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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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Plume Busters part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
Students take on the role of a consultant to solve an environmental problem that could have dire consequences for a nearby community. This activity can be used to initiate discussion on a range of public policy ...

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 ...

Upper Hudson Dredging Debate part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geology and Human Health:Workshop 04:Activities
This exercise is intended to investigate, in detail, a current environmental problem, namely the environmental dredging of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the Upper Hudson River. After an introductory lecture ...

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 ...

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Energy:Energy Activities
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

Roadside and Engineering Geology of Auke Bay, Juneau Alaska part of Activities
Final lab for an Introductory Physical Geology class. Students apply a semester of learned geology skills toward evaluating house building sites near our campus. They encounter evidence of faulting, mass wasting, ...

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.

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.

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Activities
This small group research project, and accompanying field trip, gives students an opportunity to investigate issues related to city planning, building design and usage, and earth materials used as architectural ...

Hydrogeology Research Project part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...