Initial Publication Date: November 30, 2016

Project Team

Part of the InTeGrate California State University - Chico Program Model

Rachel Teasdale- CSU, Chico Geological & Environmental Sciences

Teasdale teaches a variety of geology courses, including Introductory Geology and upper division majors courses. Her research areas include physical volcanology, igneous petrology and on student-centered teaching in the geosciences. Teasdale co-authored the Living on the Edge InTeGrate module and works to dissemination information about all InTeGrate modules on campus, including through the program model at CSU, Chico.

About the Project: Working with Sustainability Pathway faculty, Teasdale observes and meets with all team faculty to collaborate in the use of InTeGrate curriculum as a means of enhancing pathway (GE) courses. Teasdale also uses InTeGrate modules in the Introductory Geology course (Living on the Edge, Climate of Change, Human Dependence on Minerals, and Environmental Justice).

Colleen Hatfield- CSU, Chico Biological Sciences

Hatfield is the Rawlins Endowed Professor for Environmental Literacy, with a mission to foster student awareness of the challenges and complexities that we face in today's world.

She teaches courses within Biology and is actively involved in General Education. She was instrumental in the development of the Sustainability Pathway, one of eight themed pathways for our GE curriculum.

Hatfield works very closely with the Institute for Sustainability at Chico State, developing curriculum and outreach programs to foster student engagement, examples of which will be presented to you here today.

Her research interests and expertise lie at the intersection of the built environment, landscape patterns and implications for environmental health. Hatfield has worked on regulatory and conservation issues with fellow academics, agencies, and conservation organizations on the local, regional and national level.

About the Project: Hatfield uses seven InTeGrate units in two sections of her Environmental Literacy course, including from the Climate of Change, Human Dependence on Minerals and Environmental Justice modules.

Lee Altier- CSU, Chico, Agriculture

Lee Altier teaches and does research in the College of Agriculture at California State University. Prior to his current position, he was a horticulture volunteer for the Peace Corps in Nepal for three years, worked for the USDA on agricultural water quality for three years in south Georgia, and has been doing summer work in Thailand since 2001. He teaches courses in holistic management, sustainable vegetable crop production, horticultural therapy, agricultural ecology, and world food production. His research interests are in cropping systems and agricultural ecology. He directs the Organic Vegetable Project on the Chico State University Farm. He also directs Cultivating Community North Valley, a project funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to address food security among under-served communities.

About the Project: I have used Unit 6 from Climate of Change and Unit 2 from A Growing Concern in my Food Forever course. This course is a global perspective on sustainable food production practices. Unit 6 of Climate of Change fits well into our discussion about climate as a major determinant of how and what food can be grown around the world. I use the online survey in Unit 6 to get students to begin to think about weather patterns and assess their own assumptions and beliefs about climate change. In class, I show a variety of examples regarding climate change to explore concepts of mitigation and adaptation.

For Unit 2 of A Growing Concern, on soil properties, I bring in lots of demonstrations, so students can feel soil textures, see the effect of textures and organic matter on percolation, and see examples of soil aggregates. I also include a demonstration about making bread to reinforce the idea that, like with bread, the effects of texture, structural development, and microbial activity are determinants of soil quality.

I have used Unit 1 from Climate of Change in my World Food and Fiber course, a macro perspective on the development of agriculture around the world. The exploration of how ancient civilizations adapted to climate variability fits very well with my course on the disparate ways in which cultures acquired and utilized sources of food. After discussing the three case studies, we continued the discussion about the current predicament with global warming. Does awareness about climate change give us an advantage over the ancient civilizations? Are we more likely to adapt successfully? It worked well to bring the dialogue to present circumstances, and the students were actively engaged. I also liked how starting with civilizations that were dramatically disrupted by a changing climate, changed the discourse from a question about whether climate change is occurring to the question about whether we can do anything about it.

