InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources
 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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Summary

This module enables students to identify the freshwater components of the hydrologic cycle and connect them to the basic need of all human beings for equal access to clean freshwater. This is accomplished by framing the water science within theories of environmental justice defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies."

Strengths of the Module

Students work with rainfall, topographic and streamflow data using real examples from the United States–Hawaii, New York, and Texas–and in countries of the Global South–Trinidad, Kenya, and India. Concepts including watersheds, drainage divides, surface water, and groundwater are simultaneously situated amidst questions of environmental equity.

This module also develops students' geospatial reasoning skills. Using Google Earth files, students will explore the history of the Love Canal, including comparing past land use to current use.

The module is unique in that it teaches scientific principles thoroughly embedded in a context that foregrounds the importance of equal access to water as a basic human right. Students will learn about regional water issues in several regions including Trinidad, Kenya, and India.

A great fit for courses in:

  • environmental science
  • environmental sociology
  • environmental justice
  • global change
  • introductory geology
  • sustainability
  • water resources

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These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. At the top of each page, you can click on the NGSS logo to see the specific connections. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more about the process of alignment and how to use InTeGrate materials to implement the NGSS.

NGSS in this Module

This module provides a series of activities for students to investigate the ecosystem services associated with local land use and its relation to water that could be modified for use by students in K-12 settings. Throughout the module students use Google Earth and EPA's National Stormwater Calculator to model the impact of land cover changes on stormwater runoff. The National Stormwater Calculator could be used at the middle and high school level as can much of the introductory PowerPoints and Google Earth activities.


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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 »