Education

Landuse and Landscape socioecology in the mediterranean basin

A Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Long-Term Interaction of Human and Natural Systems


Download: Teacher's Guide to the Medlands Project


Computer Modeling in the Classroom
1 day, can be adapted for a Social Studies, Science or Technology class

  • Students will use the computer model designed by the Medlands team to determine how the choices made by Neolithic populations can help us make more sustainable decisions for the future. Using this cutting-edge technology, the model will visually present human populations growing and shrinking and graph changes in the biodiversity of the land. 
  • Students will follow the model and respond to focused questions in a worksheet.

Changing Landscapes: Arizona through Time 
1 day or 2 with extension activity, Social Studies/Geography class

  • By reading a historical story about Arizona land use through time and filling in a timeline based on the information provided, students will learn how peoples’ actions change the environment and how these changes affect how people live and sustain their populations. 
  • Students can also read the article provided about the pros and cons of farming in Arizona today and debate the issue in their own classroom.

Universal Soil Erosion Equation 
1 day, Science, Math or Social Studies class

  • Replacing variables based on soil type and environmental factors in an algebraic equation, students will determine the rate at which soil erodes from different geographic areas. This information then will be used to find archaeological sites on maps created by the Medlands team using GIS software. Students can also locate these places on Google Earth to see what the actual landforms look like. 
  • Students will also be able to see how different farming decisions affect the rate of soil erosion in an area.

Human Decisions and Landscape Change 
Sample Maps 

2 days, Social Studies or Science class

  • In this two day lesson, photographs and information about specific places in the world will be used to teach students how peoples’ decisions all over the world affect the environment and food sources. 
  • Students will use world maps and maps of Maricopa County to see land use changes over time.

Neolithic Settlement Activity
2-3 days, Social Studies, Science class and/or Math class

Day 1, Social Studies or Science

  • Students will re-enact how Neolithic people chose geographic areas for their settlements based on a map created by the teacher. Each student will fulfill a role within a “tribe” and facilitate communication between other “tribes” to sustain their populations. 
  • Each group will decide how large and what shape the plots will be, then accurately measure them.

Day 2, Math class

  • Using the measurements obtained by the Social Studies or Science class during Day 1, students will calculate how to obtain the greatest area based on the amount of land needed for farming, grazing goats and housing. They will also graph the plot of land they created.

Neolithic Survivor
3 days, Science or Social Studies class

  • Students will run a live simulation of the computer model developed by the Medland’s team by pretending they are Neolithic farmers and making decisions about farming to try to sustain their populations. Students will choose their locations, collect “food” and finally graph their population numbers through time to see which group made the most sustainable decisions.
  • This game is played outside on a field. Plots of land are measured and marked to simulate different environments from which the students can choose.

Neolithic Survivor, Board Game
1 day, Science or Social Studies Class

  • Similar to the live action game, each group of students is given a game board divided into 16 plots. Each game board represents a different type of terrain that can produce more food every year, every other year, or every 3rd year. Dice are rolled to determine the number of people that can be fed by the amount of food produced on the land for that year. Plots are fertile for 5 years and fallow for 7. Plots that are fallow cannot sustain a population so those people must move. If there are no more plots on the game board, that part of the population can no longer be sustained. Chance cards introduced at intervals determined by the teacher offer both helpful and harmful environmental and technological changes like drought, flood and the use of mixed subsistence. 
  • Students will graph results and compare and contrast population trends on land that has a lot of resources (receives an additional food die to role every round), some resources (receives an additional food die to role every other round) and limited resources (additional food die every 3rd round).

contacts

Laura Swantek
School of Human Evolution + Social Change
Research Assistant, Mediterranean Landscape Dynamics Project
lswantek@asu.edu

Gina Hupton
Global Institute of Sustainability
Education Coordinator
gina.hupton@asu.edu




Monica Elser
Global Institute of Sustainability
Education Manager
mmelser@asu.edu
Phone: 480-727-0590


Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
Ċ
Sean Bergin,
Apr 28, 2014, 2:54 PM
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