This module introduces a variety of meteorological and hydrological products that can improve the quality of heavy rainfall forecasts and assist with hydrological management during extensive precipitation events in Southern Africa. Among the products are the satellite-based ASCAT, SMOS, and ASAR GM soil moisture products and the hydro-estimator. The products are presented within the context of a case, the flooding of South Africa's Vaal Dam region in 2009/2010.
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In 2012, water managers in Fredericktown, Missouri, saw their city's main source of water dwindle. They used the EPAs Climate Ready Water Utilities program to consider options and develop plans to protect their water source.
This short (<5-10 minutes) pair of demonstrations uses glass slides with a very thin film of water to demonstrate the cohesive and adhesive forces of water molecules, and a needle floating on water to demonstrate surface tension.
Students learn about the differences between types of water (surface and ground), as well as the differences between streams, rivers and lakes. Then, they learn about dissolved organic matter (DOM), and the role it plays in identifying drinking water sources. Finally, students are introduced to conventional drinking water treatment processes.
With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India's Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today -- and are often superior to modern water megaprojects. A quiz, thought provoking question, and links for further study are provided to create a lesson around the 17-minute video. Educators may use the platform to easily "Flip" or create their own lesson for use with their students of any age or level.
This USGS site explains what an aquifer is and defines the different types of aquifers based on six principal lithologies; sandstone, carbonate, sandstone-carbonate, igneous and metamorphic, sand and gravel, and other rock types. The site features maps and descriptions of the major aquifers in the United States as well as general information about groundwater occurrence and quality. The site also provides links to additional maps and data about specific aquifers across the nation.
Students learn that dams do not last forever. Similar to other human-made structures, such as roads and bridges, dams require regular maintenance and have a finite lifespan. Many dams built during the 1930-70s, an era of intensive dam construction, have an expected life of 50-100 years. Due to inadequate maintenance and/or for environmental reasons, some of these dams will fail or be removed in the next 50 years. The engineers with Splash Engineering have an ethical obligation to remind Thirsty County of the maintenance and lifespan concerns associated with its dam.
This brief presentation provides an overview of the COMET Basic Hydrologic Sciences course including: goal and target audiences, structure of the course and adapting it to your needs, and a brief description of course components.
This ZOOM video segment shows how to create a self-contained environment and explores evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.
- Environmental Science
- Life Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- Teachers' Domain
- National Science Foundation
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Date Added:
The city of Fort Collins, Colorado, found a win-win solution to problems it faced with 100 acres of abandoned property. The city now enjoys new green space, improved floodwater management, and a boosted economy.
The Burd Run Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (SU) is a cooperative effort among 13 faculty from the Departments of Geography-Earth Science, Biology, and Teacher Education. The goal of the laboratory is to provide intensive undergraduate field training through collection and analysis of related hydrologic, geologic, biologic, and geographic data from a single watershed, establish a comprehensive statistical and spatial watershed database using a geographic information system, use the accumulated data for student investigations in a wide variety of environmentally related courses, and facilitate similar approaches at other institutions. The project involves equipment acquisition; continuous monitoring of hydrology, water quality, and meteorology; and data collection and analysis in various undergraduate courses. This website is the homepage for the Burd Run Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory. Users can follow links to a project summary, watershed description and data, GIS data, research projects, curricular material, articles and maps and photos related to the laboratory.
Bottled water, popular among students, is big business even though issues surrounding it related to health and safety as well as its environmental impact have stirred up controversy. Designed for an introductory non-majors environmental science course, this discussion/dilemma case explores the environmental effects associated with the production, consumption, and recycling of bottled water while touching on health and safety issues. Students also learn about government regulations regarding the extraction of ground water and labeling of bottled water; recycling laws and how states circumvent the recycling process; and the economic and ecological costs of drinking bottled water.
