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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.

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.

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.

'A Civil Action' 1-D Transport Game part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
The 'A Civil Action' 1-D Transport Game is executed in an EXCEL spreadsheet and is designed to help students learn why models are used by scientists and engineers and what procedures must be met to ...

Discussion worksheets for popular literature readings on river processes and policy part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy: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.

Lessons on River Ecosystems part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities: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.

Alternative futures lesson part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities: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 ...

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. -

Service Learning and Local Hydrogeology in the Classroom: An example from Anchorage, Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
A semester long project in which students work in small groups to analyze a local hydrogeology issue of importance to the community.