Teach the Earth > Energy > 2009 Workshop > Posters

Poster Session

Teaching about Energy with Google Earth ArcGIS and Excel (PowerPoint 8MB May12 09)

by Glenn A. Richard, Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University

GEO 311: Geoscience and Global Concerns is an undergraduate course taught at Stony Brook University during each fall semester. The class meets twice per week with one session consisting of a lecture and the other an interactive activity in a computer laboratory that engages the students in exploring real world problems particularly ones related to energy. A specific concern or issue serves as a focus during each session. The students are asked to develop answers to a series of questions that engage them in identifying causes of the problem connections with the Earth system relationships to other problems and possible solutions on both a global and local scale. The questions are designed to facilitate an integrated view of the Earth system. Examples of topics that the students explore during the laboratory sessions are: 1 fossil fuel reserves and consumption rates and the effect of their use on climate 2 alternative sources of energy and associated technologies such as solar photovoltaics nuclear energy tidal power geothermal energy and wind power 3 effects of energy from the Earth in the forms of tsunamis earthquakes and storms on human populations and infrastructure and 4 climate change. The selection and scheduling of topics often takes advantage of the occurrence of media attention or events that can serve as case studies. Tools used during the computer sessions include Google Earth ArcGIS spreadsheets and web sites that offer data and maps. The students use Google Earth or ArcGIS to map events such as earthquakes storms tsunamis and changes in the extent of polar ice. Spreadsheets are employed to discern trends in fossil fuel supply and consumption and to experiment with models that make predictions for the future. We present examples of several of these activities and discuss how they facilitate an understanding of interrelationships within the Earth system.

Carbon Footprint for the SUNY Geneseo Geology Department (Acrobat (PDF) 342kB Jul28 08)

submitted by Scott Girogis, SUNY Geneseo

Each year the incoming freshman geology majors in the Department of Geological Sciences at SUNY Geneseo work on a small one-credit research project as a team. The new geology majors in Fall 2008 calculated the departments carbon footprint. The calculations poster design and the remainder of this abstract were completed by the students. The emission of carbon dioxide is a very real problem in the modern world as it directly effects global warming. Some of the worst offenders are the environmental control systems of buildings and transportation systems. By altering our daily lifestyle and reducing carbon production even in minimal amounts the resulting long-term effects can have a positive impact on the environment. The goal for this years Introduction to GSCI class project was to approximate the carbon footprint of the Geology Department. To do this we quantified the energy consumption of the department and developed plans to reduce of carbon footprint. We determined the amount of energy consumed in the space occupied by the Department in the Integrated Science Center. In addition we calculated the amount of energy utilized for departmental trips which includes a field trip to New Zealand along with individual professors field trips. By converting the energy consumed into pounds of carbon produced we determined the Geneseo Geology Department produces 420000 lbs of carbon annually on a year without a major field trip. Inclusion of this years trip to New Zealand raises that value to 995000 lbs of carbon. While this number is staggering there are several viable options to offset these emissions: minimizing transportation using alternate energy sources and purchasing carbon credits. By unearthing the damage caused by a single department not only can we increase awareness of this global crisis but solutions can be offered for a greener and more energy smart campus.

Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania (Acrobat (PDF) 330kB May18 09)

by William Garro and John Luff, Wilkes University; Submitted by Sid Halsor, Wilkes University

Poster is authored by two undergraduate students. Poster has not been submitted for presentation but format required in meets the goals of independent research.

An Environmental Security Course at West Point (PowerPoint 2.3MB May18 09)

by Marie Johnson, USMA West Point

This course explores the link between the environment and national security. It specifically focuses on four key drivers: food, water, infectious disease, and energy. If a state cannot secure enough food and water for its citizens, effectively respond to infectious disease outbreaks, and/or provide energy to drive its economy, it runs the risk of disintegrating socially and politically, becoming a breeding ground for terrorism and violence, and threatening the stability of all other states in our globalized society.Slide 1 .O {font-size:149%;} Slide 1 .O {font-size:149%;}

The People, the Plateau, and Uranium (Acrobat (PDF) 18.3MB May18 09)

by Steven Semken, Arizona State University

This is an overview of a place-based cross-cultural curriculum module on the origin and extraction of uranium on and near the Navajo Nation and the environmental and public-health consequences. The materials are designed for flexible use in formal and informal geoscience education programs.

Using Concept Wheels to Explore the Effects of Energy Resource Development and Use (PowerPoint 427kB May18 09)

by Devin Castendyk, SUNY Oneonta

Concept wheels are illustrations that allow students to identify interconnections between an energy resource and its upstream and downstream effects. The energy resource is named in the center of the wheel and is encircled by effects and specific examples. In addition to potential environmental impacts students explore social and economic ramifications to create a holistic balanced view of resource use.

Renewable Energy: Lewis County Washington (PowerPoint 1.9MB May18 09)

by Martha Henderson, Evergreen State College

Lewis County Washington was once a high energy producer. Recent loss of the timber industry and coal-fired power plant have created economic hardships especially for youth. This poster outlines how alternative energy education programs at Growing Places Farm and Energy Park will create possibilities for at-risk youth by encouraging them to stay in school and prepare for jobs in alternative energy.

Lights Camera...Fiction: Using Hollywood Films to Teach About Energy and Climate Change in Undergraduate Environmental Science Classes (PowerPoint 1.9MB May18 09)

by Christine Metzger, Whittier University

Lights Camera...Fiction: Using Hollywood Films to Teach About Energy and Climate Change in Undergraduate Environmental Science Classes (Acrobat (PDF) 189kB Jun2 09)

by James D. Myers, Alan Buss, and Jerry Hamann, University of Wyoming

This project seeks to prepare better future citizens, scientists and policy makers to deal with sustainability and grand challenges, i.e. sustainability and the grand challenges of energy, water, environmental change, land use modification and resource
utilization and depletion, effectively and equitably, by improving their understanding of scientific uncertainty and its role in policy debates. To this end, computer simulations will be used to incorporate scientific uncertainty in proven case studies focused on sustainability and various grand challenges. Using simulations also allows these cases to be adopted in classes with variable enrollments, limited classroom instructor support
and a variety of subject areas. The digital educational objects created and the computer guidelines and protocols established provide the conceptual and functional frameworks others can use to build their own simulations thereby expanding the case study catalog and discipline coverage.