Classroom Resources

Climate  |  Energy  |  Oceans  |  Biodiversity  |  Food and Agriculture  |  Policy and Business  |  International

In 2012, we revamped our Classroom Resources. Each pdf download includes the following:

SUMMARY QUESTIONS. These questions have fairly straightforward answers drawn from the text of the article. They could be assigned as a “pre-class”/”reading-check” assignment turned in before discussion of the article or topic to ensure that students have read the article.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS. These questions require additional thought beyond reading comprehension. They could be used as talking points to stimulate in-class discussion, or they could be assigned as a pre-class assignment for advanced students or as a turn-in assignment at the end of discussion to monitor participation.

ADVANCED ACTIVITIES. These are jumping-off points for in-class or take-home assignments. They often include a substantial outside research component where students (or groups) will need to find additional data, positions, stories, methods, etc. Many of the activities could be simplified into short discussion topic, or expanded into a course-long project. They are aimed at advanced undergraduate students, but can be modified for high-school or graduate students. These activities have a wide range in focus, such as population modeling, info-graphic design, economic analysis, policy development, and more.

BUILD YOUR OWN GLOSSARY. Most feature articles contain a small number of advanced, conservation-science words, phrases, or concepts that are (usually) defined by the author. Glossary terms could be assigned as a “in your own words” definition exercise. An in-class activity could include comparison, discussion, and consensus of definitions. Glossaries could be compiled and built over several articles throughout the duration of a course.

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Climate

purple pipes 300x198 Classroom Resources

Purple Pipes
. . . and other tales of innovative water conservation in unlikely places.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

ecoperception gap 300x198 Classroom Resources

The EcoPerception Gap
Why do we worry too much about some environmental risks and not enough about others?

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

making land 300x198 Classroom Resources

Making Land
Southern Louisiana is one of the world’s fastest disappearing landmasses. Cutting the losses may mean letting in the floods.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

efficiency catch 22 300x198 Classroom Resources

The Efficiency Catch-22
Some experts say that energy efficiency can slash carbon emissions at bargain prices. Others say, not so fast. The more energy we save, the more we use.

Classroom Resources

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Greener Pastures
What goes on in the stomachs and under the hooves of cows might be the key to turning deserts back into grasslands—and even cooling the planet.

Classroom Resources

more classroom resources for climate stories>>

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Energy

heirloom technology 300x198 Classroom Resources

Heirloom Technology
We buy and abandon costly, tantalizing, resource-intensive gadgets with remarkable speed. One way to break free is to rethink not only an object’s design but also how we use it. Example? Hand-crank your cell phone.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

changing the battery 300x198 Classroom Resources

Changing the Battery
As the world goes wireless and gears up for an all-electric roadway, the demand for lithium, crucial to all things mobile, could get dangerous—at least for the flamingos of Bolivia. But the future may hold a better, kinder battery—or maybe no battery at all.

Classroom Resources

efficiency catch 22 300x198 Classroom Resources

The Efficiency Catch-22
Some experts say that energy efficiency can slash carbon emissions at bargain prices. Others say, not so fast. The more energy we save, the more we use.

Classroom Resources

build a better fire 300x198 Classroom Resources

To Build a (Better) Fire
A kind of hippie Manhattan Project in rural Oregon tackles climate change, air pollution, and deforestation by bringing together the best minds in the field to invent cheap, durable, clean-burning stoves for 3 billion people.

Classroom Resources

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Building on the Fly
Could the bizarre, decentralized logic of insect architecture provide a blueprint for revolutionary and sustainable human habitat?

Classroom Resources

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Oceans

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The Oiliest Catch
Menhaden are modest little fish so rich in oil that they’re sometimes called the soybean of the sea. But scooping them up to fuel the omega-3 fish oil craze could pull the rug out from under the entire Atlantic coastal food chain.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

making land 300x198 Classroom Resources

Making Land
Southern Louisiana is one of the world’s fastest disappearing landmasses. Cutting the losses may mean letting in the floods.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

sea sick 300x198 Classroom Resources

Sea Sick
A gang of drug-resistant infections, presumably on the run from hospitals and landfills, is cropping up in marine mammals, weaving a web of disease that extends deep into the ocean.

Classroom Resources

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Garbage in, Garbage Out 
When a single swath of ocean contains more plastic than plankton, the simple act of taking out the trash becomes a grueling scientific challenge.

Classroom Resources

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Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
If, as researchers are predicting, carbon dioxide increases will lock in rising seas for a thousand years, then it’s time to consider some radical proposals that run headlong into conventional environmental wisdom.

