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AMBIENT Module Schedule
Day One - Introduction to Virginia Key and Environmental
to the AMBIENT Team"
Brief overview of AMBIENT curriculum, introductions to personnel, and the Audubon
AMBIENT Environmental Justice Module activities.
on the Beach"
An active, community service beach clean-up which includes categorization and
sampling of debris, as well as taking soil samples for later analysis for
heavy metals. Also includes video and photo documentation of the Virginia
Key Beach area for later inclusion in student presentations.
is Environmental Health?"
A problem based learning exercise that introduces the concept of how human
health is related to our environment. Contrasts ecological degradation
with human environmental health hazards. Elicits knowledge from the students
about what research they will need to do to understand health risks present
in a given location. Has students generating ideas about pollution, safety
hazards, occupational hazards, different populations (susceptible), routes
of exposure, bigger issues (e.g. global change), etc. How know if an environmental
health problem exists (ie. data, measurements, statistics, body count) about
exposures and health effects. Other sources of data include historical records
and changes over time (and record keeping) as well as land use issues and safety/clean
up issues (e.g. brownfields). Finally possible solutions from elimination to
education to learning to live with the issues and identification of responsibility
An exercise that asks students to identify and assess the seriousness
of various human health risks present on the Key. Students create
a chart ranking the "toxicity" and "routes of exposure"
for various potential harms and create a rough map of Virginia Key by
looking at traditional maps and Internet resources.
Day Two - Labs
to Remote Sensing
Will present a movie clip that shows remote sensing capabilities
("Enemy of the State" with Will Smith) followed by a discussion
of how this technology helps scientists and why it is important to the
general public. Then instructor describes the basics of remote
sensing (i.e. understanding the color key and images produced) and introduces
some characteristics specific to Virginia Key.
With basic knowledge of remote sensing colors and images,
students will begin to make their own detailed maps. Instructor
will introduce a map done by a professional and will discuss remote
sensing images in more detail as students compare their maps to the
Key Satellite Zoom Video (AVI File)
Key Ground Truthing of Satellite Images
Students will travel by bus to 4 or 5 pre-selected sites on Virginia
Key. The students will have a satellite image of Virginia Key and will
answer specific questions related to each site. As they observe
the various sites, they will identify the images and describe the variations
in color shading as shown in the photos.
Water Quality Lab, Soil Analysis
Using commercially available kits students test soil, water
for microbial or heavy metal contamination, plot findings on students
emerging final map.
Day Three - In class
as an Environmental Health Issue
A brief explanatory lecture about drowning deaths in Florida.
Students identify areas on their map that present a drowning risk. Drowning
as an Environmental Health Issue (Part II)
Students complete an exercise in which they analyze raw publicly
available statistics to identify demographic groups at particular risk
of drowning in Florida. Students graph data, analyze tables,
and make hypotheses about their findings.
A Environmental Justice Speaker discusses local case histories
of environmental justice. Students perform a career interview.
Justice Critical Reading Exercise
Students compare two popular press articles discussing
an environmental justice conflict in Louisiana. Students identify
facts vs. opinion and discuss how an author makes an argument. Students
identify the political slant or perspective of a given source.
Environmental Racism Hoax
Day Four - Field Experience
Sewage Treatment/Wastewater Lecture
Students take notes on a lecture describing the water treatment
process as it happens at the V.K. Plant. Students also need to
interview Dr. Solo-Gabriel about her career path, background.
Treatment Plant Tour/Matrix
tour the V. K. sewage treatment facility and complete the exercise
identifying what type of wastewater receives what treatment and where
Students read a segment of an oral history about V.K. Beach and its
past as a "colored only" beach. Students read about
techniques for collecting oral histories and develop a research plan
and five open-ended questions to help them record family oral history
about memories of Virginia Key Beach, or another place that figures
prominently in their "family's story". Students then have
a speaker from Virginia Key Beach Park Trust speak to them about environmental
justice issues in Miami, and the context of the civil rights movement.
Virginia Key Readings
Day Five - Final Presentations
Mabel Miller on Personal History of VK
Students debate the question "Should Virginia Key Beach
be reopened to the public?" while taking on roles of the major
stakeholders. Students will use props and represent varying viewpoints
based on their research using the map that has been annotated with
the findings of their research throughout the week.