To Cut or Not to Cut
Division of Molecular and Life Sciences
The topic of this debate case, developed for a course in “Issues in Environmental Biology,” is clear-cutting, a controversial method of harvesting and regenerating trees in which all trees are cleared from a site. Students debate the issue, assuming the roles of various stakeholders, including landowners, loggers, state foresters, soil conservation specialists, deer control specialists, and tree farm owners. After the debate, each student in the class must write an opinion paper on whether to clear-cut or not and give reasons that support their decision.
- Diiscuss both sides of a contemporary environmental issue.
- Understand how science is involved in producing data and information that is vital to making a decision.
- Write essay defending a position.
- See how the scientific method, equipment, data, and its results are used to solve everyday environmental problems.
- Interpret scientific data and apply it to understand and help solve an environmental problem.
KeywordsTree farming; clearcutting; clear cutting; timber; natural resource conservation; soil conservation; forest products; logging; deer management; white oak
Topical AreasScientific argumentation
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDebate, Role-Play
Subject HeadingsNatural Resource Management | Forestry | Environmental Science | Botany / Plant Science |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.