InTeGrate Modules and Courses >A Growing Concern > Community > Food Security Extension
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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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« InTeGrate: A Growing Concern Discussion

Food Security Extension  

Hi all! I've taught with this module twice now & each time I've built a stakeholder project that ties into the module for my students (1) exploring soil properties associated with rain gardens that make them favorable for holding water/reducing runoff & erosion, (2) improving food security/food access in urban food deserts. We've partnered with the stormwater coordinator & the Springfield Promise Neighborhood on these projects. The Springfield Promise Neighborhood is an alleviation project targeted at improving the lives of students at Lincoln Elementary, where 100% of students qualify for a free lunch.

Food deserts are areas with low income & low access to food (>1 mi from a grocery store in urban areas, > 10 mi in rural areas). The USDA offers mapping resources to explore the food deserts near your community. http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert For project 2, I had students examine the food deserts near a place that is important to them & surrounding our project site. This could exploration could also be done in larger classes as a think-pair-share with students learning a little about the diversity in food access from towns where they are from.

Also, if you teach a class that would like to bring in a multitude of topics that relate to food security, there are a great wealth of maps widely available (Google Search) that show other issues related to food security that could be looked at in addition to the erosion maps in Unit 3. These include: 1) demographic maps, 2) farm subsidy maps, 3) soil lead maps, 4) toxic release inventory maps, 5) fertilizer application maps, 6) groundwater availability maps, 7) drought forecast maps, 8) food price maps (retail)/food as a percentage of income. These are available at national to global scales. Small groups can consider the intersections between figures & identify the dominant threats to food security, or they could conduct additional research and small groups could discuss which threats are most pressing to solve first with evidence from case studies.

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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 »