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General Education Teacher Preparation Beyond Geoscience Interdisciplinary Distance Learning Materials in Development

General Education Course Material

Introductory Geoscience Modules

Modules based on the literacy documents that are suitable for use in large face-to-face, blended, and distance introductory courses. Read more...

Dry Fork Coal Mine, near Gillette, Wyoming
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A really big panorama of the Dry Fork Coal Mine, by Callan Bentley, 2011.[creative commons]
Provenance: Callan Bentley, Northern Virginia Community College
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Carbon, Climate, and Energy Resources

Callan Bentley (Northern Virginia Community College), Pete Berquist (Thomas Nelson Community College), Pamela J.W. Gore (Perimeter College, Georgia State University); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

This two-week module focuses on fostering a deeper understanding of the carbon cycle and what happens when it is perturbed. In six self-contained units that would fit well in classes such as Physical Geology, Historical Geology, or Environmental Geology, students will develop their critical thinking skills, explore the dynamics of Earth's carbon cycle through biogeochemistry and the perspective of "deep time," and learn how carbon was sequestered to produce traditional and nontraditional fossil fuels. Now that these subterranean carbon reservoirs have been tapped, students will examine the current state of carbon cycle destabilization, and its potential consequences, before concluding with an examination of strategies available to society, including carbon taxation, artificial sequestration, and several kinds of geoengineering.

Glacier image bar
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Glacier image bar[creative commons]
Provenance: Image created by Chris Goldberg from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks Between Water, Air and Ice

Cynthia Fadem (Earlham College), Cindy Shellito (University of Northern Colorado), Becca Walker (Mt San Antonio College); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

In this two to three week module, students explore short-term climate variability resulting from atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions. The module promotes awareness of past and contemporary cultures and regions strongly affected by permanently altered or increasingly uncertain climates as students consider human adaptation to climate fluctuations. Students investigate the dynamics and impacts associated with climate variability by examining and analyzing atmosphere, ocean, and ice data; completing a series of readings; and engaging in group discussions. Materials and teaching descriptions for gallery walks, interactive discussions, group work, and lab exercises are provided.


Earth's Thermostat Banner 3
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Earth's Thermostat Banner 3[creative commons]
Provenance: NASA
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Earth's Thermostat

Alison Dunn (Worcester State College), Bob MacKay (Clark College), Phillip Resor (Wesleyan University); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

In this two to three week module, students investigate the various factors that affect the global climate system including solar flux, greenhouse gases, and volcanic aerosols, as well investigating feedbacks within the climate system. They then investigate spatial variability in the Earth's radiation budget and how the atmosphere acts to redistribute heat around the globe. Finally, students synthesize what they have learned by predicting the climatic and societal impacts of a major volcanic eruption and comparing this climate event to greenhouse gas-driven climate change.


Woman carries water home
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A woman from Nanegaon in the Kolwan Valley west of Pune carries water home past the heavily-fertilized sugarcane fields near her community's open well.[creative commons]
Provenance: Photo by Daniel Bachhuber and accessed via Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielbachhuber/3142801676
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Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources

Adriana Perez (Dona Ana Community College), Jill S. Schneiderman (Vassar College), Meg Stewart (Independent instructional technologist), Joshua Villalobos (El Paso Community College); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

Despite the fact that most people would agree that water is a shared resource, few think about who gets what share of fresh water. 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 fresh water. This is accomplished by framing the water science within theories of environmental justice defined by the US 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."

ag_banner4
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ag_banner4[creative commons]
Provenance: Manu; https://www.flickr.com/photos/seven_of9/
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A Growing Concern: Sustaining Soil Resources through Local Decision Making

Sarah Fortner (Wittenberg University), Martha Murphy (Santa Rosa Junior College), Hannah Scherer (Virginia Tech); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

Continued agricultural productivity and the ability to feed the earth's growing population hinges on understanding how to manage soil resources. This module will address this need by providing students the opportunity to examine the differences between intensively managed agricultural landscapes (e.g. grazelands, conventional tillage) and "natural" landscapes (forested or prairie) landscapes. Using learning-centered strategies, students will develop a working knowledge of soil physical properties and geospatial data at both local and global scales. The module culminates with a project centered on making sustainable soil management decisions under global climate change.

