InTeGrate Modules and Courses >The Wicked Problem of Global Food Security > Unit 6: Regional Case Study Community Action Plans
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Unit 6: Regional Case Study Community Action Plans

Amy E. Potter, Armstrong State University, amy.potter@armstrong.edu, Russanne Low, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, rusty_low@strategies.org, and Rebecca Boger, Brooklyn College, rboger@brooklyn.cuny.edu.

Summary

Unit 6 provides an opportunity for students to present their action plans and exchange knowledge about what they have learned in their team case study work. This unit builds on food security and Earth system science covered in the first three units. It can be taught in any course discussing food security or it can be modified to fit a variety of courses of in the sciences and social sciences. The activities included in this unit are appropriate for introductory-level college students or as a basis for more in-depth class discussions on food security for upper-level students.

Learning Goals

(After students have completed Units 4, 5, and 6) they will be able to:

  1. Brainstorm solution(s) to the wicked problem of food security using spatial tools.
  2. Synthesize multiple data sets and types of background material.
  3. Describe the various factors that influence food security in three different regional contexts.
  4. Make connections between the Earth system and cultural, economic, and political processes to understand the wicked problem of food security.

Context for Use

This culminating unit is designed for a 90-minute face-to-face class and is appropriate for lower division undergraduates who are enrolled in social science, environmental science, or ecology courses.

Description and Teaching Materials

Student teams will present an action plan to the class based on the following prompt (instructors will have already provided this prompt to the students presumably during Unit 4):

Students are part of a special ad hoc committee that has been assigned to create a PowerPoint presentation describing the context of the Wicked Problem of food security and the potential solutions for their case study region.

PowerPoint Audience: 1) Mayor of New York City; 2) Governor of Nebraska; 3) Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)--Council for Human and Social Development

The presentation should incorporate and consider:

  1. Assigned readings/additional outside research (at least 3 outside sources) properly cited and attributed.
  2. A description of a system and a model that connects the Earth system to the global food system utilizing systems terminology (see Unit 2).
  3. Two maps based on the analyses of the ArcGIS Online Activity (see Unit 5) with an explanation of each map.
  4. Factors influencing food security, particularly the effects of climate change, in the region (See Unit 1 and Unit 3).
  5. At least two proposed solutions.

Teaching Notes and Tips

Unit 6 is ideally scheduled at least one week after Unit 5 to give students time to prepare their presentations and reflect on their learning.

Learn more about Gallery Walks from Pedagogy in Action http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/gallerywalk/index.html

Each region is unique in terms of the types of data that are available for student analysis (particularly the Caribbean). This is a good opportunity to have a discussion on data availability with your students.

Assessment

PowerPoint:

The authentic assessment for this module includes the creation of a PowerPoint detailing food security context and solutions for an assigned region and a reflective essay. In Unit 6, students will participate in a gallery walk and showcase their different regional solutions as articulated through a PowerPoint. The evaluation rubric and student checklist can also be found in Unit 4 Assignment Guide and Rubric for Summative Assesment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 306kB Dec2 16).

Summative Assessment:

After students have participated in the gallery walk, instructors may want to give students the following two questions as a final summative assessment. Particularly the second question allows students to reflect on what they learned about food security in other regions based on the gallery walk. Essays should be written individually.

1) Draw a diagram of the food system that resulted in the production of a chocolate bar.

a. Give an example of a real world system and describe its parts. Be sure to include economic, social, political, and environmental (Earth system) components in your model.

b. Explain how parts of the system interact. use system concepts in your explanation, and give one example of each of the following: reservoirs, fluxes, positive or negative feedback, residence time

c. Using your example system, select one component and discuss how an effect in one part of that system can be influenced by multiple causal factors.

2) Compare and contrast a food security issue in your assigned region with one identified by another team from a different region. How do changes in the Earth system potentially improve or exacerbate these issues?

References and Resources

  • Gallery Walks. Learn more about what a gallery walk is and how to use it in the 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 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 »