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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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Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...

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What are the causes and effects of ENSO? part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This NASA Mission Geography module focuses on the evidence for global climate change. In the specific activity on ENSO, students role play policy makers deciding how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for ...

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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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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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Transnational Pollution: Why Are You Dumping on Me? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with the different types of transnational pollution, by having them role-play in a hypothetical disaster on the Danube River. -

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

JiTT - Ethics of Fossil Collecting part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What do you think it means for a fossil resource to be "abused"? 2) What's the issue with fossil hunting on federal land (such as National Parks)? Explain what your interpretation of the conflict ...

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.

Western water law project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity allows students to use role-playing to learn about the connection between surface water and ground water.