Part 1: Drafting a Stakeholder Map for Downstream Pollution in the Water Cycle

Summary

After students review the student guide, it should be apparent to them why and how so many people in the Mississippi River Watershed are connected. In this exercise, students will define how these interests are related, that is, how they overlap and how they may conflict based on the perspective of the stakeholder. The goal is to get students thinking about the relationships among key components and stakeholders with respect to pollutants in the water cycle.

Learning Goals

After completing the module, students will be able to:

  1. Locate and describe interactions between human and natural systems.
  2. Diagram key components of a complex system focused on water quality and identify different stakeholder perspectives or interests associated with water use.
  3. Explain how differing power dynamics among stakeholders creates conflict and the potential for social/environmental injustice.

Context for Use

This activity is Part 1 of a three-part module designed to cover approximately 1-2 weeks of class time, depending on how the module is implemented with respect to in-class and outside-of-class work. While the module was designed with face-to-face interactions in mind, it can be adapted for remote learning, with various asynchronous and synchronous options. The module can be used in any undergraduate course, and can be tailored to the level of the students.

Description and Teaching Materials

A stakeholder map is one type of concept map (opens in a new tab), a conceptual diagram that organizes ideas based on their relationships to one another. Based on the introductory materials provided, the goal is to get students thinking about the relationships among key components and stakeholders with respect to pollutants in the water cycle.

This part of the exercise can be completed using physical paper and markers, or one of several easy-to-use graphic mapping applications (including PowerPoint) to create the stakeholder map. Full instructions are provided to students in the exercise and in the accompanying slides ("Overview" PowerPoint slides in the module overview), along with a few examples of concept maps. It is suggested that instructors demonstrate how to make a stakeholder map using the resources, which include a worksheet that helps students identify components before they map.

Debrief Discussion Questions (also in the module overview PowerPoint slides):

  1. What did you identify as the key components?
  2. What are some important relationships that you identified?
  3. Who are some of the key stakeholders? (individuals or groups with an interest in or impacted by the issue)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This can be done individually, although small groups are preferred to jump-start the activity.

Assessment

The product of this mapping exercise is a formative assessment. The following rubric can be used to give students feedback about their initial designs and similarly applied to the final map developed by the entire class (in Part 3, Creating a Revised Stakeholder Map for Downstream Pollution in the Water Cycle).

References and Resources