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Project Scope

The Environmental Science Activities for the 21st Century (ESA21) Project is a consortium of colleges and universities whose purpose is to create environmental science activities that allow students to investigate their impact on the environment. By studying their impact, students are able to see that they have a place in the ecosystem and are better able to understand how to reduce the harmful effect that they might have on it. The current consortium is made of faculty from Kennesaw State University (project headquarters), Bowling Green State University, Community College of Baltimore County, and the University of Southern Mississippi. This project is being funded under the auspices of NSF CCLI DUE-0088723 and 0231171 grants.

The activities developed for the project are grouped into multi-week modules based around major topics in environmental science. The modules are designed to supplement environmental science courses with existing laboratory components or provide course activities for traditional and online courses that lack a laboratory component. The activities hybridize online and wet-lab exercises to take advantage of both formats, and utilize existing, high-quality materials from the Internet, many of which are mirrored on the project web site to minimize accessibility issues. The modules emphasize lifestyle examination, ethical considerations and critical analysis of individual contributions to large-scale regional and global impacts. This allows students to see their place in the environment and how lifestyle changes can facilitate greater environmental sustainability. Some of the specific topics covered emphasize atmospheric science, climatology, mathematics, hydrology, human geography, geophysics, geochemistry, geology, mineralogy, soil science, ecology, carbon cycle, Newton's Second Law, water use, plate tectonics, ozone, earthquakes, fossil fuels, solar energy, wind energy, air pollution, acid rain, oil, coal and natural gas.

Each activity in the collection is comprised of an introduction that places the issue under discussion in context, links to additional sources of information on the Internet, and an experiment that uses hands-on, field, and/or Internet resources to investigate some aspect of the issue. Some of these activities are designed to provide background information on the topic, while others have the students measure some aspect of their life to see what their impact is. Each module comes with a capstone activity that allows the students to investigate what changes they can make in their life to either reduce their impact on the environment or their environment's impact on them.

Due to the differing writing and teaching styles of the different authors on the project, there are some slight differences in each activity's materials. However, these differences are extremely minor and should not affect the quality of the educational value of each activity. All of the activities have been reviewed by multiple scientists and educators to ensure that the materials are correct and usable. If users do find errors in these activities, or if users have suggestions to improve the activities, please contact either Matt Laposata or John Pratte with your comments.

Metadata generated by the project has the following copyright: Copyright (c) 2006 Kennesaw State University

Metadata may used by DLESE (Digital Library for Earth System Education) at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). DLESE may modify, reformat, and redistribute metadata to function within DLESE systems and services.

The collection is expected to exist indefinitely as long as the materials are current and useful to the community. Materials and activities that become obsolete will be removed and cease to exist.