Phil Clements- CSU, Chico History

Dr. Phil Clements studies the nexus of environmental history and science studies. His forthcoming book, Science in Extremis: The 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition(University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017), combines ethnography and phenomenology in Nepal's Sagarmatha Zone with archival research to demonstrate why the norms of scientific inquiry destabilize under extraordinary environmental conditions. His current project combines alpine climbing, environmental history, climate science, and ethnography across three mountainous watersheds--the Mahalangur Himal, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cordillera Blanca--to examine their regional communities' socio-economic relationships with mountains and water, the challenges presented to those communities' cultures and ecosystems by development and global climate change, and their resilience in the face of those challenges.

Clements teaches Environmental History, American history, and identity and sustainability studies courses for California State University, Chico. He has also taught history of science and writing courses for University of California San Diego.

About the Project: For the program model, Clements adapted Climate of Change Unit 4: Slow and Steady to an upper-division general-education Environmental History course as the first of three sections designed to educate students about anthropogenic global climate change. Deployed exactly as suggested by the module's creators, Slow and Steady illustrates how the climate sciences function, while subsequent activities unpack the significance of scientific consensus toward anthropogenic global climate change, and its socio-economic ramifications.

Bruce Grelle- CSU, Chico Comparitive Religion and Humanities

Bruce Grelle is a Professor in the Department of Comparative Religion and Humanities at California State University, Chico. His teaching and research are focused on comparative ethics, religion and public education, and religion and politics. He directs the Religion and Public Education Project at CSU, Chico and serves on the statewide steering committee for the California 3 Rs Project (Rights, Responsibilities, and Respect): A Program for Finding Common Ground on Issues of Religion and Values in Public Schools.

About the Project: For more than twenty years I have taught a course dealing with religion and environmental ethics. This course is taught from a secular academic perspective and is currently titled "Religion, Ethics, and Ecology." The course examines how people's ideas and taken-for-granted assumptions about human nature (self and society), time or history, God, and the natural world (non-human animals, plants, earth, air, water, etc.) shape their attitudes, behaviors, and lifestyles as individuals and societies. Despite the word "religion" in the title, the course uses the term "worldview" to describe these ideas and taken-for-granted assumptions. This makes it possible to encompass both "religious" and "secular" perspectives. Many students do not identify with any religion, and the number of people with no religious affiliation is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population. Nonetheless, it's important for students to understand that even though a growing number of people do not think of themselves as "religious," they too have a worldview.

I have incorporated the InTeGrate curriculum module, The Climate of Change into my course during our discussion of contemporary issues and policy debates. Unit 6 of this module, Adapting to a Changing World, focuses on shifting national attitudes about climate change. This supports the course's focus on the connection between people's worldviews and their responses to environmental issues. The unit also provides a series of case studies that involve students in a consideration of various mitigation and adaption strategies for dealing with such problems as heat waves, rising sea levels, and for climate related risks taken on by the insurance industry. The case studies illustrate the complex relationship between environmental, social, and economic considerations and provide students with practice in applying their values to real world problems.

Don Hankins- CSU, Chico Geography and Planning

Don Hankins is a Professor of Geography and Planning at California State University, Chico. His interests and expertise is in the following areas: pyrogeography, ecohydrology, landscape ecology, intervention ecology, conservation, environmental policy, and Indigenous stewardship. Don has been involved in various aspects of environmental planning, stewardship, conservation, and regulation for a variety of organizations and agencies including federal and tribal governments. Drawing from his academic and cultural knowledge he is particularly interested in Indigenous traditional knowledge and policy and their application as a keystone process to aid in conservation and stewardship. Amongst other projects his current research includes longitudinal studies of fire effects on biodiversity, cultural resources, and hydrology and overall environmental resiliency in riparian forests, oak woodlands, and meadows in California and Eucalypt and tea tree woodlands in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia. These projects involve working with local Indigenous communities in the respective areas in order to achieve a broader framework of collaborative stewardship and learning.

About the Project: Hankins selected Climate of Change, Unit 2 and A Growing Concern, Sustaining Soils, unit 3 to adapt for use in an introductory general education course on the American West (Geography 106). These modules were selected due to their relationship to existing course lessons.

