On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Public Policy in the Earth Sciences
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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.

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 ...

Brownfields part of Activities
I split the class into small groups and assign them a list of properties that are suspected of being brownfields. Their job is to do a phase 1 (dig up background information) assessment and do a site visit to take ...

Race and Space part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This assignment exposes students to racial inequalities in their own communities and helps them to identify the impact of racial segregation on quality of life. The big ideas in this assignment are racial inequality, residential segregation, and environmental justice.

A Monarchy Deposed: The Demise of the Monarch Butterfly part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Monarch butterflies (scientific name: Danaus plexippus) migrate annually to forests in central Mexico from Canada and California. Those surviving the 1200 - 2800 mile migration overwinter in Mexico. In this activity, students will learn about the conservation biology of monarch butterflies, threats to their survival, the implications of their potential extinction, and ways to protect the species.

Making Sustainable Business Decisions In Four Different Industries and Their Effect on People (Social), Planet (Environment), and Profit (Economics) part of SISL:Activities
The student will gain a better understanding of "Global Warming" and the "Triple Bottom Line" by viewing the first two videos. Further the CEO2 game will introduce many new ideas/options that specific industries have to select from in achieving their desired corporate/company goals.

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.

Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
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.