Cutting Edge > Develop Program-Wide Abilities > Complex Systems > Teaching Activities > Watershed Management

Watershed Management

Bruce Herbert
,
Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Apr 24, 2010

Summary

In this project, I ask students to use analogous reasoning to support the development of an accurate and rich conceptual model about a specific environmental issue using evidence collected from two watershed studies that were part of the USGS NAWQA program.

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Context

Audience

Upper-division majors course in environmental geology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Skills: analogous reasoning, conceptual model development, interpretation of environmental data

How the activity is situated in the course

Culminating project

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Knowledge: water quality, fate and transport, watershed management, ecological restoration, risk assessment

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

In this project, I ask students to use analogous reasoning to support the development of an accurate and rich conceptual model about a specific environmental issue using evidence collected from two watershed studies that were part of the NAWQA program.

Analogical reasoning is a method of processing information that compares the similarities between new and understood concepts, and then uses those similarities to gain understanding of the new concept. The use of analogical reasoning can be divided into four steps:
  1. Generating the analogy: A well understood case is compared to a less familiar or target case,
  2. Understanding the analogous case: An understanding of the relationships between attributes in the familiar case is sought,
  3. Determine validity of analogy: Similarities and relationships between the familiar case and the target case are evaluated, and
  4. Apply findings: Attributes from the familiar case are transferred to the target case

Other skills goals for this activity

Data analysis, representation and interpretation

Description of the activity/assignment

See attached document

Determining whether students have met the goals

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More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

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