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Michael Tessmer
Associate Professor
Chemistry Department
Southwestern College
PCBs in the Last Frontier: A Case Study on the Scientific Method

This interrupted case study is based on current research involving the global transport of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Students are asked to propose several hypotheses and experiments in an attempt to determine how PCBs are transferred globally. As the case unfolds, it becomes clear that the transport mechanism is more complicated than scientists first thought. The case requires minimal background knowledge and is suitable for major and non-major courses in biology, chemistry, and environmental science.

The Art of a Deal: A Kyoto Protocol Simulation

This case is a classroom simulation of the types of negotiations that went into the Kyoto Protocol agreement on limiting global greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed for an environmental science course for first-year college students with minimal science backgrounds. Groups of students represent various developed and developing countries as they negotiate an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. One of the main objectives is to show that a global problem requires a global solution, but this can be difficult when confounded by national interests. This objective makes the case potentially appropriate for other courses that deal with conflict resolution such as public policy courses, international relations, and certain business courses.