Module 9:

The objective for this module is simply to explore human impacts related to the areas of study completed thus far. It is our hope that you will take the ideas and issues presented within this module and begin to ask deeper questions related to both the science evidence and the social and political landscape related to those impacts. When one begins to study the effect of humans on the environment, the sinking feeling that all is lost can take root. Keeping perspective and approaching issues from a problem-solving mindset are important while delving into these topics.

For the classroom and your personal study, it is important to also examine the positive impacts that humans have had on our environment. An excellent case-study pointing to how powerful active, informed groups of citizens can be is living and breathing in Butte, Montana and down the Clark Fork Basin. The restoration efforts that have been underway for the past ten years point to how we humans can change and mold our environment for the better. There are many other examples of humans creating positive change such as dam removals, community-wide recycling efforts, restoration of wetlands, litter clean-up campaigns, beach restoration, and countless others. The point is to be mindful that we have problems, and ignoring those problems won’t make them better. Rather, diligent study and understanding of the problem, informed decision-making, and creative problem-solving are the keys to change.

It is our sincere hope that teachers and students will use the knowledge and skills presented throughout this course as a springboard for studying their local environments. We believe that an active, engaged group of students who are armed with solid science methods can create positive change within their local community. We aspire to develop future stewards of this precious planet we call home. We are certain that solutions to the world’s problems are within the minds of those who sit within your classrooms. Expect greatness from them and foster creativity within them. Allow the process of site study to demonstrate that they have a voice, are capable of designing creative solutions, and have a responsibility to inform others. Please be wise as you touch their hearts with this subject and leave them with hope that they can do better. We look forward to the changes you will inspire!


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The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.