Problem Solving Activity III

(30-60 minutes)

Students work individually on computers, but have an associated group of 4-5. This activity is best performed on laptops (students can work in pairs if not everyone has a laptop) or in a computer lab.

Part A (20-30 minutes): Explore the EPA’s Water website (links above). Look at what the EPA recommends as individual actions to protect water and what collective actions are proposed (both in the form of regulations and incentive programs).

Consider one of the human impacts to campus watersheds that have been discussed in this module. Using information and arguments from the readings, website, PowerPoint, and class discussions, answer the following questions:

  1. Which of your personal actions affect the watershed? What can you do in your personal life to mitigate those effects?
  2. When might collective actions be called for? Provide examples. If collective action is necessary, is incentive or regulation more appropriate? Why?
  3. Are some human impacts unavoidable? Why or why not?
  4. How do you motivate the Athens community to mitigate or minimize the impact of this disturbance?

Part B (next class period or latter half of class): Use your computer to create a presentation of your answers to these questions to be presented to your group during the next class period (or at the end of class, depending on how long class lasts).

Creative Activity

Draw/describe how different the ecosystems at UGA would be without the human-induced watershed impacts we see (including impervious surfaces, channelization, pollution [point and nonpoint source], and invasive species). Evidence can be an essay, artistic piece, policy, social situation, or any other appropriate assessment.

Exploration and Documentation

Students are to walk to pre-assigned regions of campus and document invasive species. Find five locations of invasive species growing on campus and identify the species, geotag the location and add to a map of campus. Discuss the following topics in a 1-2 page reflection paper. Are the invasive-exotic species growing wild or were they planted, what native species could be used instead, if invasive plants are present in a planted area or if the area is a natural area, how could the area be ecologically restored? What benefits would this have on the local environment (for birds, pollinators, reducing erosion, stream bank stabilization, etc.)?

Alternative Activity Topics: Research an additional invasive species and write how it impacts the environment.