Introduction to urban watershed geochemistry
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: Jun 6, 2013
1. Learn how to sample water and soil samples in a safe and effective manner
2. Collect basic aqueous chemical parameters in the field
3. Compare field collected data with that obtained using advanced instruments in the laboratory
4. Determine bulk physical and chemical properties of the soils in the lab
5. Determine trace and major element concentrations of the soils in the laboratory
At the end of this exercise students will gain a better appreciation for how soil and water quality is assessed in multiple ways. They are also introduced to basic "tools-of-the-trade" in the environmental geochemistry and also using Excel to make simple and advanced calculations as well as for plotting data. During preparation of lab reports, they are introduced to basic elements of an effective data-based technical paper.
Key words: urban watershed, soil chemistry, water chemistry, aqueous geochemistry, field analysis, analytical chemistry
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
2. Basic understanding of laboratory chemical safety procedures and philosophy before working in a wet chemistry lab.
3. Some basic understanding of geological and environmental processes in shaping the character of water.
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
2. Critical evaluation of chemical data with respect to available data and literature.
3. Synthesis of several different types of data to build a conceptual model contaminant behavior in an urban watershed.
Other skills goals for this activity
2. Good laboratory practice
3. Preparation of effective laboratory reports patterned after mini-research papers
4. Working in groups cooperatively to share instrumentation and data.
Description and Teaching Materials
There are five PDF files numbered sequentially describing activities to be conducted over a five-week period. Each period is designed for a 3-h lab depending on the availability of instrumentation.Introduction to Urban Watershed Geochemistry Lab Exercise 1 Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 1.3MB Apr15 13)
Introduction to Urban Watershed Geochemistry Lab Exercise 2 Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 2.4MB Apr15 13)
Introduction to Urban Watershed Geochemistry Lab Exercise 3 Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 661kB Apr15 13)
Introduction to Urban Watershed Geochemistry Lab Exercise 4 Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 145kB Apr15 13)
Introduction to Urban Watershed Geochemistry Lab Exercise 5 Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 134kB Apr15 13)