A Systems Approach to Science -- Implementing Action in the Classroom

An inter-disciplinary systems approach can be an effective means for crisis intervention, environmental assessment, management and pollution control that can start in the classroom. This curriculum-based approach demonstrates scientific concepts and principles and the interaction within and among our natural and human systems. Designed to compliment coursework and initiate applied learning , this three-part series is designed to integrate standard science requirements with methods and benefits in Sustaining Watersheds and the People Who Need Them.

  1. Combining Disciplines in Science Learning: This material is geared as a reference for groups, individuals and agencies concerned with interdisciplinary secondary through university curriculum, for professional development in technical and field assistance, and for community awareness in the trade-offs and consequences of resource decisions that affect hydrologic systems. Through a unified management approach to the preservation of water quality, the flows of water that connect all water users can serve as a basis for the maintenance and protection our valuable watersheds.

  2. Science Inquiry: Disastrous conditions worldwide have triggered reactions in crisis relief rather than crisis prevention. An inter-disciplinary methodology is developed that specifically assesses risk to human health from resource use practices, and explores the similarities and interactions between our human needs and those of the ecosystems in which we all must live together.

  3. Integrating Community Issues in the Classroom: This community-based project demonstrates how our human resource demands can be managed within ecological constraints. Applicable to regions around the world, this unified approach is about our human and environmental qualities with user friendly concepts and how-to guides backed up by real life experiences. From the poorest parts of Africa to Urban France to the wealthiest state in the USA, examples from surface to groundwater to marine environments demonstrate how the links between vulnerable natural areas, and the basins that they support are integral to the availability, adequacy and accessibility of our drinking water.

  4. Instructor Training in Watershed Curriculum and Action-based Activities: The publication, "Water to Drink," is currently separated into distinct sections that can be applied directly into science inquiry, resource analysis and field activities. Appropriate strategies can be designed according to age group and resource availability. This workshop is geared to the instructor who wants to use an applied systems approach and design appropriate activities to coincide with curriculum requirements.

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Balancing the quality of our environment with the quality of our health and well-being.
Ecosystem Hydrology, Community Health, Environmental Planning,
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