This semester-long project uses the nitrogen budget to link campus operations with local ecology. Students can work independently or in groups to research the inputs, outputs and subsystem transfers of nitrogen on their campus. The data could be used to evaluate the effect of campus sustainability efforts, energy efficiency options, and other campus policies. This SERC Starting Point site includes learning goals, context for use, teaching tips and materials, assessment, and references.
- Environmental Science
- Atmospheric Science
- Material Type:
- Teaching/Learning Strategy
- Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
- Provider Set:
- Starting Point (SERC)
- Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
- Cathy Manduca
- Suzanne Savanick
- Suzanne Savanick, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date Added:
This dilemma case explores the controversy over introducing non-native oysters to the Chesapeake Bay as a means of improving its ecological and economic health. Developed for use in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in energy and environmental studies, it could be adapted for undergraduate courses ranging from ecology and biology to political science and geography. The case introduces students to the various stakeholders and their positions from the point of view of a senator who must cast the deciding vote on whether or not to introduce Suminoe oysters (Crassostrea ariakensis) into the bay. Students read the case, then work in small groups to develop a stakeholder position, which they later role-play in class in a simulated public hearing.
Students construct three-dimensional models of water catchment basins using everyday objects to form hills, mountains, valleys and water sources. They experiment to see where rain travels and collects, and survey water pathways to see how they can be altered by natural and human activities. Students discuss how engineers design structures that impact water collection, as well as systems that clean and distribute water.
This activity has students create a Cartesian diver, which will act in some ways like a submarine. Students will adjust the amount of air and water in an inverted test tube (the "diver") so that it at first barely floats in a water-filled bottle. Then, they will squeeze the closed bottle to create higher water pressure, causing the diver to sink. Releasing the bottle allows the diver to float again. Written instructions, a list of materials, and illustrations are included.
Students learn about power generation using river currents. A white paper is a focused analysis often used to describe how a technology solves a problem. In this literacy activity, students write a simplified version of a white paper on an alternative electrical power generation technology. In the process, they develop their critical thinking skills and become aware of the challenge and promise of technological innovation that engineers help to make possible. This activity is geared towards fifth grade and older students and computer capabilities are required. Some portions of the activity may be appropriate with younger students. CAPTION: Upper Left: Trey Taylor, President of Verdant Power, talks about green power with a New York City sixth-grade class. Lower Left: Verdant Power logo. Center: Verdant Power's turbine evaluation vessel in New York's East River. In the background is a conventional power plant. Upper Right: The propeller-like turbine can be raised and lowered from the platform of the turbine evaluation vessel. Lower Right: Near the East River, Mr. Taylor explains to the class how water currents can generate electric power.
When water utility personnel recognized their groundwater withdrawals were damaging ecosystems in the Tampa Bay area, they found new ways to reduce their dependence on it.
This lesson describes a common approach used by the United States Bureau of Reclamation to scope a study on integrating climate change information into water resources management and planning. Learners will become familiar with the types of questions that must be addressed for considering climate change impacts when scoping their study. Examples are given for several different water resources mission areas. Note that this is the second of a two lesson series, the first one is titled, "Climate and Water Resources Management, Part 1: Climate Variability and Change."
In this 1-hour lecture, presented in three parts, research hydrologist Dr. Holly Hartmann discusses issues and approaches for communicating with decision-makers regarding climate change topics in water management and planning. Dr. Hartmann is a national leader in research related to the development of decision support tools for climate, water, and other resource management applications, especially linking research with the needs of decision-makers and moving research into agency operations. Dr. Hartmann is Carpe Diem West’s Director of Climate Science Applications. Previously she was Director of the Arid Lands Information Center at the University of Arizona (UA). She is a co-investigator within the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) and leads the scenario development team within the UA Science and Technology Center for the Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA). This presentation was given as part of the Integrating Climate Change into Longer-term Water Resources Planning and Environmental Compliance class, offered 2-4 May 2016, in collaboration between The COMET Program, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.