NOT IN USE for 2013!!!!!!.....

Risk Assessment and Communication

  Back to PROTEUS home
  Main Page and weekly log   
  Course outline
 PRACTICE PROBLEMS, and solutions: (trees, etc.)  
 PRACTICE PROBLEMS, and solutions (chronic risk calculations)
 ASSIGNMENT (not for W2013)


Main PAGE and weekly log:      

ES 8927 / FALL 2012: 





THE WEEKLY LOG:  The proposed content for each week is shown in a  light GREEN, and as we actually cover the material, the background will revert to a  yellow,  confirming the content. This will help in remembering what we covered each week and also for exam/test review.  It also allows you to access links to any available Powerpoint® material from that week.

       CAUTION!  Powerpoint® can be dangerous to your mastery of this material.  We have observed an INCREASING failure rate among people who view these graphic explanations and illustrations in class or at home without actually doing the analysis. The content may seem clear and understandable at the time, but to retain it, understand it, and attain the competency for exam purposes or real-world situations, you MUST actually DO the calculations yourself, several times. 

In general, material that is well covered in the course notes will not be reproduced again here.  Powerpoint® will be used to supplement course notes and follow up with content that needs a little extra depth.




New arrangement for first take home test: 

Because of the disruption of reading week, I will be posting the test on this website THURSDAY 27 SEPT., (week 4). IF YOU RETURN

THE TEST BY THE END OF WEEK FIVE (8 days later, Friday October 5th) I will will earn an extra 7.5% on whatever the assignment brings in (up to a maximum of 30 marks).

Just to be clear, the assignment is out of 30.   If it earns 26.5 marks, the new mark is 26.5 x 1.075 = 28.5  If you earn 28, the new mark will be 30 


Week Date Topics Pages in notes Other media/sources

 Catastrophic risk. 

 * Introduction to "Risk" defined and categorized.  

 * Example of a risk calculation.   

 * Review of basic probability theory

 * 'Addition' formulae, & Venn diagrams.

 * Multiplication and Conditional probabilities

Outline and p. 5-8, 9-15

Q# 1 (p. 67)

PP: "Fly or drive" 

PP:  Notes on probability


 Catastrophic risk. (contd.)

 * Use of contingency tables - examples

 * Trees.

 * Dependence,

p. 9-26


Q# 2-5  (p. 67-68)


PP Solutions to problems on catastrophic risk



 Catastrophic risk. (contd.)

 * Baye's theorem for prior probabilities

 * Use of exponents for outcomes with high-N iterations


Q# 13-18

PP Solutions to problems on catastrophic risk



 Catastrophic risk. (contd.)

* Reverse calculations,  review, special situations and more problem-solving examples


All of this section and all remaining problems in handbook (p. 67-71)

PP  Back-calculation

NEW PP Solution to #19

PP Solutions to problems on catastrophic risk




Chronic risk: 4-step EPA model: step 1 and step 2

                          and review dose-response & toxicology


worked examples step 1 and step 2

P. 29-38

PP: EPA STEP 2: Env Pathways



#1 Take-home assignment final due date  

Chronic risk (contd.): 4-step EPA model  step 3-4 (contd)

  Brief review of the relevant toxicology 

P. 39-45

R.E. Keenan notes p.46-47 .

PP: stochastic


PP: EPA STEP 3 : toxicology review  


PP: EPA  STEP 4: characterizationPP_




    Risk Characterisation examples using environmental data and case studies.


P. 48-64


PP example: arsenic in water



PP: Delaney clause



Chronic risk (contd.):  This week we will go through further  examples in class, calculating daily intakes and dealing with variations in types of questions and endpoints of the calculation. Review of methods and examples

Sample 4-table spreadsheet for practice   

 POSTED HERE: #2 Seven-day take-home assignment  

P. 48-64 







#2 Assignment Due FRI 9 NOV: 3:30 p.m. Drop box outside POD249   

 Risk Perception:  Principles - overview of the literature and state of the art.

Slovic mental mapping model p.73

Cluster analysis videos and discussion

pp: Introduction to outrage factors (to be taken up in full next week



 Outrage factors: (Peter Sandman) 


Hance, Chess & Sandman p.86

Covello, p.74

Sly.  p. 91 

PP: Outrage factors  (part 1)  Please note that the blue-on-blue text on some of these slides is intentional. The CONTRASTED items are the only ones you should focus on in each example)

 Case study: Town Hall meeting





DVD: ETOBICOKE BL4 LAB case study: town hall meeting Part 1

DVD: ETOBICOKE BL4 LAB case study: town hall meeting Part 2

12   Risk communication principles;  problem solving, getting the message right, tackling the media.   Samples of good and bad media responses (in video and print). 


Wilson & Crouch p.77




pp: 23 tips for risk communication

pp: Dos and don'ts of R/Communic

PP Dealing with the media


Exam period: