Earth is a dynamic world, in which we as humankind must learn to coexist with the forces of construction and destruction every day. We are challenged by earthquakes, meteoric impacts, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards, droughts and tsunamis. We will explore some of Earth’s most infamous and devastating disasters—from the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 to the Western wildfires of 2020, as well as their association with disease, population and society.