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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.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Incorporating Information Literacy into Climate Change Teaching part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This module contains 10 topics related to finding and evaluating scientific information related to climate change. The skills learned are transferable to any subject area. Each topic includes exercises.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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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. -

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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 ...

Alternative futures lesson part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This lesson is the culmination of a course on river systems restoration being taught at the University of Washington as part of the Project "Data Sets and Inquiry in Geoscience Environmental Restoration ...

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 ...

Lessons on River Ecosystems part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
These lessons immerse students in thinking about the big idea of an environmental system as a network of interrelationships and evaluating the goodness of policy options for the environment in the future.

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.

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