Economics and Geography
Saint Michaels College
Hazardous Waste and Toxics: Real Data for Real Places part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Activities
In this activity students combine directed work in a computer lab with independent work outside of the lab. Students work directly with a series of online Federal databases to explore geographies of environmental hazards, the nature of the threats they pose, and the types of remediation result. Students identify and assess the threats of hazardous waste sites on the National Priorities List of Superfund; examine the geographies of toxic releases into the environment using the most recent Toxics Release Inventory (TRI); and explore the combination of the two with a link to the fate and exposure of selected pollutants and their toxicological profiles using the TOXMAP service of the National Library of Medicine. Themes include the differences between Superfund and TRI; concepts of liability and the principle of "polluter pay"; examination of the reasons and potential impacts of disclosures under the TRI; comparison of place-based cases in published environmental justice cases; consideration of the concept of fate and exposure of particular chemicals; basic study of environmental remediation; research methods for geo-referenced socio-economic research; and assessments of place-based environmental justice advocacy in a "ground truthing" vein. Students complete a pre-designed and directed worksheet and also conduct self-directed research. Responses are both written and numerical with an additional submission of a set of presentation-ready graphics.
From Politics and Policy to Place-based Inquiry and Globalization part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Essays
Richard Kujawa, Saint Michaels College Probably the most important background to this essay is that I am a broadly trained Human and Environmental Geographer. I work at a small Liberal Arts College in a beautiful ...