Nitrous Oxide Transport and Transformation
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
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In this laboratory exercise, students gain experience manipulating gas concentration data, determining soil properties related to transport of gases through porous medium like soils. This exercise is appropriate for soil physics and biogeochemistry courses.
I plan to use this activity in a senior / graduate course in Biogeochemistry.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
- General understanding of nitrous oxide biochemistry
- Ability to draw and inject air samples
- Familiarity with spreadsheets (Excel, or QuatroPro)
How the activity is situated in the course
- Part of a sequence to demonstrate link between soil physical conditions and biological processes
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
In this laboratory exercise, students add nitrous oxide to pairs of undisturbed soil cores. One core in each set of cores is treated with acetylene to block nitrous oxide transformation. The bulk of this exercise involves, injection and drawing of air samples. Students gain experience manipulating gas concentration data, determining soil properties related to transport of gases through porous medium like soils. This exercise is appropriate for soil physics and biogeochemistry courses.
Determining whether students have met the goals
More information about assessment tools and techniques.
- Ability of the students to do the computations and check literature data to see if they are off
- Ability to synthesize the results
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