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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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Communications Booster: Curbing Emissions part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
Nicole Colston, Oklahoma State UniversityCharlie Cottingham, Frederick Community College (MD)Susan Spierre, Arizona State UniversityPaul Ruscher, Florida State University This page builds on the CLEAN reviewed ...

Brownfields part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy: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 ...

Back of the Envelope Calculations: Renewable Energy part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This is an example of a back of the envelope calculation of the payback period for a renewable energy installation.

Cost Effectiveness of Increased Fuel Efficiency part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News:Examples
In this example students examine and critique an argument which implies that it is not cost effective to pay for an automobile with increased fuel efficiency. Using a few reasonable assumptions shows that some of ...

Observing different scenarios of climate change using climate challenge web game part of SISL:Activities
Use the web game Climate Challenge by the British Broadcasting Corporation to observe how decision by government can contribute to climate change. By seeing the consequence of government inaction in an interactive web experience, students will be more engaged citizens and voters. To show students that we live in a world with finite resources.

Old Sticks in the Mud: Hazards of Lahars from Mount Rainier Volcano part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Volcanic debris flows (lahars) flow long distances, bury and aggrade river valleys, and cause long-term stream disturbances and dramatic landscape changes. Students will evaluate the nature, scale, and history of ...

Environmentally Sustainable Mining part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
A field trip that illustrates a contrast between environmentally sustainable mining activity and a case of a lack of environmental planning in mining operation and closure.

'Reporting' on the World Water Forum to understand media coverage and gaps part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
'Reporting' in-class on the tri-ennial World Water Forum.

An Experiential Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics: The Externalities Game part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
The Externalities Game is a non-cooperative game that teaches students about the concept of environmental externalities and allows them to directly experience the moral dimensions of collective action problems. It ...

Writing and Walking, Pilgrimage and Process: Working with the Essays of Linda Hogan & Henry David Thoreau part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
By comparing and contrasting the essays of Hogan and Thoreau, students begin to develop a more complex understanding of their own identity and sense of place; the historical and cultural context around issues of sustainability and environmental ethics.