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Sustainability Activities

These activities have been submitted by faculty from a range of disciplines. The activities use a wide array of pedagogic approaches to address various aspects of sustainability, science and societal issues.


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Analysis of trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption
Scott Cummings, Kenyon College
An exercise to analyze trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption.

Earth Resources in the Classroom
Maureen Muldoon, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
This is a brief, in-class exercise designed to get introductory students in a large-lecture class to appreciate that many of the things in their life are made from earth resources. I have the students break into small groups and then list five items in the classroom that contain earth resources and five things that do not contain earth resources.

How Can Models Be Used To Study Climate Change?
Ben Fackler-Adams, Skagit Valley College
Students utilize ice core data to develop a simple climate model, test it and then analyze, through reading IPCC materials, what other variables might need to be included in a model that more accurately predicts climate response to forcings. They are then asked to reflect on the use of models in scientific inquiry and on climate skeptics view of climate models.

Seminar on Sustainability in Europe: What are the Limits of Possibility?
Mary Ann Cunningham, Vassar College
This field trip presents a model of an experiential exploration of sustainability systems and the limits of possible transfer of ideas from Europe to the US. In addition to experiential learning, our aim was to have in-depth, ongoing conversations in which to examine our assumptions and observations.

Pollution or fishing industry research project
Katryn Wiese, City College of San Francisco
Pick a particular type of pollution or fishing/commercial industry in the ocean. Describe its story how humans are impacting global oceanic systems and how the ocean is responding.

Game Assignment for Environmental Economics
Nelson Altamirano, National University
Game Assigment for Environmental Economics and Sustainability

Back of the Envelope Calculations: Renewable Energy
Laura Rademacher, University of the Pacific
This is an example of a back of the envelope calculation of the payback period for a renewable energy installation.

Sustainability project
Pablo Toral, Beloit College
The students develop, implement and assess a project that will make our campus more sustainable.

Science, Complexity and Sustainability in the University of the Future
John Motloch, Ball State University
Series of seminars that build knowledge needed; and application of that knowledge to conceptualize a Regional University of the Future that could educate people to be societal leaders that help communities address the profound environmental, social and economic challenges of the present and future including: how to co-adapt with systems to produce an ecologically, socially and economically healthier world; how to live within nature's laws and limits; and how to help communities live within the dynamics of a place and culture to produce sustainable communities.

How Much Oil Leaked from Deepwater Horizon?
Stephen Boss, University of Arkansas Main Campus
Students develop an estimate of the total quantity of petroleum discharged from the Deepwater Horizon from 20 April to 15 July 2010 using only two known facts, the diameter of the riser and the flow rate of the oil/gas mixture emanating from the riser.




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