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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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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.

Hydrogeology Research Project part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

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: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: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: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.

California Climate: Pacific Ocean Connection part of Cutting Edge: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.

Where does your energy come from? Analyzing your energy bill part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Activities
Students use utility bills to determine the cost and sources of energy in their households.

Old Sticks in the Mud: Hazards of Lahars from Mount Rainier Volcano part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Volcanic debris flows (lahars) flow long distances, bury and aggrade river valleys, and cause long-term stream disturbances and dramatic landscape changes. Students will evaluate the nature, scale, and history of ...

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy: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 ...