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Sustainability Activities


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The Ecological Footprint Dilemma
Bruno Borsari, Winona State University
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.

The Urgent Need For Understanding and Implementing Sustainability
Walt White
This activity promotes a clearer understanding of what sustainability at a personal level is, the big contributors to emissions (climate change), a fun quiz-game that promotes learning/knowledge, and a means of collaborating you ides with others.

Exploring the Sustainability of the U.S. Food System
David Koetje, Calvin College
This is a collaborative learning activity based on the documentaries "King Corn" and "Big River" in which students explore and propose solutions to sustainability issues associated with industrial agriculture and food systems.

Offshore wind or offshore oil?
Noah Snyder, Boston College
An introductory environmental science project tasking students with comparing offshore oil and wind power development.

A River Runs Through It: an exploration in land use and water resource management
Robin Humphreys, College of Charleston
This is an in-class activity where students learn about the interconnectedness of land use, water quality, and water resource management. Students are assigned a river front parcel of land to develop, unaware that ...

Assessing Water Resource Demand in New York City
Kyle Monahan, Clarkson University
An exercise assessing the water demand of New York City and population dynamics underlying that demand is provided. Visualization of first order water resource estimates using precipitation data and a known water storage volume are used to draw conclusions about drought risk and the sustainability of NYC water supplies.

Researching Ocean Acidification in General Chemistry
Kalyn Shea Owens and Sonya Remington, North Seattle Community College
This research-based student project used the problem of ocean acidification to cover the sustainability concept of fossil fuel combustion and the disciplinary concepts of kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry and solubility.

Organic Chemistry: Friend or Foe? An Organic Chemistry Special Investigation
Neal A. Yakelis, Pacific Lutheran University
Students are asked to work in teams to find a claim in the media relating to the impact of an organic compound (or class of organic compounds) on the environment and its inhabitants. Their chosen compound should have an effect on the sustainability of plant or animal life, or, in particular, the sustainability of human health.

Understanding and Analyzing an Environmental Controversy
Steve Martin, Ripon College
Students will write a paper that analyzes a particular controversy that is related to the environment or issues of sustainability. In so doing, they will discover the role discourse plays in resolving, or failing to resolve, the different goals of competing interests.

Public Information Campaign: Soil Erosion, Conservation, and Watershed Health
Kathryn Szramek, Drake University
Students in groups of two create a 4-minute educational video, brochure, and poster on an aspect of soil erosion, soil conservation, and/or watershed health for agricultural regions within the midwestern states. ...

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