Homestake Gold Mine
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Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, SD[creative commons]
Provenance: Photo by Travis S. and accessed via Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/baggis/5156621907/in/photostream/
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Humans' Dependence on Earth's Mineral Resources

Prajukti (Juk) Bhattacharyya (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater), Joy Branlund (Southwestern Illinois College), Leah Joseph (Ursinus College); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

This 2-3 week module engages students in exploring where products they use come from and what it took to produce them. Students learn about rocks and minerals, methods of discovery and extraction, and the impact of mineral resource use. Geoscience concepts are taught in the context of societal issues while also asking students to confront concerns such as environmental justice, economics, personal choice, and politics that may arise due to obtaining, transporting, trading, using, and disposing of natural resources.

vesuvius
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vesuvius[creative commons]
Provenance: Oliver-Bonjoch (wikimedia)
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Living on the Edge: Building resilient societies on active plate margins

Laurel Goodell (Princeton), Peter Selkin (University of Washington-Tacoma), Rachel Teasdale (California State University, Chico); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

This module, intended to take two weeks in an introductory-level class, is divided into three units that focus on geologic hazards and associated risks at representative plate boundary settings: transform, divergent and convergent. Students are assumed to be familiar with the basics of plate tectonics, including the general characteristics of plate boundaries, but an introductory unit is provided for students to obtain the needed background.

Although designed to be used in the sequence transform->divergent->transform, each plate boundary unit is adaptable for use on its own. Each plate boundary unit is designed to be equivalent to two one-hour class sessions and includes: a) accounts of historically important earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions that have occurred in that setting, b) exploration and interpretation of scientific data related the geologic processes responsible for the geologic hazard(s), c) analysis of the effects on and risks to human populations, and d) development of strategies to mitigate risks. At the end of each unit, student learning is assessed by their application of unit content to a new location in a similar plate boundary setting.


Photo of Hurricane Isabel from ISS
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Photo of Hurricane Isabel from ISS [reuse info]
Provenance: Image courtesy of Mike Trenchard, Earth Sciences & Image Analysis Laboratory , Johnson Space Center from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Isabel#mediaviewer/File:Hurricane_Isabel_from_ISS.jpg
Reuse: This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.

Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes

Josh Galster (Montclair State University), Lisa Gilbert (Williams College), Joan Ramage (Lehigh University); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

Making the difficult decision to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall can save lives and property. This two week module explores how hurricanes connect the ocean-atmosphere-terrestrial systems and society. Students evaluate how hurricane hazards and risks have changed with coastal development. Students use data to track historic hurricanes and compare the impacts from different hurricanes. The module culminates in a role-playing activity in which students identify and represent stakeholders facing hypothetical evacuation in their town.


Gray whale
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Gray whale[creative commons]
Provenance: Michelle Kinzel, Southwestern College
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Ocean Sustainability

Michelle Kinzel (San Diego Community College), Astrid Schnetzer (North Carolina State University), Cara Thompson (Santa Monica College); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

This two to three week module introduces students to the importance of oceans, basic ocean processes, and impacts of human activity on ocean health. It aims to increase awareness of our dependence on and responsibility for the largest habitat on Earth. Materials encourage systems thinking by addressing physical, chemical, geological, and biological aspects of the oceans. Students study the oceans from these multiple perspectives using scientific data and engaging activities designed to support higher-level thinking.


Systems Thinking Banner
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Systems Thinking Banner[creative commons]
Provenance: Martin Sharman, accessed via Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sharman/4570412801
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Systems Thinking

Lisa Gilbert (Williams College), Deborah Gross (Carleton College), Karl Kreutz (University of Maine); Editor: David McConnell (North Carolina State University)

This module prepares students to address complex systems issues for a sustainable future by 1) identifying the parts of a system and explaining how the parts interact, 2) developing skills to model complex systems using data and examples relevant to the course and 3) applying a systems approach to evaluate a societal challenge. This InTeGrate module fills a key need to educate students about the importance of the systems approach, uses examples that involve data and the construction and manipulation of systems models, and helps students approach complex, interdisciplinary problems.




Teacher Preparation Course Material

Modules aimed at courses for pre-service teachers including both content courses (usually taught in science departments) and methods courses. Read more...

students looking at weather data
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students looking at weather data[creative commons]
Provenance: Photo Credit: Patrick Mansell (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstatelive/5734037619/)
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Exploring Geoscience Methods

Jim Ebert (SUNY Oneonta), Scott Linneman (Western Washington University), Jeff Thomas (Central Connecticut State University); Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University)

This 1-4 week module provides pre-service secondary science teachers the opportunity to use and reflect on geoscientific thinking. Students compare geoscience methods with the stereotypical experimental scientific method, use methods of geoscience to explore human impacts of global climate change, and develop interdisciplinary lessons that embed geoscientific thinking and content in a variety of disciplines.

