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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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Investigative Case - "Goodbye Honey Buckets" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will investigate arctic geology and hydrology as well as tundra ecology as they consider options for sewage treatment. Public safety, environmental impact, and issues of construction and engineering will be explored.

Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students research and report on the environmental geology (resources and hazards) of the area around their home. The project helps develop students' abilities to apply what they have learned.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Water Resources part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity will demonstrate how water quality and environmental health issues can be analyzed together, how hydrologic information can be built up, and how decisions can be made using GIS.

Service Learning and Local Hydrogeology in the Classroom: An example from Anchorage, Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
A semester long project in which students work in small groups to analyze a local hydrogeology issue of importance to the community.

Investigating contaminant transport and environmental justice issues in a local watershed through service learning projects with Sierra Club part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Service Learning:Activities
Students will be applying hydrogeology concepts and methods in the lab and the field and conducting interviews as part of a coherent characterization of water quality issues and potential risks in local low-income, ...

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

Election Project part of Activities
Students research and report on candidates positions on issues relevant to the course. Students get to apply what they have covered in class to real events relevant to their current and future lives.

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Activities
This small group research project, and accompanying field trip, gives students an opportunity to investigate issues related to city planning, building design and usage, and earth materials used as architectural ...

Hydrogeology Research Project part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This activity is for students to work in teams (2012) or individually (2013) to develop a project (such as a physical or numerical model), survey based research, case study, technical briefs on a remediation ...

California Climate: Pacific Ocean Connection part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
I use this lesson as a group assignment in my Earth Science classes. In the face-to-face and field studies classes, the groups present their findings/and recommendations to the class on the last meeting day.