How To Keep the Lid From Blowing Off Mammoth Mountain
Due to recent seismic activity in the Mammoth Lakes area, the United States Government is considering beginning to buy back all lands in the affected seismic area using the process of Eminent Domain. They explain their concern as humanitarian, given the large potential for death and destruction in the event of a volcanic eruption. As you can imagine, opinions on this matter are as diverse as the topography of the mountain itself. The Department of the Interior has scheduled a town meeting in 30 days where all affected parties will have an opportunity to state their position and have their concerns addressed. After this meeting, the government will render its decision.
There are six groups scheduled to present their opinions at the meeting. They are as
In order for you to continue your research, you should read Will There Be a Mammoth Volcanic Eruption on Mammoth Mountain?
Your task is to research, develop and present a proposal to the members of the Department of the Interior from the position of your assigned group. Your proposal should demonstrate the following:
An accurate understanding of the role of your group, demonstrated by answering the questions as they reflect your group's viewpoint.
An understanding of the delicate situation of the people and the government regarding this situation.
Be sure to stay within these guidelines.
Answer each question from the perspective of the group you are representing.
Understand the positions of the other groups so you take their views into account when developing your argument.
Present the findings of your group to the Department of the Interior investigating committee choosing points that will defend and enrich your position.
There are a multitude of resources available to you online in the form of Internet sites and
access to related individuals via electronic mail. Depending on the research you are seeking,
here are some related sites to get your research started:
While researching your information, keep in mind that the government committee is only trying to prevent a potentially devastating act of nature from destroying life and property. Stick only to the facts that concern your group and your viewpoint. While emotional presentations do have their place, the Department of Interior committee is only concerned with the facts.
Before beginning the assignment, brainstorm with your class the qualities of an excellent presentation and written report to the Department of Interior committee might look like. Create a scoring rubric. The rubric should include at least the following indicators:
accuracy and depth of research
proper content from the perspective assigned to the team
This activity is designed for students to gain an awareness of the role of the Executive Branch of the federal government and the role it can play in the daily lives of the people. Students should realize that these government bureaus not a faceless institutions, but rather are made up of people whose responsibility it is balance the rights of individuals while at the same time protecting the common welfare.
Answer two of the following questions:
1. What role should the government play concerning national disasters?
2. If a person chooses to live in Mammoth Lakes, knowing he/she is buying property on top of a volcano, should the government have to provide disaster relief funds in the event of a volcanic disruption?
3. In a free country, should the government be allowed to tell people where to live?
Grade 12 -Unit 7
Grade 9 - Geography
Students develop an understanding of the various roles of the federal government, its relationship to local government and its responsibilities to the people.
H/SS Content Standards Grade 12
12.7 Students analyze and compare the powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments, in terms of:
1. how conflicts between levels of government and branches of government are resolved
2. the major responsibilities and sources of revenue for state and local governments
5. how public policy is formed, including the setting of the public agenda and how it is carried out through regulations and executive orders
6. the process of lawmaking at each of the three levels of government, including the role of lobbying and the media.
Historical and Social Science Analysis Skills Grades 9-12
Research, Evidence and Point of View
4. Students construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in oral and written presentations.
Language Arts Standards Grade 12
Listening and Speaking
Length of lesson
Two weeks should be sufficient to accomplish most tasks related to this lesson. If you choose to have your students use email as a component, please allow for more time.
You could preface this lesson by having students view the video 'Dante's Peak.' Your class must have access to the Internet and a policy in place for email. A selection of library books on volcanoes would also be helpful.
Science/Language Arts: Students should easily be able to connect how science and government can and do interact.
Adaptations for Special Need Students