These teaching activities have been contributed by participants in Cutting Edge workshops and related to the themes of this workshop - hydrogeology, soils, low-temperature geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and upper-division environmental science. You may also access the full listing of Teaching Activities on the Cutting Edge website.Help
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Climate change and human pre-history part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
Achim Herrmann, George Washington University
This is an activity that I do at the beginning of a critical thinking seminar when we talk about the emergence of human civilization and its relationship to climate change. It introduces and sets the framework for ...
Indigenous Food Relationships: Sociological Impacts on the Coast Salish People part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Ane Berrett, Nothwest Indian College
In this unit, students will analyze the macro level of societal influences which have interrupted micro level ecological relationship between plant and man. Sociological concepts such as sub culture, dominant culture, stages of historical change (Hunter Gatherer societies to Technological societies), stratification and poverty will be addressed through the sociological perspective. Students will experience solutions of sustainability which are interdependent with local place and people. Learning activities involve using the "citizen's argument," oral presentations, portfolio creation, written reflections and experiential service learning projects.
What is the West? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Maureen Ryan, Western Washington University
What is the West? is a written reflective exercise, with associated readings and discussion, designed to 1) build insight into how personal experiences shape our perception of landscapes, 2) enhance knowledge of the geography and ecology of the American West, and 3) illuminate the role of water (or lack of water) in the natural and cultural history of the American West.
Mapping Place, Writing Home: Using Interactive Compositions On and Off the Trail part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Kate Reavey, Peninsula College
Students will choose a physical place to study, a site that is close enough to visit at least four times during the quarter/semester. Using writing prompts, text-based research, and close observations in the "field" (the chosen place), students will create a "mashup" of spatially referenced pop-up balloons. These will include researched and narrative prose, citations and links, and some visual images, embedded into a map via Google Earth technology. Through this unique presentation, the research and writing can encourage viewers to better understand the place they have chosen to study.
Our World, Our Selves part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Tim Walsh, South Seattle Community College
Students will understand how ethics and psycho-emotional factors influence our relationship to and our use of the natural world. Students will read, mark, and summarize text and will use writing as a tool to explore the connections between ethics, psychology, and sustainability.
Sacred Meals: Food, Community and Place in Indigenous Traditions part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Suzanne Crawford O'Brien, Pacific Lutheran University
This assignment focuses on the importance of cultivating awareness of the interdependency of people and place. This core concept intersects with a central big idea of the course: how subsistence traditions maintain reciprocal relationships between human and ecological communities.
What's for Dinner? Analyzing Historical Data about the American Diet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
In this activity, students research the historical food consumption data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to observe trends, develop regressions, predict future behavior, and discuss broader impacts.
Learning Sustainability with Sim City part of SISL:Activities
Sim City is a computer game that has the player design a city. They become the mayor. While designing the city from ground, they can choose sustainaiblity energy options such as wind farms, geothermal, and solar. The game includes greening options and pollution factors. Teachers in a variety of disciplines can utilize this to bring their core course concepts to life.
Benefits and consequences of using minerals as natural resources part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
Geoffrey Cook, University of California-San Diego
In a short research assignment, students learn about mineral resources that are used in common, present-day electronic devices (a cell-phone is used as a prime example). They investigate the environmental and ...
Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
Glenn Richard, SUNY at Stony Brook
Students use Google Earth to investigate appropriate locations for a variety of renewable energy projects in the United States. These include projects that use solar energy, bioenergy, hydroelectricity, tidal power, wind energy, wave energy, and geothermal energy.