Integrate > Teaching for Sustainability > Modules and Courses

InTeGrate-Developed Modules and Courses

Classroom-Ready Materials Now Available

Introductory Geoscience Modules

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Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks between Water, Air and Ice- In this 2-3 week module, students explore short-term climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions. The module promotes awareness of past and contemporary cultures and regions strongly affected by permanently altered or increasingly uncertain climates as students consider human adaptation to climate fluctuations.Explore the module...

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Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes - This 2 week module explores how hurricanes connect the ocean-atmosphere-terrestrial systems and society. Students evaluate how hurricane hazards and risks have changed with coastal development and use data to track and compare historic hurricanes and their impacts. The module culminates in a role-playing activity in which students identify and represent stakeholders facing hypothetical hurricane evacuation in their town.Explore the module...

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Humans' Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources - This 2-3 week module engages students in exploring where products they use come from and what it took to produce them. Students learn about rocks and minerals, methods of discovery and extraction, and the impact of mineral resource use. Geoscience concepts are taught in the context of societal issues while also asking students to confront concerns such as environmental justice, economics, personal choice, and politics that may arise due to obtaining, transporting, trading, using, and disposing of natural resources.Explore the module...

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A Growing Concern: Sustaining Soil Resources through Local Decision Making - This 2-3 week module explores how continued agricultural productivity and the ability to feed the earth's growing population hinges on understanding how to manage soil resources. Using learning-centered strategies, students will develop a working knowledge of soil physical properties and geospatial data at both local and global scales. The module culminates with a project centered on making sustainable soil management decisions under global climate change.Explore the module...

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Living on the Edge: Building resilient societies on active plate margins - This 2-3 week module is divided into three units that focus on geologic hazards and associated risks at representative plate boundary settings: transform, divergent and convergent. Students should be familiar with the basics of plate tectonics, including the general characteristics of plate boundaries. Each unit explores accounts of historically important earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions, scientific data analysis related to the geologic processes responsible for the geologic hazard(s), analysis of the effects on and risks to human populations, and development of strategies to mitigate risks.Explore the module...

Teacher Preparation Modules

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Exploring Geoscience Methods - This 1-4 week module provides pre-service secondary science teachers the opportunity to use and reflect on geoscientific thinking. Students compare geoscience methods with the stereotypical experimental scientific method, use methods of geoscience to explore human impacts of global climate change, and develop interdisciplinary lessons that embed geoscientific thinking and content in a variety of disciplines. Explore the module...

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Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Activity - This 2 week module focuses on water and its importance to humans, both as a limited resource and in shaping Earth's surface. Student activities include using simplified physical models of complicated systems, utilizing Google Earth data and images, and working with real hydrological data sets. While aimed at content courses for pre-service teachers, the module can be adapted to other undergraduate introductory geoscience or environmental science courses.Explore the module...

Materials that Extend Teaching About the Earth beyond Geoscience Programs

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Map Your Hazards! – Assessing Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk - This 3 week interdisciplinary module provides students an interactive mechanism to engage in place-based exploration of natural hazards, social vulnerability, risk and the factors that shape their community's perception of natural hazards and risk. Students integrate interdisciplinary geoscience and social science methodologies to understand societal impacts that result from natural hazards.Explore the module...

These materials were designed and tested by your peers. They are ready for you to adapt them to work in your classroom, with your students.
Learn more about adapting InteGrate materials

Developing Teaching Materials

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Finished Materials
InTeGrate is developing a new breed of teaching materials that can be utilized in general education courses, teacher preparation courses, core courses within geoscience majors, and courses designed for other majors including environmental studies, social science, engineering, and other sciences.

These materials are designed to:

  1. address one or more Earth related grand challenges facing society,
  2. develop student ability to address interdisciplinary problems,
  3. improve student understanding of the nature and methods of geoscience and developing geoscientific habits of mind,
  4. make use of authentic and credible geoscience data to learn central concepts in the context of geoscience methods of inquiry, and,
  5. incorporate systems thinking

These materials were designed and tested by your peers. They are ready for you to adapt them to work in your classroom, with your students.
Learn more about adapting InteGrate materials.

