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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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Discussion worksheets for popular literature readings on river processes and policy part of Activities
These five worksheets guide student preparation for in-class discussion of reading assignments from Life on the Mississippi, Cadillac Desert, and The Control of Nature.

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. -

A "Jigsaw" Activity for Teaching about Uranium Mining on the Navajo Nation part of Activities
This activity takes an Earth system approach to teach about uranium mining on the Navajo Nation, and can be modified to teach a variety of case studies.

A "Role-play" Activity for Teaching about Uranium Mining on the Navajo Nation part of Activities
This activity uses an Earth system approach and role playing to teach students about uranium mining on the Navajo Nation. Students first use a website to find information for their assigned roles, and then they ...

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.

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

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 ...

Development of a Syllabus for Environmental Issues course part of Activities
Students' participation in developing syllabus for a new course "Issues in Environmental Science." Details are included in the document.

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. -

A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This activity utilizes publicly available, proposed national legislation to provide a platform for student inquiry into the intersection of climate science, environmental economics and sustainable public policy.

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