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Classroom Activities for Teaching Public Policy in the Earth Sciences

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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Teaching Climate Science by Studying Misinformation part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
Students critically evaluate the arguments about climate change raised in a climate contrarian newspaper op-ed. This strengthens student critical thinking and content knowledge.

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Mock Environmental Summit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
At the end of a six-week class or unit on global warming, students role-play representatives from various countries and organizations at an international summit on global warming. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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What Should We Do About Global Warming? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module contains an 8-lesson curriculum to study greenhouse gases and global warming using data and visualizations. The students will summarize the issue in a mock debate or a presentation. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Case Study: Coastal Stabilization Structures part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
This ocean activity is used to help students analyze different solutions to a real-world case study of the problem of using various coastal stabilization structures. It is intended to be used as a small group ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Sustainable Urban Adventure part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
In this field based activity students explore their new home in an effort to get acquainted with the community beyond the campus and to experience accessible recreation on a nationally recognized hiking trail. During the nature-based outdoor recreation experience, students explore a variety of natural and cultural history topics.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Transnational Pollution: Why Are You Dumping on Me? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the different types of transnational pollution, by having them role-play in a hypothetical disaster on the Danube River. -

Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Role-Play Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
When the science is so clear, why is it so difficult to make agreements that will reduce our impact on climate change? This exercise is designed to help students explore that important question in an active and ...

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