All InTeGrate teaching materials are developed and tested by teams of faculty drawn from at least three institutions. By engaging these faculty who teach different kinds of students at different types of institutional settings in collaboratively developing materials we strive to create robust, flexible materials that can be used effectively in a wide variety of settings. This is key to creating materials that can be adopted easily by faculty who are not involved in the development.

Each team develops and tests materials during a two year interval. In most cases, we anticipate that teams will be created in the spring with an intensive development taking place during the summer. Testing occurs during the following academic year and is followed by revision and publication of the materials. Teams meet face-to-face near the beginning of the development work and again after the completion of testing. Team members commit to participating in the collaborative design and development of the materials, piloting and testing these materials at their home institution, and revising and refining the materials based on the results of testing. In addition, they are responsible for completing a comprehensive set of documentation that supports other faculty in using the materials, including a description of the use of the materials in their own classrooms.

To support effective integration of scientific data, teams may have other types of members beyond the core faculty from three different institutions.

InTeGrate is producing tested materials that are effective in reaching their stated learning goals as well as meeting the projects overarching goals. To support development teams in meeting this high standard, each team works with a consultant drawn from the InTeGrate Assessment team. All materials must meet the criteria defined by the InTeGrate Curriculum Development and Refinement Rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 113kB Jan18 14) before testing begins. This rubric encodes both the overarching goals of the project and research-based principles for effective instruction. All materials must include embedded assessments that can be used to measure student progress toward the stated learning goals. The assessment consultant's role is to provide expertise to help the team meet these requirements. The assessment consultant also helps the team make sense of the classroom testing results that form the basis for revising the materials before publication on the InTeGrate website.

Materials for General Education Courses

Introductory geoscience modules/courses
This effort, led by Dr. David McConnell at North Carolina State University, is developing a modular set of materials based on the literacy documents that are suitable for use in large face-to-face, blended, and distance introductory courses within geoscience departments. These modules can be organized in a variety of combinations to serve a range of introductory courses.

Interdisciplinary general education courses

Teacher Preparation Modules/Courses

Dr. Anne Egger at Central Washington University is leading an effort to develop a set of modules aimed at courses for pre-service teachers including both content courses (usually taught in science departments) and methods courses. The first and second sets of teacher preparation authors have been selected. Please check back in December for the 2014 call for authors.

Materials that Extend Teaching About the Earth beyond Geoscience Programs

Drs. Anne Egger, David Gosselin, and John Taber are leading teams in developing modules and courses focused on teaching about the Earth beyond geoscience courses. Dr. Egger is leading teams who are building modules and courses with focused on teaching about Earth and sustainability with a humanities or social science lens. Dr. David Gosselin at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, is leading the development of a set of courses that are aimed at integrating geoscience concepts into teaching about societal issues outside of geoscience programs and integrating linkages to societal issues into upper division geoscience courses. Dr. John Taber at Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) is leading the development of a module that bridges engineering, sustainability and the geosciences.

Designed for use in Humanities courses - Team Lead Anne Egger:

Designed for use in Social Sciences courses - Team Lead David Gosselin:

Designed for use in Engineering courses - Team Lead John Taber:

Materials for Use in Geoscience and Related Majors

Upper-level interdisciplinary course - Team Lead David Gosselin:

Interdisciplinary modules - Team Lead David Gosselin

Interdisciplinary modules - Team Lead John Taber

Interdisciplinary distance learning courses
Dr. Tm Bralower at Pennsylvania State University, is leading development of a suite of on-line courses emphasizing the grand challenges of climate change, energy, sea level rise, water supply and natural hazards. These courses will incorporate a focus on the use of predictive models to forecast changes and the impact of mitigation efforts. Taken together, these courses will support a Certificate of Excellence in Earth Science.

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