A collaborative research project was developed for a multidisciplinary class of advanced undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in Sociology of Natural Resources and the Environment. The goals of the project were to determine the feasibility of offering an experiential learning opportunity and to explore its usefulness in enhancing students’ thinking about the social constructedness of natural resource and environmental (NRE) problems. The context was the Mobile Bay watershed, which is the site of a variety of concerns such as land use, pollution, and habitat destruction. To explore these types of problems, students completed a series of assignments including a media analysis, an annotated bibliography, several peer reviews, and a poster. Evaluation found that the project was not entirely successful for teaching and learning about the role of the media in shaping and defining NRE problems, but it was very successful for teaching and learning about rural sociology more broadly.
Worosz, Michelle. 2009. "The Mobile Bay Watershed Project: An Experiment in Collaborative Learning about the Social Construction of Environmental and Natural Resource Problems." Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 24(3): Article 5. Available at: https://egrove.olemiss.edu/jrss/vol24/iss3/5