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Socio-environmental Synthesis: Linking Biology and Political Science Courses to Assess Hydroelectric Dam Relicensing

This module uses a “linked-classes” approach to teaching socio-environmental
synthesis. A three-week (6 class) module is taught in two different classes (one
in biology, one in policy studies). Students conceptualize and conduct research
around a common focal question from specific stakeholder/expert positions. Our
focal question was: “Should the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
relicense the hydroelectric dams on the Cowlitz River? If so, should the dams be
modified?” Using a two-step “jigsaw” approach, students first meet in their expert
group, then are mixed with students from both classes and all expert groups
together in a joint conference to address the original focal question. Students
submit final written assignments demonstrating their contribution of
expert/stakeholder knowledge and reflecting on the synthetic interaction in the
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Special Collection
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords abiotic factors, aquatic ecology, biocomplexity, biotic factors, community ecology, ecosystems, fisheries management, human impacts, landscape ecology, population ecology, stream ecology
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description The linked classroom approach brings together students from different disciplines working on different class contents to work together on a socio-environmental synthesis project. This module could be used by any two instructors teaching two different courses, one in biology or environmental science and the other in policy studies, political science or environmental sociology.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation School of the Environment and School of Biological Sciences
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Paul Thiers
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) School of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs
Added By Id
  • educationintern
Rights Gretchen Rollwagen-Bollens and Paul Thiers. 10 April 2017, posting date. Socio-environmental Synthesis: Linking Biology and Political Science Courses to Assess Hydroelectric Dam Relicensing Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 12: Practice #4 [online].
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2017-11-22
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2018-01-19 19:37:17
Last Modified By Id
  • educationintern
Date Last Modified 2018-07-18 09:47:58
Release Flag Published

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