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The Sustainability Triangle: How Do We Apply Science to Decision Making?
Brian Naasz, Pacific Lutheran University
This writing assignment uses the "Sustainable Development Triangle" as a framework to critically evaluate an environmental issue of the student's choice. This learning activity provides an opportunity for an introductory chemistry student to use the sustainability's "Triple Bottom Line" as a tool to use material learned in the classroom to look at how environmental science helps inform economic and social/cultural factors in the development of sustainable solutions to our environmental challenges.
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Food Systems & Agriculture, Pollution & Waste, Natural Resources, Human Impact & Footprint, Ecosystem Health, Climate Change, Sustainability Concepts & Practices, Social & Environmental Justice
Chemistry Laboratory Waste Evaluation
Tracy D. Harvey, University of Washington
From the scientific viewpoint, this evaluation will help the students see a process instead of just a data collection event, and they will get to practice estimating amounts. They will also need to determine the products of any reactions performed during the experiment. From the standpoint of sustainability, this evaluation is intended to help the student recognize the environmental "cost" of an experiment-in consumables used and in waste products generated.
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Ecosystem Health, Sustainability Concepts & Practices, Human Heath & Wellbeing, Pollution & Waste, Social & Environmental Justice
Alternative Deicers: An Application of Freezing Point Depression
Jennie Mayer and Daniel Mitchell, Bellevue Community College
Road deicers raise several environmental and cost concerns. In this activity students consider alternatives while investigating colligative properties.
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed, Campus
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Human Impact & Footprint, Social & Environmental Justice
Exploring The Impact of Increased Acid Levels in Ocean Waters on Coral
Dharshi Bopegedera, The Evergreen State College
The goal of this laboratory is to help students understand that burning fossil fuels, which results in an increase in the acidity of ocean waters, has a detrimental impact on marine life (specifically coral but also other organisms that have calcium carbonate based shells).
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Water & Watersheds, Social & Environmental Justice, Climate Change
Tracking the Carbon Footprint in Drug Design-- Medical, Environmental, Social Implications
James Y. Chen, Sound Community College
In this activity, students conduct a lab exercise over three lab sessions by taking a small sample of a pharmaceutical compound, slightly modifying its chemical structure, purifying the modified product sample and analyzing it for yield, purity and identity.
Bioregion Scale: Global
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Social & Environmental Justice, Human Heath & Wellbeing, Pollution & Waste
Environmental Justice in Tacoma: A Non-Majors Qualitative Assessment of Pollution and Public Policy in the Local Community
Jim Gawel, University of Washington- Tacoma
This activity is designed to get non-environmental majors to qualitatively examine their own community for evidence of environmental injustice. Using a mix of evidence from online sources (U.S. Census, EnviroMapper, Toxic Release Inventory, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, etc.) and field observations, student groups describe the population and pollution sources found within an assigned elementary school district in Tacoma.
Bioregion Scale: Local Community/Watershed
Bioregion Topical Vocabulary: Ecosystem Health, Lifestyles & Consumption, Human Impact & Footprint, Pollution & Waste, Social & Environmental Justice