For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
Welcome to the student page for the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Module! Most human beings care about what is fair and what is not when it comes to the distribution of goods and services. Included in goods and services are natural resources and the benefits provided by a healthy environment. In this module you will explore aspects of the hydrologic cycle, including the processes that take place within it. You will focus explicitly on the freshwater portion of the hydrologic cycle: how it works, how it changes, and how it impacts human beings depending on gender, race and class—categories significant to social scientists who are interested in environmental justice. You will learn to use Google Earth in order to understand geospatial data and interpret their meaning. Below you will find materials to help you prepare for class discussions about freshwater resources and environmental justice as well materials that can be used to review topics that arise as a result of your classroom investigations.
Unit 1: Introduction to Environmental Justice
Unit 1 investigates the history of the environmental justice movement in the United States by situating it within the context of the US civil rights and environmental movements. It also makes connections to issues of environmental equity on a global scale.
- PowerPoint on "The Environment" (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 3.1MB Jun28 15)
- PowerPoint about the History of the Environmental Justice Movement (PowerPoint 11.7MB Jun11 15)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
- Environmental Justice Network (EJnet).
Unit 2: The Hydrologic Cycle and Freshwater Resources
Unit 2 addresses the major components of the hydrologic cycle, how each of its components interacts with the others, and how changes in one can affect the others. A water survey in the unit allows for calculation of the amount of water an individual in the United States might use daily and how that compares with daily water use by people in other parts of the world.
- Water Footprint (word) (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Jun11 15) or Water Footprint PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 62kB Jun11 15)
- Information from the U.S. EPA Water Sense
Unit 3: Streams and Water Diversion
Unit 3 explores the relationships between watersheds, drainage divides and the hydrologic cycle via a case study from the Hawaiian Islands where surface water diversions from a region inhabited by indigenous people contrast with water diversions for large-scale agriculture. Part of the unit relates to the effects of societal power structures on the prioritization of water allowances granted to different interest groups.
- Google Earth Maui watershed (KMZ File 5.7MB Jun20 13)
- Google Earth Watershed Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.1MB Jun15 15)
- Google Earth User's Guide
- OHA and community efforts return flow to Maui streams video
- Maui Streams Assignment (Microsoft Word 1.2MB Jun15 15)
Unit 4: Women and Water
Unit 4 considers how gender plays a role in the abilities of women in the Global South to access fresh water readily.
- Pre-class reading: Common Interest of Earth Science, Feminism, and Environmental Justice
- USGS Water Science School
- Women of the Global South Powerpoint Slides (PowerPoint 5.9MB Jul5 15)
- Comparing Countries Venn Diagram (Acrobat (PDF) 23kB May23 13)
- Google Earth (KML) files (will launch Google Earth):
- Trinidad and Water (KMZ File 6kB Jul12 14)
- Kenya and Water (KMZ File 4kB Apr20 15) (Note that the video embedded in the Google Earth project on women and water in Kenya is also available on YouTube)
- India and Water (KMZ File 3kB Jul12 14) (Note that the video embedded in the Google Earth project on women and water in India is also available on YouTube)
Unit 5: Hazardous Waste and Love Canal
In Unit 5, the quintessential case of the effects of toxic waste disposal on local communities and their responses to resulting contamination of fresh water is considered. Information about the case, that of Love Canal in upstate New York, facilitates understanding of the roles played by working class women and people of color, arguably some of the least powerful segments of some communities, in attending as best as possible to such injustices.
- Lois Gibbs Videos (links unavailable):
- Lois Gibbs on Love Canal, Part I (10:10 min)
- Lois Gibbs on Love Canal, Part II (10:35 min)
- Lois Gibbs on Love Canal, Part III (17:55 min)
- Google Earth file: Love Canal kmz (KMZ File 4kB Apr19 15)
- Hazardous Waste and Love Canal PowerPoint Slides (Acrobat (PDF) 15MB Jul5 15)
Unit 6: Groundwater Availability and Resources
To conclude this module, Unit 6 provides the opportunity to evaluate issues of groundwater scarcity utilizing as an example the arid southwestern United States and the Ogallala Aquifer.