Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review 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: Jul 9, 2008
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
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
Egypt has embarked on a long-term and far-reaching irrigation plan to create habitable land away from the Nile River Valley. The Toshka Lakes are not, however, a formal part of the project. One of the main points of the exercise is to have students use both their knowledge of Saharan hydrogeology and GIS analyses to evaluate whether the Egyptians are wise not to use the lakes as part of the proposed system of water distribution.
In this exercise, students download and prepare their own SRTM DEMs and learn how to determine areas and volumes using ArcGIS. They can then ask questions and use ArcGIS to determine the answers. How much water is in the Toshka Lakes? What happens if Lake Nasser rises and more water flows down the canal? Will more lakes form, or will the lakes that are there just get bigger? How much water might be evaporating from the lake surfaces? How much water has to flow down the canal to keep the lakes at a particular level? What might happen as the annual Nile flood fluctuates from year to year?
The document posted for downloading contains two homework assignments, two in-class activities, and a wrap-up assignment.
You can also download a GIS Primer (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Mar30 10) that we have written, which is a simple GIS "how-to" manual for tasks including those used in this exercise.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 16.7MB Jul9 08)