Flooded street sign in Moorhead, MN
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Traffic sign surrounded by floodwater from Red River of the North at Moorhead, MN. Photo taken at 2nd Ave and 3rd St, Moorhead, MN. [reuse info]
Provenance: Don Becker, USGS http://gallery.usgs.gov/photos/03_24_2010_l52Sjw7IId_03_24_2010_0#.U-Uj4yQQwcs
Reuse: This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.

Interactions between Water, Earth's Surface, and Human Activity

Sue DeBari (Western Washington University), Julie Monet (CSU, Chico), Kyle Gray (University of Northern Iowa); Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University)
This 2 week module focuses on water and its importance to humans, both as a limited resource and in shaping Earth's surface. Student activities include using simplified physical models of complicated systems, utilizing Google Earth data and images, and working with real hydrological data sets. While aimed at content courses for pre-service teachers, the module can be adapted to other undergraduate introductory geoscience or environmental science courses.

ag_banner2
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ag_banner2[reuse info]
Provenance: USDA
Reuse: This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.

Soils, Systems, and Society

Kathryn Baldwin (Eastern Washington University), Jennifer Dechaine (Central Washington University), Rodger Hauge (Eastern Washington University), Gary Varrella (Washington State University); Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University)
This 3 week module was designed to fill a gap in the K-8 science curriculum while also enhancing preservice teachers' content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge about soils. This inquiry-based module incorporates local problem solving skills, promotes systems and geoscientific thinking and incorporates interdisciplinary connections between earth, life, and physical systems.



Materials that Extend Teaching About the Earth beyond Geoscience Programs

Modules and courses focused on teaching about the Earth beyond geoscience courses, including teaching about Earth and sustainability with a humanities or social science lens and materials that bridge engineering, sustainability and the geosciences. Read more...

Drought
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The Victorian side of Lake Hume, about 5km to Hume Weir.[creative commons]
Provenance: Photo by Tim J Keegan and accessed via Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/suburbanbloke/381634787
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Cli-Fi: Climate Science in Literary Texts

Jennifer Hanselman (Westfield State University); Rick Oches (Bentley University); Jennifer Sliko (Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg); Laura Wright (Western Carolina University); Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University)

This 3 week module addresses climate literacy - both understanding of climate science through data analysis and interpretation, and understanding of literary tools and techniques through which climate science is portrayed. The module is designed to for introductory natural science classes where literature is not typically included as well as in humanities classes where climate change science is not normally addressed. Students engage in activities that address both climate change science and climate change literature.


Ecosystem Services 3
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Bioretention / bioswale in median of Grange Avenue in Greendale, Wisconsin. Photo taken July 2010, by Aaron Volkening.[creative commons]
Provenance: Aaron Volkening, accessed via Flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/87297882@N03/7994696125
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources

Ed Barbanell (University of Utah), Meghann Jarchow (University of South Dakota), John Ritter (Wittenberg University); Editor: David Gosselin (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)

This 3 week module introduces students to ecosystem services as a way of integrating the components of the hydrologic cycle as a system, synthesizing the interaction between the hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, and linking those processes to the needs and aspirations of particular communities in particular places. By the end of the module, students will be equipped to actively engage in the public dialogues that are typically part of the process, from understanding and analyzing a problem to presenting reasonable solutions from particular stakeholders' perspectives.


Module cover for Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Spanish - flipped
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Amazon River. Photo modified from Christian Cruzado (flipped horizontally from original).[creative commons]
Provenance: Original photo by Christian Cruzado, and accessed via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/53302359@N07/19979251995/
Reuse: This item is offered under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ You may reuse this item for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and offer any derivative works under a similar license.

Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources - Spanish Adaptation

Ruth Hoff (Wittenberg University); Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University). Adapted from the Environmental Justice and Freshwater Resources Module.

This 3 week module for Spanish-language students explores the freshwater components of the hydrologic cycle and connects 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."


Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception Banner
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Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception Banner[creative commons]
Provenance: Kate Darby, Western Washington University
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Mapping the Environment with Sensory Perception

Kate Darby (Western Washington University); Lisa Phillips (Illinois State University); Michael Phillips (Illinois Valley Community College; Editor: Anne Egger (Central Washington University).

This 2-3 week module connects students' personal sensory experiences to environmental data collected and analyzed by geoscientists, cultural impacts documented by social scientists, and the communication of environmental conditions and advocacy for remedial action crafted by rhetoricians. Mapping sensory impacts will help students develop an understanding of how contaminants move through the natural environment; how data is collected to identify contaminants, monitor movement, and identify sources; and how individuals living in proximity to environmental hazards are directly impacted by those hazards.


