Using Project EDDIE modules in Surface Water Hydrology
About this Course
Surface Water Hydrology
EDDIE Module(s) Adopted and/or Adapted
My course is a Surface Water Hydrology for Environmental Science majors. The class consists mostly of 50-minute lectures, with weekly assignments on the topics covered each week, and three major exams. I have implemented some readings from peer-reviewed journals, to have students become more familiarized with journal formats, and stay current with developments in the field. I have been wanting to implement activities that fostered analysis, and application on various concepts learned in class. This EDDIE module was a good step in that direction where students integrated real data, and applied the concepts learned in class to offer solutions. The students were excited with Activity C since they got to see how land use changes cause great variability in runoff in an area. I intend to modify the activity to add a comparison between urban and forested watersheds, and also include more activities that help them with data interpretation.
Relationship of EDDIE Module(s) to my Course
This module fit well with the goals of the course as it pertained to precipitation-infiltration-runoff interactions.
Students were presented with the module as is, and they started the work with each of the activities as an independent assignment. Activity C was implemented at the end of the semester so students made use of all the knowledge acquired during the semester to address the questions of the activity.
Green Roofs Student Handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 3.3MB Jul27 23)
Teaching Notes (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Jul27 23)
How did the activity go?
Overall the activity went well and students were surprised on how much variation there was in runoff and suspended solids based on the groundcover. There were some challenges for students especially in the first two activities. Most of the challenges came from students struggling with using the functions of Excel, not knowing how to paste data to Excel, or using functions like sorting, or other simple operations. The second challenge came from some students not understanding the meaning of trends, the use of R2 values, or the equation of a line.
To create a baseline before starting the module implementation, I am planning to created a couple of activities for using Excel functions, and creation of plots. The second activity will be geared towards examples using statistics, understanding trends, relationships between variables, R2, etc.
Based on the feedback I provided students, the takeaways concentrate on better understanding of Excel, and Mywatershed software, appreciation for large datasets, and the work it takes to clean up data. Also, there was a better understanding of runoff-infiltration relationships, and the effects of high intensity events in water quality and quantity.
The struggles came mostly from using Excel, but there were some fundamental concepts in statistics that students struggle with.
I had created an activity in the past when I first learned about mywatershed. The activity consisted on comparing urban and forested watersheds. In Saint Louis, there are small watersheds adjacent to each other, some with heavy urban development, and some that are mostly forests. Students liked the fact that they compared such different land use, and saw the positive/negative effects of implementing/removing green infrastructure on water quantity and quality.