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Topics Explored: Ecological and Economic Impact of Mining

This case study explores the Pebble Mine proposal, submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to mine one of the greatest stores of mineral wealth on the planet. The proposed mine site just happens to be located near the largest population of Sockeye salmon. The topic has been a heated debate and in November 2020 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made their final decision. How would you vote? Answer key included. Bristol Bay Watershed Image Credit: Michael Melford

Case Study: Pebble Mine (Teacher & Student Edition)

  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity. 
    HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    5.9 Describe natural resource extraction through mining. Describe ecological and economic impacts of natural resource extraction through mining.

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    Practice 1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    Practice 2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    Practice 3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues.  
    Practice 4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles.  
    Practice 5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    Practice 6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    Practice 7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB® Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:   
    2.7.2 Describe and evaluate methods for measuring changes in abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem due to a specific human activity.
    2.7.3 Describe and evaluate the use of environmental impact assessments (EIAs).

    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®. 

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