InTeGrate Modules and Courses >The Wicked Problem of Global Food Security > Instructor Stories
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Instructor Stories and Adaptations

These resources describe how the module was adapted for use in different settings. We hope these stories inspire your own use of the module and give you insight into how to adapt the materials for your classroom.

Rebecca Boger (cropped)
Rebecca Boger: Introduction to Urban Sustainability at CUNY Brooklyn College

The Introduction to Urban Sustainability, SUST 1001, is the first foundation course that students take for the new interdisciplinary program in urban sustainability. Reflecting the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) at the root of the sustainability concept, the course is jointly taught by professors in the departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Economics and Sociology. I am the lead instructor who has the primary responsibility of designing the course syllabus and assessment. The other two professors contribute to the course through their lectures and readings, and provide insights through the lens of his/her discipline. Since Brooklyn College is located in an urban setting, much of the course uses examples from New York City. The course is divided into thematic modules relevant for sustainability; one of the modules is food, and so this food security module is a perfect fit. I taught the food security module near the end of the semester.


Instructor: Rusty Low
Russanne Low: Science Systems Environment and Sustainability at University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Envr201, Science Systems: Environment and Sustainability is a large section (56+ students) 200-level course offered across campus and welcomes students from all majors. It fulfills the campus ACE requirement of a course that explores ethical principles, civics, and stewardship, and their importance to society. The module was used in the last four weeks of the semester as a structured capstone project, an activity that is especially useful for lower division students who have little experience in completing a research project that requires collection and analysis of original data. The course was offered as an asynchronous, online course. Two units were completed each week, and an additional research week was allowed for group project work prior to Unit 6, to accommodate the work schedules of online and remote students. The final team project served as a summative assessment not only for the module, but for the entire course.


Author Photo
Amy E. Potter: Geography 1100: World Regional Geography at Armstrong State University Geog 1100 World Regional Geography is an introductory-level course taught in small sections of 24 students. The course is part of the academic core focusing on global connections. The module was used the last three weeks of the semester as a capstone project.

Additional Instructor Stories

Kerry Byrne: Using Introducing the Wicked Problem of Global Food Security in Sustainable Human Ecology course at Oregon Institute of Technology
Kerry Byrne, Humboldt State University
As my course is the capstone course for Environmental Science majors, students have a strong background in ecology and systems thinking already. However, I desired to bolster my coverage of food security in the course, which is a common student interest. This module also incorporates the use of ArcGIS Online – students in the Environmental Science major are required to take at least one full year of GIS courses. I wanted to capitalize on one of the strengths of our program and have students do a more quantitative analysis using real data.

Also Related to The Wicked Problem of Global Food Security

Using Model-Based Reasoning and Experiential Learning to Understand and Improve Sustainability in a Campus Food System
Sep 12 2017 The development of students' ability to address interdisciplinary problems and incorporate systems thinking are essential attributes of the materials developed through the InTeGrate project. This webinar describes experiential learning and work-learning strategies that can be used to complement approaches featured in several InTeGrate modules for incorporating sustainability into degree programs using a local institutional context. This webinar features the work by Geoff Habron who has used the model-based reasoning approach developed by the NSF-funded EMBeRS project to help students understand their assumptions about the campus food system and track the development of their shared understanding through a series of individual and group reflections and systems mapping exercises (model-based reasoning). The goal is for students to grasp the complexity, yet feasibility, of improving the sustainability of the food system with a focus on environmental responsibility and social justice. Geoff's work seeks to tackle the challenge of understanding, teaching, and employing learning processes that enable diverse disciplinary perspectives to be integrated into more comprehensive conceptual frameworks that enable more effective conduct of interdisciplinary and actionable socio-environmental science. The objectives of this webinar are: a) introduce the theory of model-based reasoning as an experiential learning tool to foster thinking across disciplinary boundaries; b) demonstrate the development of planning and implementation of partnerships with campus based food system units, and c) illustrate examples of student learning and proposed systems changes that emerged

Assessing the Impact of InTeGrate Materials in Introductory Environmental Science and Botany Courses
Aug 31 2017 Using InTeGrate modules in an Introduction to Environmental Science course since the Spring of 2016 has resulted in measurable gains in student achievement in objectives related to soils, agriculture, mining, climate change, among other topics. Utilizing the QUBES InTeGrate Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) in Spring 2016 was invaluable for guidance with modifying and launching the initial modules used in the course: 'A Growing Concern' and 'Soils, Systems, and Society.' Additional modules were added in the Fall of 2016 to strengthen the course and implementations of previous modules were improved. Recent experiences as a co-mentor for QUBES InTeGrate FMN in Spring 2017, has led to new depths of reflection, additional modules utilized, and new courses employed. Student feedback and results of assessments will be shared as part of the session.

Fostering Systems Thinking in Your Students
Mar 22 2017 Systems thinking can help students analyze complex systems and it is well-suited to teaching about Earth in a societal context. Systems thinking is prevalent across the curriculum, especially with regard to sustainability issues. Lisa Gilbert, Systems Thinking module co-author, will introduce systems thinking, provide an approach to building students' systems thinking skills, and showcase a systems thinking example that can be used in any course. Karl Kreutz, Systems Thinking module co-author, will discuss systems modeling and feedback systems. In addition, he will provide an example of a feedback system using Arctic sea ice. The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentations and 25 minutes of discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences regarding systems thinking for their discipline or context.

Adapting InTeGrate Modules for Biology Courses and Online Courses
Mar 8 2017 InTeGrate Implementation Programs piloted InTeGrate teaching modules in a variety of disciplines and contexts to infuse teaching about Earth in a societal context, sustainability concepts, and active learning strategies throughout the curriculum. Faculty from the implementation programs commonly adapted the modules to their discipline and course. Amber Burgett, part of Wittenberg University's InTeGrate Implementation Program, will discuss adapting InTeGrate modules for a general education, non-majors Biology course and for an upper-level freshwater Ecology course to strengthen active learning opportunities in these courses. Sabrina Walthall, part of Mercer University's Implementation Program, will discuss adapting an InTeGrate module to an online, general education science course for adult learners. She will also present a template to help other faculty incorporate adapted InTeGrate materials into their courses. The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentations and 25 minutes of discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences regarding adapting InTeGrate modules for their discipline or context.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Mar 2 2017 Sustainability is emerging as a central theme for teaching about the environment, whether it is from the perspective of science, economics, politics, or society. Teaching about sustainability creates an opportunity to connect classroom material to society. Camelia Kantor, Claflin University's InTeGrate Implementation Program leader, will discuss the importance of Earth Science content and awareness and how integrated and problem-based learning environments help contextualize the need for sustainability. Rachel Teasdale, CSU–Chico's Implementation Program leader, will discuss the Sustainability Pathway general education program and how data-rich and societally relevant teaching activities can be used in STEM and non-STEM courses. The webinar will include 30 minutes of presentations and 25 minutes of discussion. Participants are encouraged to both ask questions of the presenters and discuss their own experiences regarding sustainability across the curriculum.

Addressing Food Security Issues in Your Course
Feb 9 2017 Next Webinar Water and Food Sustainability Wednesday, February 15th 10:00 am PT | 11:00 am MT | 12:00 pm CT | 1:00 pm ET Thursday, February 9th 9:00 am PT | 10:00 am MT | 11:00 am CT | 12:00 pm ET Presenters: ...

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »