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Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level environmental science courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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How Did This Landscape Form? A Field-Based Exercise to Enhance Awareness of the Natural Environment part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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."

Interviewing the Past: Developing a Sense of Place through Oral Histories part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Local changes in climate, flora, fauna, and the human population can be anecdotally explored through interviews with long time locals.

Assessing Local Sea Level Rise part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Sustainability and Changing Rates of Change part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Producing Bioregional Knowledge and Understanding: Student Projects Based on Field Learning part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Quantifying Our Stream: A Field Lab on Stream Channel Morphology and Stream Discharge part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Geochemical Clues and Biological Insights: Characterizing the Importance of Salmon in Northwest Streams part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Town Planning using Geological Constraints part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

The Vital Role of Soil in Sustainable Ecosystems part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
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.

Mining Decisions: Developing New Perspectives on Mineral Extraction part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students examine different stakeholder-perspectives with respect to a local mining project. Debate and discussion will highlight environmental, economic, and social justice issues.

Using Google Earth Layers to Understand Local Geomorphology part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Using Google Earth to understand how geomorphology may control shallow groundwater flooding and surface hydrology.

Old Sticks in the Mud: Hazards of Lahars from Mount Rainier Volcano part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Volcanic debris flows (lahars) flow long distances, bury and aggrade river valleys, and cause long-term stream disturbances and dramatic landscape changes. Students will evaluate the nature, scale, and history of ...

Water and Civic Responsibility: An Online Discussion Exercise part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students apply their science learning to regional issues related to water quantity and quality.

Sustainability, Nuclear Waste, and the Hanford Site part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
An introduction to the Hanford Site in Washington, including its history, geology, and hydrology, and examines the sustainability issues associated with it.

Waste As A Resource part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students understand the growing impact of waste and waste disposal on our environment and economy, and examines solutions to these issues through exploration of waste as a resource and the implementation of zero-waste manufacturing/building practices.

The High Cost of High Tech: Environmental and Human Costs of Metals part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students conduct independent research on metal and metal ores resources, including exploring the human and environmental costs of metal mining, consumption, disposal, and recycling. A series of worksheets, completed outside of class, guide students in examining their own use and consumption of metals, learn the true importance of metals in their lives, and the impact of resource consumption to the human community.

Marine Debris: Fishing for Microplastics in Your Home part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students engage with the issue of plastics found in the ocean environment, by exploring products in their homes which contain plastics; they also learn how to calculate the concentration of plastics found in a chosen personal care product.

Bioregion Assignment part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
A weekly bioregion homework assignment exploring for the student local landscape changes. What were the past natural conditions and native uses to todays uses, as well as projected changes in the coming decades.

Indigenous Food Relationships: Sociological Impacts on the Coast Salish People part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
In this unit, students will analyze the macro level of societal influences which have interrupted micro level ecological relationship between plant and man. Sociological concepts such as sub culture, dominant culture, stages of historical change (Hunter Gatherer societies to Technological societies), stratification and poverty will be addressed through the sociological perspective. Students will experience solutions of sustainability which are interdependent with local place and people. Learning activities involve using the "citizen's argument," oral presentations, portfolio creation, written reflections and experiential service learning projects.

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