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AP/IB/Honors Environmental Science Activity Browse

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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Unit 1: Hazards, vulnerability and risk part of Map your Hazards!
Students will identify and apply credible geologic and social science data sets to identify local hazards and vulnerable groups and structures, and assess risk for their community.

Unit 2: Perception of hazards, vulnerability and risk part of Map your Hazards!
Students will collect and analyze relevant social data on individual and community knowledge, risk perception and preparedness within their local social networks.

Unit 3: Translating the Message part of Map your Hazards!
Students will identify potential stakeholders and assess the importance of communication and interaction among these groups to make recommendations on how to define and develop prepared communities.

Case Study 3.2 - Exploring Patterns: ENSO on the Global Stage part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to allow students who have become somewhat familiar with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation to explore the reality of ocean surface temperature data. Students analyze a time series of SST ...

Case Study 5.1 - Interactions: Climate's Tangled Web part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity as a role-playing game to help students understand both the concept of climate modeling and how the climate system works. Students take on the role of a climate system component, examining ...

Unit 1 Forecasting Climate Variability and Change: A Matter of Survival part of Climate of Change
An Introduction to Climate Variability, Climate Change, and Climate Impacts This unit is designed to engage students in the topics of climate variability and climate change by introducing them to impacts of ...

Case Study 4.2- Predicting Glacial Futures part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students predict rates of change using recent data from marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland. They calculate the average rate of area change for a set of 34 glaciers from 2001 to 2009 ...

Case Study 3.1 - Predicting Patterns: What Does La Niña Look Like? part of Climate of Change
This activity is designed to allow students who have been exposed to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation to analyze the La Niña mechanism and predict its outcomes. Students create an SST map for La Niña and both ...

Case Study 2.1 - Climate Variability in the Equatorial Pacific part of Climate of Change
This activity engages students in examining tropical Pacific pressure, sea-surface temperature, and precipitation data over a 10 year time span. Students work in groups to understand a data set, then debrief as a ...

Case Study 4.1- Reflecting on What is Happening to Greenland's Ice part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider Greenland reflectivity changes from 2000 to 2012. Some students receive yearly albedo data for low elevations, while other students receive high-elevation data. After each ...

Case Study 2.2 - Climate Variability in the North Atlantic part of Climate of Change
This activity walks students through a data set depicting climate variability in the North Atlantic, associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NOA). Students examine anomalies of precipitation and pressure ...

Case Study 6.1- Adapting to a Changing World part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider how several communities are adapting to climate change-related problems including drought's impacts on agriculture, loss of assets due to climate-related hazards, freshwater ...

Case Study 5.2 - Interpretations: Reading the Book of Earth part of Climate of Change
I designed this activity to provide students with a comprehensive experience working with real climate data. Students graph, analyze, and critically interpret ice core data from Greenland. You can implement this ...

Lahar Risk Assessment part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
Students act as first responders assessing Lahar risks associated with eruptions. Teacher sets an alert placemark on the Google Earth web browser plug-in and gives students X minutes to decide whether to evacuate a down-slope town. Students collaborate by text messages.

Energy Balance Game part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This online game activity introduces students to Earth's radiative energy balance. It also explores the use of a simple climate model in the attribution of climate change.

Riparian Plant Lab part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this field exercise for an introductory environmental science course, students investigate plant cover and type in a riparian area using transects. The final assignment is a lab report that includes a summary data table, a graph of cover types along their transect and an analysis of riparian health.

Reasons for the Seasons part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
The inquiry method and meteorological and astronomical online data can be used to elicit the inconsistencies of students' naïve ideas about the "real" reasons for the seasons. The first phase of this two-part investigation uses online meteorological data to identify factors that might explain differences of seasonal temperatures among cities These factors are used to hypothesize why differences of seasonal temperatures occur among cities. During the second phase, the variables and hypotheses that were previously identified in part one are used to design and conduct an inquiry-oriented investigation. Astronomical data is used as part of the investigation to "test" students' hypotheses conclusions are drawn then communicated.

Transport of heavy metals in the Clark Fork River part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
This is an activity about transport of sediment contaminated by copper, arsenic, and other heavy metals that was deposited into the Clark Fork River channel as the result of historical mining activity. The Clark Fork River between Butte and Milltown, Montana has been the focus of several large superfund projects designed to address the impacts of this legacy of mining in the watershed. This activity is used in an introductory physical geology lab (primarily non-majors) with students who may have limited experience working with quantitative analysis and analyzing graphs.

The Ecological Footprint Dilemma part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
How big is your ecological footprint? This case will assist students in quantifying this construct and allow them to reflect on life styles and alternative approaches that can help them reduce their ecological impacts.

Stabilization Wedges Game part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Learning about complexities carbon stabilization firsthand with the Princeton University Carbon Mitigation Initiave's Sabilization Wedges Game

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