Activity: Goals, Interactions, Outcomes

At this point it would be helpful for students to construct a graphic representation of the opposing values and goals defended by proponents of each aspect of our natural resource dilemma. A graphic representation of this type is sometimes called a 'Human Interaction Outline' (Refer to "Human Interaction Outline").

Setup and Procedures:

  1. Loose leaf or larger paper, some pens or markers and a few good ideas are all the materials necessary to begin.

  2. Good ideas can take the form of conflicting points of view regarding the use of our shared natural resources. It is important to stress the fact that we all use the same limited pool of resources and that understanding another's point of view is essential to the resolution of these types of problems.

  3. The educator should introduce some possible conflicts and serve as a facilitator throughout the resolution process, rather than one who supplies all the answers.

  4. The types of questions to ask are important in generating a knowledgeable understanding of opposing viewpoints and in reaching an agreeable conclusion.


("Refer to Goals, Interactions, Outcomes")


  • Who are the two groups involved?
    1. Commercial Fishermen (CF)
    2. Major Oil Company (MOC)]

  • What are their current goals?
    1. CF = Protect fisheries stocks to maximize catch
    2. MOC = Maximize oil production to meet current demands


  • Do these two groups conflict or cooperate?
  • What might happen in each scenario?


  • What might be some of the projected outcomes, given each group's attitudes and expectations?

What are our most precious natural resources?

What do you think are the most precious natural resources of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

Clean Water? ... Wetlands? ... Plants & Wildlife? ... Rich Agricultural Land and Cattle Pastures? ... Oil and Gas? ... Seafood?

(Refer to "Natural Resources of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin."

Of course, all of these things are important and essential aspects of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin, the many different facets of our 'natural treasure'.

Even so, most of us have our own ideas as to which of these are the most important, and, therefore, the most precious.

While the preceding exercise provided some insight into the motivations and goals of people who use a particular resource, we all must strive to maintain and improve the ecosystems surrounding Lake Pontchartrain.

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