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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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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 ...

Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
A virtual and traditional field trip experience that was designed to study how virtual field trips should be used in geoscience curriculum. Field trip exercises are based on a local groundwater controversy that ...

California Climate: Pacific Ocean Connection part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
I use this lesson as a group assignment in my Earth Science classes. In the face-to-face and field studies classes, the groups present their findings/and recommendations to the class on the last meeting day.

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.

Modeling: (1) Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes; (2) Accelerated atmospheric C02 concentrations part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Design a revenue neutral carbon tax and a plan for implementation; together with a model for what happens if we do not institute such a tax-system.

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 ...

Race and Space part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This assignment exposes students to racial inequalities in their own communities and helps them to identify the impact of racial segregation on quality of life. The big ideas in this assignment are racial inequality, residential segregation, and environmental justice.

Gallery Walk Questions about Human Dimensions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about the human dimensions of geologic issues. The questions are organized ...

Fishing Game: Stella PC and Mac part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
As manager in the fish and wildlife service you are charged with making policy regarding the management of a regional fishery. -

Eruption! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model in which students role-play villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press, working to preserve their lives and homes from an active volcano. -