ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (S1 1415)
RECOMMENDED ACTIVITES & PROJECT
1. Compare your family size and resource consumption to that of your friends’ family. Make a table of the class data and generate some statistics (e.g., average family size, average water usage, and average number of household cars). Discuss all aspects of the findings. 2. “Adopt” a country and investigate various aspects of the nation’s physical, population, economic, social, political, and other characteristics as well as lifestyle and life quality. Discussion of research results. 3. Survey five of your friends and your family members to determine their worldview. Pool the class data and create a bar chart. Discuss factors that might affect a person’s worldview, such as age, profession, level of education or cultural or ethnic background. 4. Have your group debates saving the rainforests from a social, economic, and ecological perspective. Will sustaining the current rainforest be enough? Make suggestions and support these suggestions. 5. Define an ecosystem to study on campus or conservation zone (Can Gio mangrove forest), record the abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem. Draw food webs to show the relationships among species in the ecosystem. Project what might happen if pesticides were used in the ecosystem, if parts of the ecosystem were cleared for development, or if a coal-burning power plant were located upwind. 6. Evaluate the diversity of your community using criteria such as ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic groups; lifestyles; and industries, landscape features, and landscape forms. What elements of diversity have proved troublesome? What additional elements of diversity would improve your community? Discussion of research results. 7. Arrange a field trip to a nearby park or your campus providing opportunities to compare and contrast ecosystems of several different types, including some damaged or stressed by human activities. Can you identify factors that limit the growth of certain species? 8. Organize a field trip to systematically investigate the ecological niches for plant and animal life existing in a landscape significantly modified by human activities. If possible, arrange to travel along a gradient that will take you from farmland, to suburb, to city, to central business district. (A simplified version of this exercise could be done by walking around campus.) Discussion of research results. 9. Survey the marriage and childbearing intentions of your female friends. Find out at what age students’ mothers married and the number of children each had. Tally the results and compare them with recent trends in marriage age and total fertility. 10. Survey your friend to obtain age or lifespan information about their grandparents. Compare the results with the average life expectancy in Vietnam in the year 1950. Discuss major implications of these findings. 11. Research the environmental impact of the growing populations of less-developed countries and more-developed countries. For representative more-developed and less-developed countries, find data comparing the impact of children, compare population growth, project the responsibilities for environmental degradation by future human populations and collect data on the birth control policies. Hold a brainstorming session about strategies to control the human population. See if a consensus can be formed about appropriate strategies for limiting environmental damage of human populations. 12. Discuss local agricultural problems and opportunities. What major changes in agricultural practices are likely to occur in the coming decades? With what consequences? What types of farming activities are carried on in your locale? What is the balance between large and small farms? What are the major products? How much of the produce is used in local areas? How much is shipped out and where does it go? 13. Arrange a field trip to investigate organic farming practices. Discussion of...
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