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Bioregion Discipline

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How Did This Landscape Form? A Field-Based Exercise to Enhance Awareness of the Natural Environment
Lyn Gualtieri, Seattle University
In this activity students will investigate a landform (such as a waterfall or lake) in the field and apply the scientific method to come up with a geologic hypothesis. The focus of the activity is on making observations of the natural environment and fostering a "sense of place."

Bioregion Discipline: Geoscience, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Regional, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Water & Watersheds, Sense of Place

Interviewing the Past: Developing a Sense of Place through Oral Histories
Bob Abel, Olympic College
Local changes in climate, flora, fauna, and the human population can be anecdotally explored through interviews with long time locals.

Bioregion Discipline: Geography, English, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Cultures & Religions, Sense of Place

Assessing Local Sea Level Rise
Ken Tabbutt, The Evergreen State College
Students will read primary scientific literature, work collaboratively, think critically, and utilize GIS as a tool to visualize and quantify spatial and temporal changes in hydrological systems.

Bioregion Discipline: Environmental Studies, Oceanography/Marine Studies, Geoscience
Bioregion Scale: Regional
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Climate Change

Sustainability and Changing Rates of Change
Christopher Coughenour, The Evergreen State College
To understand sustainability, students must understand rates of change. This activity includes a primer on basic rates concepts and an exercise that motivates critical thinking about rates of change and sustainability with an analysis of historical petroleum production rates data from the United States and the world.

Bioregion Discipline: Mathematics, Geoscience, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Global
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Energy

Producing Bioregional Knowledge and Understanding: Student Projects Based on Field Learning
Susan Digby, Olympic College
Students produce a set of eight personal travel 'insights' from field trips within their bioregion. Each insight consists of an image produced by the student and accompanying text; students are producers of meaning rather than consumers.

Bioregion Discipline: Environmental Studies, Geography
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed, Home/Backyard
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Sense of Place, Promising Pedagogies:Reflective & Contemplative Practice

Quantifying Our Stream: A Field Lab on Stream Channel Morphology and Stream Discharge
Emma Agosta, Shoreline Community College
In this field and lab activity, students will collect field data and take measurements at specified cross-sections at a local stream. They will later analyze in lab the data collected and use it to calculate stream discharge and to draw conclusions about stream channel dynamics.

Bioregion Discipline: Environmental Studies, Geoscience
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Water & Watersheds

Geochemical Clues and Biological Insights: Characterizing the Importance of Salmon in Northwest Streams
Kena Fox-Dobbs, University of Puget Sound
Students use geochemical tools used to track the presence of marine (salmon) derived nutrients in the terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems of creeks where salmon spawn. They also explore pros and cons of hatchery-raised salmon.

Bioregion Discipline: Geoscience, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Regional, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Water & Watersheds, Natural Resources, Ecosystem Health

Town Planning using Geological Constraints
Tracy Furutani, North Seattle Community College
Students are divided into teams, each charged with writing a plan for the expansion of a fictional town in the North Cascades foothills. The town council (the instructor) has decided upon several expansion projects, such as an airport and housing subdivisions, and the student teams receive information about the bedrock geology, hydrology, soils, and slope stability of the area. Students present their plans in a open forum to the other students, and there is a vote of the students on the most reasonable science-based plan.

Bioregion Discipline: Geoscience, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: Regional, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Design & Planning, Water & Watersheds

The Vital Role of Soil in Sustainable Ecosystems
Midori Sakura, Cascadia Community College
In this natural science lab, students examine different soil profiles along a hillside. Understanding about topsoil formation and conservation is then related to sustainable agriculture and carbon sequestration and its importance in mitigating climate change.

Bioregion Discipline: Environmental Studies, Geoscience
Bioregion Scale: Global, Regional, Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Climate Change, Food Systems & Agriculture

Mining Decisions: Developing New Perspectives on Mineral Extraction
Katie Chenu, Seattle Community College-Central Campus
Students examine different stakeholder-perspectives with respect to a local mining project. Debate and discussion will highlight environmental, economic, and social justice issues.

Bioregion Discipline: Geoscience, Environmental Studies
Bioregion Scale: National/Continental
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Social & Environmental Justice, Pollution & Waste

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Evergreen State College