View of flooded New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
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View of flooded New Orleans, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina[reuse info]
Provenance: Commander Mark Moran, of the NOAA Aviation Weather Center, and Lt. Phil Eastman and Lt. Dave Demers, of the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, all commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps, flew more than 100 hours surveying Katrina’s devastation. Eastman piloted NOAA’s Bell 212 Twin Huey Helicopter from August 31 to September 19. All three men took dozens of aerial photos from an altitude of several feet to 500 feet. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katrina-new-orleans-flooding3-2005.jpg
Reuse: This item is in the public domain and maybe reused freely without restriction.

Map Your Hazards! – Assessing Hazards, Vulnerability and Risk

Brittany Brand (Boise State University), Pamela McMullin-Messier (Central Washington University), Melissa Schlegel (College of Western Idaho); Editor: David Gosselin (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)

This 3 week interdisciplinary module provides students an interactive mechanism to engage in place-based exploration of natural hazards, social vulnerability, risk and the factors that shape their community's perception of natural hazards and risk. Students integrate interdisciplinary geoscience and social science methodologies to understand societal impacts that result from natural hazards.


Chicago panorama
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Chicago skyline July 2009. Photo by Sean Nicholl.[creative commons]
Provenance: Photo by Sean Nicholl and accessed via flickr.com: https://www.flickr.com/photos/luckynicholl/3792804929/in/photolist-a8gsVL-9ZgeSQ-9ZadbR-9X75Pm-9ZfqDK-ph2X4M-oZPW34-pfhaqj-pfi1Lo-phkhNr-phhXxy-oZQoDo-pfiaLY-phhkbA-4zVys1-oiCFyK-9VJWWq-daAqEe-xEcGeE-cssfnJ-pExjqk-4QSosj-a3LZs2-bxVawi-4QUGGB-6Ma7Lr-nigVPs-3oiKJm-6Vr4wS-9XxqWf-4Un5yq-8gXE1C-cjuX8G-cjuQUN-cjvvYC-cjvfkE-cjuZ3E-piAV9-un61wh-6xpREg-6xtZJW-dGaSHa-w8m7zk-7QbGNu-bNRR36-7PYLUC-69T5iH-6gGVG4-aCAgsb-3SLVQ
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Water Sustainability in Cities

Steven Burian (University of Utah), Manoj Jha (North Carolina A&T University), Gigi Richard (Colorado Mesa University), Marshall Shepherd (University of Georgia); Editor: John Taber (IRIS Consortium)

This 3 week module highlights the benefits of the interconnections of geoscience, engineering, and other disciplines in the pursuit of water sustainability in cities. Lessons use data-driven exercises and the flipped classroom pedagogical approach to address the grand challenge of water system sustainability in cities, and material includes aspects of hydrologic and atmospheric processes, clean water, low-impact development, green infrastructure, flood risk, and climate variability.




Interdisciplinary Distance Learning Courses

Courses that can be conducted fully-online, blended, or face-to-face, that emphasize the grand challenges of climate change, energy, sea level rise, water supply and natural hazards. These courses incorporate a focus on the use of predictive models to forecast changes and the impact of mitigation efforts. Read more...

Coastal Hazards Course Banner InTeGrate
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Coastal Hazards Course Banner InTeGrate[reuse info]
Provenance: Photo from iStockPhoto.
Reuse: If you wish to use this item outside this site in ways that exceed fair use (see http://fairuse.stanford.edu/) you must seek permission from its creator.

Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society

Sean Cornell (Shippensburg University), Duncan Fitzgerald (Boston University), Mark Kulp (University of New Orleans), Dinah Maygarden (University of New Orleans), Ioannis Georgiou (University of New Orleans), Brent Yarnal (Penn State University); Editor: Timothy Bralower (Pennsylvania State University)

This blended and online course provides students with a global perspective of coastal landscapes, the processes responsible for their formation, diversity, and change over time, as well as societal responses to current changes in the coastal zones around the world. Active learning elements include analyzing real data sets and applying critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real-world coastal issues that affect human populations. Students complete a capstone project in which they integrate the key elements of the units in a systems thinking framework. The course comprises twelve week-long modules. Since there is no textbook that covers the course topics, the materials for students are the backbone of the course. The materials for teachers provide useful information on how to make the most of the student materials.




Materials in Development

Read more about the InTeGrate materials development process and materials currently in development.

  • Changing Biosphere module
  • Earth Modeling course
  • Energy, Environment, and Our Future course
  • Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities module
  • Food Security module
  • Future of Food course
  • Gateway to Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability (GREENS) course
  • Introduction to Critical Zone science course
  • Lead in the Environment module
  • Major Storms and Community Resilience module
  • Regulating Carbon Emissions to Mitigate Climate Change module
  • Water: Science and Society course
  • Water, Agriculture, and Sustainability module
Learn more about these materials »

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