Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources - Spanish Adaptation
This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:
- team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
- multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
- real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
- multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
- review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.
This page first made public: May 23, 2016
This module enables Spanish-language 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." Students articulate the principles of environmental justice as they relate to examples of water scarcity and contamination in specific cases in Latin American and the Southwest U.S.
Strengths of the module
- Gain Spanish-language skills through exploring the intersection of science and society in the context of equal access to freshwater as a basic human right
- Engage in data- and language-rich activities that address water resources and their availability in Latin America and the southwestern US
- Explore the scientific and social context and consequences of a proposed hydroelectric project and oil extraction
- Work with rainfall, topographic, and soil permeability data to learn watershed concepts
- Use Google Earth to explore the relationship between topography and reservoir filling
- Analyze well data to predict groundwater and contaminant flow
Supported Next Generation Science Standards:
Performance expectation: HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Science and engineering practices: Analyzing and interpreting data
Cross-cutting concepts: Patterns
Disciplinary core ideas: ESS3.A. Natural resources
Connections to nature of science: Scientific investigations use a variety of methods
Supported Earth Science Literacy Principles:
- Big idea 7: Humans depend on Earth for resources.
- Big Idea 9: Humans significantly alter the Earth.
Addressed community developed, nationally-recognized Atmospheric Science Literacy Principles:
- Essential principle 3: Atmospheric circulations transport matter and energy.
- Essential principle 4: Earth's atmosphere changes over time and space, giving rise to weather and climate.
The module also addresses the following grand challenges in earth system science for global sustainability:
- Determine how to anticipate, avoid, and manage disruptive global environmental change.
- Determine institutional, economic, and behavioral changes to enable effective steps toward global sustainability.
- Encourage innovation (and mechanisms for evaluation) in technological, policy, and social responses to achieve global sustainability.
A great fit for Spanish-language courses in:
- environmental studies
- human rights
- global change
- contemporary issues
This module provides materials under the broad topic of freshwater resources and environmental justice and uses methods of investigative cases, gallery walks, and jigsaws for teaching them. The materials are appropriate for introductory physical geology, environmental studies, and global change courses, but a particular focus is on learning Spanish language and all of the examples are in Spanish-speaking countries or regions. No prior knowledge of the concept of environmental justice is needed in order to utilize the resources. The module assumes basic understanding of the earth's interacting systems: geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. It is designed to be a stand-alone module adaptable for different class sizes and formats.
Table of Contents
- Instructor Materials: Overview of the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Module
Unit 1Introduction to Environmental Justice Unit 2The Water Cycle and Freshwater Resources Unit 3Rivers and Water Diversion Unit 4The Water Wars of Cochabamba, Bolivia Unit 5Hazardous Waste, Petroleum, and the Amazon Unit 6Groundwater Availability and Resources
- Student Materials
- Instructor Stories
- Join the Community
View the Instructor Materials »