Monitoring pollution in a freshwater environment
This is a student lead research project. After learning the direct methods and indirect methods of measuring pollution students will choose a method to monitor pollution while manipulating one variable. That variable may be shaded area vs. mostly sunny, a particular area monitored with season variation or other student developed ideas determined before the students set out to do their research. Students will site a spot at a measured distanced from a permanent marker (e.g. tree), in a determined direction using a compass. The other area(s) will be chosen by the student depending on what research question the student is working on. Presentation of their findings will be given to a small group of other students.
Context for Use
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Grade Level: High School (9-12)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:Teaching in the Field, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water
Description and Teaching Materials
Next students will be given instruction on how to measure the following:
Direct methods and Indirect methods
Measuring nitrate, ammonium Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
and phosphate ions using test kits *Use of a biotic index
Using Simpson's diversity index
*In some cases students can use the biotic index of an indicator species if the teacher is familiar with these species in the area or an expert is brought in.
Teaching Notes and Tips
I believe most of this lab will be done as a pre-lab and post-lab. In other words, time at the freshwater environment will be solely to take data or samples. I believe it will run much smoother is the organization is in place for each group before we venture out.
18.104.22.168.2 Explain how human activity and natural processes are altering the hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere, including pollution, topography and climate.
For example: Active volcanoes and the burning of fossil fuels contribute to the greenhouse effect.