Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Local Garbage in a Global Controversy part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Activities
This activity will use the 2001 debate between biologist and environmental activist Barry Commoner and Iowa State University engineering professor Robert Brown about the Ames (Iowa) Resource Recovery Plant. Students will use this case study to understand the arguments of four different groups involved in the debate: the local engineers and public works employees who created the plant and had kept it operational for 25-years; the academic engineering community and the EPA; Barry Commoner and the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation; and the Nunavut Inuit, who were found to have high levels of dioxins, largely blamed by Commoner on the Ames plant. They will all be provided with the same packets of information, which they will have to mine for materials to argue their points. Other students will play local community members trying to weigh the words of the experts, their personal interests (e.g. property values and the health of their families) and their varying degrees of desire to be good stewards of the environment and their concern for the Nunavut Inuit.
Creating Empathy for People in Difficult Environmental Situations part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching Environmental Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches:Essays
Angie Gumm, Friends University As an adjunct, I have had a limited opportunity so far to teach classes with a large environmental justice emphasis. The biggest opportunity was at Iowa State University, teaching ...