airfare USA to Lisbon, most lunches and dinners, personal expenses.

Application Deadline:  March 15, 2017 for summer 2017 program. Priority Consideration: for College of Sciences majors.

Maximum Registration:  maximum of 17 students can enroll in this course. Expectations: Students must be prepared to actively participate in all course activities, meet demanding deadlines, and value learning about different cultural perspectives.   Moderate intensity exercise will include hiking on flat, hilly and mountainous terrain, as well as climbing into caverns.

outdoor restaurantCourse Description

This Study Abroad course  is based on geological hazards in the world that dramatically affect life on Earth, with emphasis on Portugal tectonic hazards; particularly earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and landslides/coastal erosion. participants will gain knowledge of the geologic reasons and tectonic settings that produce natural disasters in the north Atlantic Azores islands and the Iberian Peninsula, and will subsequently be able to apply these new-found scientific skills into real field situations.

Beyond this academic perspective, participants will also get to know the Azores and continental Portuguese culture and some of its language, thereby appreciating the real impact that these natural hazards have on people’s lives here. Students will be enriched with these experiences: bringing the science and the people together, and in one of the most beautiful places in the world, indeed a historical heritage site.

Students will learn which areas are generally susceptible to natural hazards and when these hazards become disasters. Participants will learn ways to mitigate the ill effects of these disasters.

Exams: It is important to not only understand terminology, but to understand the interdisciplinary nature and the connections made in this course; exam questions will reflect these concepts.

Meet the professor: Isabelle SacramentoGrilo

Department of Geology, College of Sciences, San Diego State University.

Isabelle SacramentoGrilo

Isabelle SacramentoGrilo

M.S., Geology, 1998, San Diego State University B.S., Geology, Environmental Studies, 1995, University of Southern California Los Angeles

Lecturer in lower and upper division Geology and Oceanography courses for majors and non-majors at SDSU.

Scholarly Work

Implementing Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) revisions to all my classes.

Invited Lecturer – Portugal, at Universidade de Lisboa, at Universidade Nova, and at ISEC (Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências) – presentations and day symposiums on natural disasters and tectonics, based on my success with the pedagogy and methods of this discipline at SDSU.

Freshman for a Day – Guest lecturer in the annual SDSU Educational Opportunity (EOP) program for high school students to introduce them to life in college and incentivize them to pursue a higher degree.

Teaching Interests

Focus and expertise is in Geosciences Education for Liberal Studies majors (future teachers) and Natural Disasters. Classes taught include Physical Geology, Natural Disasters, Historical Geology, National Parks, Oceanography, amongst others.

Focus and expertise in inquiry-based learning and peer instruction, with iClicker technology to foster student engagement and participation.

Develop online versions of my classes, using the CSU QOLT rubric to improve student success.

Active participant in the SDSU Center for Teaching and Learning.

Development of curriculum for new lower and upper division courses, particularly development of the Earth Science class.

Apply Here!  

Questions? Contact Maureen Crawford, International Coordinator, College of Sciences,