Photos from the week

Audubon/AMBIENT Poster






























































Environmental Justice :

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Audubon AMBIENT Module Schedule

Day One - Introduction to Virginia Key and Environmental Justice

"Introduction to the AMBIENT Team"
Brief overview of AMBIENT curriculum, introductions to personnel, and the Audubon AMBIENT Environmental Justice Module activities.

 "Butts 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.

"What 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 and regulation.

Risk Assessment Exercise
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

Introduction 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.

Mapmaking Activity
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 one presented.

Virginia Key Satellite Zoom Video (AVI File)

Virginia 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

Drowning 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 PowerPoint Presentation

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.  

Environmental Justice
A Environmental Justice Speaker discusses local case histories of environmental justice. Students perform a career interview.

Environmental 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.

Saving Our Backyard
The 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.

Sewage Treatment Plant Tour/Matrix Exercise
Students tour the V. K. sewage treatment facility and complete the exercise identifying what type of wastewater receives what treatment and where outflows occur.

Oral History Exercise
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

Speaker: Mabel Miller on Personal History of VK

Final Debate/Role Play
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.