Classroom Resources

more classroom resources for oceans stories>>

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Biodiversity

zoo futures 300x198 Classroom Resources

Zoo Futures
Caught between circuses, theme parks, museums, and menageries, zoos are struggling to be leaders in the conservation world. Getting there may mean letting some animals go.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

biodiversity under our skin 300x198 Classroom Resources

Letting Biodiversity Get under Our Skin
Some aspects of dirty living can be healthy. A new study posits that the decline of plant and animal diversity in cities may be linked to the recent surge of allergies and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

chasing rainbows 300x198 Classroom Resources

Chasing Rainbows
Lured by a utopian vision of nature, government agencies for decades carpet-bombed thousands of remote mountain lakes with billions of trout. Now, they’re determined to undo the damage they caused.

Classroom Resources

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Natural History Upgrade
Struggling to survive in the twenty-first century, naturalists might take a page from their own playbook: evolve, adapt—and use technology to woo people back to nature.

Classroom Resources

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Finding Genes That Fit
Desperate to break up the genetic monotony that cripples endangered species, researchers are outfitting populations with borrowed genes. The payoff is  survival. The price is uniqueness.

Classroom Resources

more classroom resources for biodiversity stories>>

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Food and Agriculture

fertility treatments 300x198 Classroom Resources

Fertility Treatments
When Fritz Haber first showed the world how to fix nitrogen from thin air, the results were earth-shattering. Synthetic fertilizer fueled the green revolution and set off a population bomb. Now, 100 years later, we need another soil fertility breakthrough—one without the ecological casualties.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

menhaden 300x198 Classroom Resources

The Oiliest Catch
Menhaden are modest little fish so rich in oil that they’re sometimes called the soybean of the sea. But scooping them up to fuel the omega-3 fish oil craze could pull the rug out from under the entire Atlantic coastal food chain.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

inside job 300x198 Classroom Resources

An Inside Job
John Edel, a Chicago entrepreneur, has transformed an abandoned meat-packing facility into the nation’s first vertical farm. His goal is to bring large-scale, net-zero-waste food production right into the middle of the city.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

closed source crops 300x198 Classroom Resources

Closed-Source Crops
A handful of giant corporations are laying claim to the germ plasm of the world’s major food crops. And when yield is the grail of profit, biodiversity isn’t a priority.

Classroom Resources

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Black Is the New Green
In a deft act of ecological jujitsu, Johannes Lehmann wants to borrow an 8,000-year-old technology to interrupt the natural carbon cycle and return some of the infamous black stuff to the soil.

Classroom Resources

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Policy and Business

purple pipes 300x198 Classroom Resources

Purple Pipes
. . . and other tales of innovative water conservation in unlikely places.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

heirloom technology 300x198 Classroom Resources

Heirloom Technology
We buy and abandon costly, tantalizing, resource-intensive gadgets with remarkable speed. One way to break free is to rethink not only an object’s design but also how we use it. Example? Hand-crank your cell phone.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

logging by number 300x198 Classroom Resources

Logging by Number
A technology borrowed from supermarket checkouts is poised to revolutionize rainforest conservation from Africa and Indonesia to Latin America.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

what tragedy 300x198 Classroom Resources

What Tragedy? Whose Commons?
Pastoralist PR is dreadful. In the classic cautionary tale, communal land ownership inevitably leads to overgrazing. But maybe the story’s got it wrong.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

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The Best Ideas Money Can Buy
The prize pool for environmental innovation challenges increased twelvefold in the past ten years—and shows no sign of easing up. But does crowd-sourcing solutions pay off for the world as well as for the winners?

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

more classroom resources for policy and business stories>>

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International

what tragedy 300x198 Classroom Resources

What Tragedy? Whose Commons?
Pastoralist PR is dreadful. In the classic cautionary tale, communal land ownership inevitably leads to overgrazing. But maybe the story’s got it wrong.

Classroom Resources (pdf)  |  Summary Questions worksheet (docx)  |  Discussion Questions worksheet (docx)

build a better fire 300x198 Classroom Resources

To Build a (Better) Fire
A kind of hippie Manhattan Project in rural Oregon tackles climate change, air pollution, and deforestation by bringing together the best minds in the field to invent cheap, durable, clean-burning stoves for 3 billion people.

Classroom Resources

conservation and poverty 300x198 Classroom Resources

Conservation and Poverty Reduction
In protected areas across the planet, locals are waiting for the benefits of conservation to improve their lives.  And waiting and waiting…

Classroom Resources

bringing the green back 300x198 Classroom Resources

Bringing the Green Back
Central Americans working abroad and sending money home are not only fueling their native economies—they’re also helping to bring the trees back.

Classroom Resources

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Confronting Corruption
When a fast-talking Israeli journalist became both father and sole enforcer of Cameroon’s wildlife-trafficking laws, he lifted the veil from the taboo subject of corruption in conservation.

Classroom Resources

more classroom resources for international stories>>

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