Case Studies and Activities Collection


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Presenting science to the public: The ethics of outreach
Joy Branlund, Southwestern Illinois College
Joy Branlund, Southwestern Illinois College Summary This case study involves class discussion about (a) the environmental concerns of developing a new industrial project (in this case, a new mine in Minnesota), ...

Ethics in Publishing
Cindy Palinkas, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Cindy Palinkas, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Summary This collection of case studies deals with ethics involved in publishing research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Often, ...

Discovering the oil/plastics cycle
Lauren Sahl, Maine Maritime Academy
Lauren Sahl, Corning School of Ocean Studies, Maine Maritime Academy Summary Students examine a video clip showing dead albatross chicks with their guts full of plastics. They are asked to write down a list of all ...

The Nature of Science and Scientific Fraud
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota Summary There are two parts to this exercise but they are stand-alone if desired. The first part deals with the nature of science: what is science, what does it involve, ...

Water Development: A Philosophical and Ethical Issue
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota Summary This is a seven part module that deals with water development. The goal is to get students thinking about water development in terms of its appropriateness, and ...

Geology in the City: Ethical Issues
Anne Marie Ryan, Dalhousie University
Anne Marie Ryan, Dalhousie University Summary This is a work in progress. We make decisions every day in our lives as earth scientists, many of which have ethical implications. In this activity, students apply ...

Encountering geoscience issues in the popular press
Marian Buzon, University of Idaho
Marian Buzon, University of Idaho Summary Geoscientists (as do all scientists) have a duty to present facts to their audience, whether that audience is composed of other scientists or of the general public. Many ...

Does A River Have Rights?
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College
Michael Phillips, Illinois Valley Community College Summary Individual students have different ethical "lines." This class discussion proceeds with a series of prompts that presents a set of scenarios ...

Case of GMOs in Environmental Cleanup
Daniel Vallero, Duke University
Daniel Vallero, Duke University Summary This case represents various agendas, hidden and otherwise, that can come into play during environmental remediation. Context Audience: Teachers at a summer institute, ...

Ethics and Paleontology: Dinosaur Wars
Jim Schmitt, Montana State University-Bozeman
Jim Schmitt, Montana State University-Bozeman Summary Dinosaur fossils capture the interest of students and the public, but their study, collection, and disposition often engender signficant highly-publicized ...


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