The Climate of Change unit 2 was implemented via a flipped class, whereby students were provided an online lecture covering the basics of climate processes and their relationship to the region of the American West. In class, students were provided a short focused lecture on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) along with examples of how ENSO impacts on regions of the American West, and a brief overview of climate data used to model ENSO predictions. Students were sorted into groups to review provided climate data, and make observations of that data. At the end of the class time, students were reconvened for a summary discussion of findings. My hope in introducing students to these data, is that they will gain analytical skills necessary to discern climate and other data they may encounter in the future.

A Growing Concern, Sustaining Soils unit 3 was integrated into an existing lecture and activity involving soil texture analysis. Students were provided a brief lecture on soil development and soil orders of the American West. They also learned about soil characteristics used by soil scientists, and why those characteristics are important for land-use planning and other purposes. Students were provided one of two soil samples to conduct soil texture analysis using the Thien Texture by Feel method. Once students had completed this portion of the exercise, they utilized the SoilsWeb app to verify their findings for the polygon where their soil was collected. They were provided a list of questions, which prompted them to explore data within the SoilsWeb app for the soil polygon of their sample. My hope in introducing students to these tools is to familiarize students with ways of knowing more about the soils around them, and the importance of soils in their lives.

Janine Stone- CSU, Chico Economics

Janine Stone is an Assistant Professor of Economics at California State University, Chico. Her primary interests are in environmental economics, with a special interest in water economics. Her previous and current research projects have studied how both agricultural and municipal water users respond to drought and on gauging public support for policy changes related to water and energy usage.

About the Project: I have used three modules from the "Human's Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources" unit within Environmental Economics (Econ 365), an introductory economics course geared toward non-majors. Unit 2 is easily used within lectures teaching the basics of supply and demand within an economics course. Units 3 and 6, related to the environmental effects of mining activities, fit well in the context of a discussion of externalities and the optimal extraction of mineral resources over time. For all activities, students completed the unit readings prior to class, and unit materials were incorporated into homework assignments and lecture. For instance, for Unit 3, students completed readings on the steps associated with mineral extraction/ site remediation and were then directed to an EPA website where they had to look up contaminants listed in the reading and discuss the type of regulatory approach (strict safety considerations versus a cost-benefit analysis) used to set the standards for that contaminant. The overall goal of incorporating all units was to ensure students understand that no economic analysis of resource use can be completed without a fundamental understanding of the earth sciences.

Eric Willard- CSU, Chico Geological & Environmental Sciences

Eric Willard is a Lecturer in the department of Geological and Environmental Science at California State University, Chico. Eric has studied and worked in: hydrology, environmental science, watershed assessment, science education, agriculture. Eric worked for the DWR on the FERC relicensing of Oroville dam as an intern, he was later employed with the Tehama county RCD as a Watershed specialist to do a watershed assessment and ranch irrigation evaluations. He also worked with ILRP in implementing regulations on irrigators in the Sacramento Valley. He grew up on a farm and currently owns prune orchards. He is at the crossroads between environmental regulation and agricultural business. He also served on the AB 3030 ground water committee and TCRCD board. These projects involve working with local farming communities and regulatory entities to collaborate on resource conservation.

About the Project: I have selected two modules from the Climate of Change module, Unit 2 and Unit 4.

Unit 2: Before coming to class students are asked to read introductory chapter on water and the hydrologic cycle. In class, I deliver a lecture on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and a brief overview of climate data used to model ENSO predictions. Students were sorted into groups to review provided climate data, and make observations of that data. It is a jigsaw activity in that each group has different data related to ENSO. The students all interpret the data and come together as a class to assimilate all the data into a comprehensive understanding of how ENSO changes temperature, precipitation, and pressure.

Unit 4: Before coming to class students read an introductory chapter on climate change. In class I deliver a short lecture on climate data, albedo, and the Greenland ice sheet. Students in groups work with data sets of albedo and learn how it affects the melting of glaciers in Greenland.