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The Ecological Footprint Dilemma


Author(s)

Bruno Borsari
Biology Department
Winona State University
bborsari@winona.edu

Abstract

Is it better to have a new parking lot on campus or use that space to develop a community garden? This is the issue presented in this "clicker case," which pulls students into the decision-making process. Students learn about concepts related to sustainability and the challenges of developing more sustainable life styles. They also calculate their ecological footprint. The case combines the use of  personal response systems (clickers) with case teaching methods and formats. It is presented in class using a series of PowerPoint slides (~800KB) punctuated by questions that students respond to before moving on to the next slide. Written for a non-majors introductory biology class, the case also is suitable for use in courses in ecology, environmental science, conservation biology, environmental studies, and general biology.


Objectives

  • Learn the concept of "ecological footprint."
  • Understand the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • Measure each individual's footprint.
  • Propose methods to develop a sustainable community after an analysis of the footprints generated by the class.

Keywords

Ecological footprint; natural resources; non-renewable resource; renewable resource; sustainability; sustainable development; carbon dioxide; global climate change; campus greening; environmental decision-making; environmental stewardship; bioethics

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type Methods

Clicker, Dilemma/Decision, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Earth Science  |   Natural Resource Management  |  


Date Posted

11/23/09

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Comments


Marianne Kot
mariannekot@gmail.com
Science
University of Phoenix
Las Vegas Nevada
03/10/2011
Excellent case.

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