For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Water, Agriculture, Sustainability 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 students to your portal for the materials of InTeGrate's Water, Agriculture and Sustainability module! What you will find in this web page is all of the readings and assignments associated with the module. Each of these items will be framed by text written to highlight their context in terms of the broad topic of water sustainability as well as the learning objectives of this module and their place within it. You will see that the module is broken up into 5 distinct units, each with sub-units. The readings and assignments will be presented in order within this unit by unit framework. But first... what is this module all about?
This module provides a series of activities for you to assess the sustainability of our allocation and use of fresh water, particularly with regard to our agricultural practices. It will also challenge you, via an exploration of the virtual water concept and water footprinting, to consider your place in global water sustainability. In addition, the module will provide you and your classmates multiple opportunities to collaboratively evaluate and synthesize geoscience, ecological, human well-being, and economic information for water systems on global and regional scales.
Module Learning Goals
Upon completion of the module, you should be able to:
- Explain how fresh water availability and management practices pose threats to ecosystem integrity, human well-being, security, and agricultural production.
- Explain what goes into the calculation of virtual water amounts and water footprints and the application of these concepts.
- Explain what controls geographic variability in irrigation, groundwater mining, and ecosystem impacts of agriculture in the United States.
- Apply geoscience information and methods in interdisciplinary assessments of the sustainability of water systems.
Pre-Module Essay Assignment
Prior to beginning the module, you will be prompted to write an essay in response to the prompt in italics below. The goal is to help your instructor understand what you bring to the course with regard to your understandings of the concept of sustainability and challenges in water availability and quality. Your instructor will give you additional guidance on how to complete and submit your essay.
The prompt for the pre-module essay is as follows:
Before we dive into this course, the instructor wants to get an idea of what you already know about the interrelationships between water, agriculture, and sustainability. To help with this, please write 4-6 paragraphs in response to the following questions.
- In what ways do problems in water availability or quality vary from region to region?
- What are the objectives when striving for sustainability?
- How can we improve water sustainability for domestic and agricultural uses?
- How does any of this relate to you?
Please incorporate local or specific examples to support your points.
If you don't have much to share and don't know much about a topic, please reflect on why you think that is the case.
Responding to all four questions to the best of your ability. Your essay will be evaluated for legibility, clarity, organization, and college level grammar.
To access the materials for the rest of the module, click on the following links to each of the units of the module.