Strengths of the Module
- This module prepares students from a variety of backgrounds to explore a global humanitarian problem using systems thinking. Sociopolitical and economic factors as well as Earth system concepts are examined as students explore what is meant by sustainable food production.
- The module employs a flipped classroom model. Students prepare for each class by conducting reading assignments and tutorials. These activities can be evaluated by the instructor and/or serve as the basis for discussion. Class sessions are reserved for group work and mapping activities, and opportunities for metacognitive reflection is built into assignments.
- In class, students work in groups to to build understanding of the complexity of the global food system, and learn how complex, multiscalar problems like global food security are "wicked problems"---where a solution may work for part of the problem but entail unforeseen consequences in other parts of the system.
- Data-enabled exercises set in place-based case study learning opportunities is also a strength. Individual and team assessment rubrics of student learning are included.
- Although designed as an integrated module, sufficient information and guidance is provided to enable instructors to incorporate individual units, activities, and components of activities into courses.
- Finally, a major strength of the module is its value in modeling the steps of a protracted research project to lower division students. Student teams examine primary literature, obtain spatial data and conduct original analyses using geospatial technologies, and present their findings to the class.
- Brainstorm solution(s) to the wicked problem of food security
- Synthesize multiple data sets and types of background material
- Gain familiarity with ArcGIS Online and use spatial analysis to explore a place-based problem
- Describe the various factors that influence food security in three different regional contexts
- Make connections between the earth system and cultural, economic, and political processes to understand the wicked problem of food security
A great fit for courses in:
- environmental science
- natural resources
- environmental geology
- earth science
- global change
Table of Contents
- Instructor Materials: Overview of the Food Security Module
Unit 1Introduction to Global Food Security Unit 2Systems Thinking and the Wicked Problem of Global Food Security Unit 3Climate Change and Food Security Unit 4Case Study Group Work-Problem Identification Unit 5Case Study Group Work-Spatial Data Investigation Unit 6Regional Case Study Community Action Plans
- Student Materials
- Instructor Stories
- Join the Community
- Boger R., Low R.D., Potter A.E. (2019) Tackling the Wicked Problem of Global Food Security: Engaging Undergraduates Through ArcGIS Online. In: Gosselin D., Egger A., Taber J. (eds) Interdisciplinary Teaching About Earth and the Environment for a Sustainable Future. AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series. Springer, Cham