Initial Publication Date: October 22, 2012

Ideas for Teaching about Large Lakes and Climate

During the workshop, Teaching Climate Change: Insight from Large Lakes, held in June 2012, participants learned about lake sediment cores, geomorphology of former lake shores, and impacts of a warming climate on the Great Lakes. Participants worked in small groups to brainstorm for ideas to bring this science into the classroom. These ideas are not fully formed teaching activities (such as are found in the activities collection), but rather they are outlines that could be developed into fully formed activities.

Using Real-World Data to Examine Climate Change Implications for Lake Superior - Use existing climate data for Lake Superior to hypothesize about and explore the trends of water and air temperature.

Using lake core data to show human environmental impacts - Explore how anthropogenic changes to landscapes can be represented in lake core features over time.

Up-scaling Great Lakes sediment cores to the regional climate scale - Correlate sediment-core thickness to past temperatures and wind systems to  and evaporation rates to unravel past environments, including climate phenomenon such as temperature and precipitation.

Dune Geomorphology - Examine LiDAR, GPR and particle size data to study littoral geomorphology and reconstruct lake levels in the Lake Michigan Basin. 

Initial core description using Image-J - Small-group analysis by 3-5 students each of lake sediment cores from the same site.