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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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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 ...

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.

Yellowstone Fires part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module enables students to take a problem-based learning approach to wildfires, in particular whether a "let-it-burn" policy makes sense in Yellowstone National Park. -

Energy Policy part of Activities
Students research and make recommendations regarding the petroleum energy policy of the U.S. with respect to other countries.

WorldWatcher Project: Global Warming Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this exercise, students role-play advisors to various heads of state on the subject of global warming. The web site also has free modeling and GIS software and lesson and lab plans. -

The Grand Canyon part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This interdisciplinary lesson plan deals with the consequences of damming in the Grand Canyon area. The students, role-playing as scientists, write a proposal to try experimental flooding. -

Protection of Wolves: Biological Ecosystems and Human Interests part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Structured Academic Controversy:Examples
After being extirpated from Yellowstone Park and other western habitats in the 1930s, gray wolves were reintroduced during the 1980s. The recovery effort has been so successful that gray wolves may no longer be ...

Animal Rights and Welfare part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Structured Academic Controversy:Examples
The relationship of animals and humans has been the subject of differing philosophical views for thousands of years. The controversy continues today in many aspects of contemporary life. Some people believe that a ...

The Great Energy Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan explores the energy debate in the U.S. Students will hold a mock congressional committee meeting and make decisions about public lands and energy resources. -

Eruption! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano. -