Central Washington University
Environmental Geochemistry Class Project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This is a inquiry-driven class research project on a local environmental geochemistry question that is accomplished during three-hour laboratory sessions each week. Students are divided into groups that will share the responsibilities of collecting samples and data. Once the data is collected, it is shared among the entire class so that all students have the same data set. The class works on data presentation, preliminary analysis, and statistics together Then each student writes his/her own report separately. Outcomes: Laboratory skills – Students have basic laboratory skills necessary to carry out a supervised geochemical study (e.g. can perform Gram titration of waters in field, can collect water samples using clean methods). Quantitative methods – Students can manipulate, sort, and transfer data in Excel and can create simple x-y plots and histograms to bring out trends in data. Critical thinking – Students can develop multiple hypotheses to explain trends in data and can design tests of these hypotheses.
Using Data to Teach Earth ProcessesAn Illustrated Community Discussion at the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America part of Cutting Edge:Data, Simulations and Models:Workshop 03:Activities
We are using data acquired with an ICP-MS to teach students about water chemistry at a variety of levels, ranging from high school students to upper level college students. Students are curious and enthusiastic to analyze samples that they choose and collect.
Environmental Geochemistry part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Courses
This environmental geochemistry course examines two perspectives on geochemistry: a scientific discipline with its own basic unanswered questions and a set of tools for answering questions in other geologic subdisciplines. The course covers topics including biogeochemical cycles, the influence of rocks and soils on water chemistry, and the use of isotopes as environmental tracers. It includes a class project addressing a local environmental topic (e.g., trace metal concentrations near a local waste site, or the effect of land use on soil chemistry).