Integrating Web-based Activities and Site-based Experiences to Investigate Environmental Issues [chapter]

Alec M. Bodzin
2010 The Inclusion of Environmental Education in Science Teacher Education  
This chapter describes how the Environmental Education (EE) course at Lehigh University uses a hybrid approach of instruction using Web-based activities and face-to-face site-based experiences to primarily focus on the study of environmental issues in the Lehigh River watershed. Course activities are discussed to illustrate how technology can be used effectively to support EE teaching and learning with prospective and current science teachers. Site visits to areas of environmental concern
more » ... t and extend the environmental education concepts and skills that are initially developed with Web-based materials. Course activities provide teachers with an in-depth content understanding of local environmental issues as well as opportunities to explore pedagogical strategies to promote issues-based approaches to learning. Course materials also take advantage of easily available geospatial information technologies to foster spatial literacy in the curriculum and support learners with the ability to make use of data visualizations for analysis and interpretation when examining environmental issues such as sprawl and land use decision-making. Advantages to using Web-enhanced learning environments for EE instruction are discussed. Important reserves of oil, gas, and minerals lie deep beneath the seafloor; however, prospecting and drilling for these poses a major threat to sensitive marine habitats and species. Rising energy prices coupled with growing concerns about global warming have sharpened the debate over government funding for offshore drilling versus investing in renewable energy. Dead zones where fish and most marine life can no longer survive are spreading across the continental shelves of the world's oceans at an alarming rate as oxygen vanishes from coastal waters. Scientists point to tons of nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers that run-off from farms and spill into rivers, streams, and bay as well as by fallout from power plants that burn fossil fuels as contributing factors to these dead zones (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008) .
doi:10.1007/978-90-481-9222-9_22 fatcat:xdbv3h5vknhvrb3jrzfqbdwhgy