Initial Publication Date: May 10, 2006

Teaching Notes


This exercise is designed for students in introductory environmental geology courses (grades 11-12, undergraduate). However, it can be modified for students in upper level courses as well.

Learning Goals

Upon completion of this activity, students should be able to:
  • Produce maps, graphs and data tables containing information about the environmental health risks of a specified locale.
  • Find and use a variety of GIS-based, online mapping tools and databases.
  • Evaluate and use data (maps and raw data) in the context of an environmental health risk inventory.
  • Identify environmental health risks in a specific locale.
  • Complete an environmental health risk inventory.

Helpful Resources

Outcomes and Evaluation

  • This activity is formatted as a self-paced exercise where students print, record or save their data on a storage device. It is necessary that students have access to either a printer or a storage device in order to collect and submit their data.
  • As a secondary benefit, encouraging students to obtain and use data from the online mapping tools and databases helps to inform them about the resources available on the World Wide Web.
  • Finally, completing an environmental health risk inventory of their neighborhood is an empowering exercise for students. They will walk away from this activity as informed citizens who possess the skills to continue to be engaged and knowledgeable as they move into the future.