What are the causes and effects of ENSO?

Contributed by Sarah Bednarz
Geography, Texas A&M University.
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  1. This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.

    This activity has been extensively reviewed for inclusion in the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network's collection of educational resources. For information the process and the collection, see http://cleanet.org/clean/about/selected_by_CLEAN.

  2. This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

    This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

    • Scientific Accuracy
    • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
    • Pedagogic Effectiveness
    • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
    • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

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This page first made public: Mar 24, 2010


This NASA Mission Geography module focuses on the evidence for global climate change. In the specific activity on ENSO, students role play policy makers deciding how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for possible ENSO related problems.

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introductory undergraduate course in human geography often taken for general education credit

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

map analysis skills

How the activity is situated in the course

activity toward end of class; I concentrate on the role play rather than the ENSO/science part


Content/concepts goals for this activity

effects of climate events on human systems

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

map analysis, synthesis of evidence to draw conclusions

Other skills goals for this activity

oral presentation skills and group collaboration

Description of the activity/assignment

This module from NASA Mission Geography focuses on how prediction can help reduce ENSO's tragic human consequences. Scientists from around the world are involved in forecasting with computer models and sophisticated measurements, how ENSO affects various countries. These scientists are increasingly being asked by policy makers and political leaders to help them plan and manage for the effects of ENSO. In this activity, students play the role of a policy maker in Peru. First, they determine what sort of ENSO variation is occurring. Then the must decide how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for possible weather-related problems.

Determining whether students have met the goals

oral presentation

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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