For the InstructorThis material supports the Ice and Sea Level Changes GETSI Module. If you would like your students to have access to this material, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing GETSI teaching materials.
Unit 1: Rising Concerns Over Rising Sea Levels
In this unit, you will learn about how sea level is influencing Bangladesh, and you will think about how sea level changes in the next 100 years will continue to impact the economy, infrastructure, habitability, land use, and residents of this developing country. To prepare for this unit, you will need to read a short article titled "Rising Concerns Over Rising Sea Levels in Bangladesh." In class, you will participate in a discussion based on what you read in the article.
- Reading: Unit 1: Bangladesh sea level change vignettes PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 2.8MB Dec8 17)
Unit 2: Temperature—A Global Trendsetter
In this unit, you will use air temperature and sea level data to calculate how sea level has changed over the last three decades, you will use these data to predict how sea level could change by the year 2100, and you will think about the factors that contribute to changes in sea level. By completing an in-class exercise, you will learn about the concept of a time series; use time series data to calculate rates of change; and get practice distinguishing between averages and anomalies when reading and interpreting time series data.
- In-class exercise: Unit 2: activity (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1MB May21 21)
Unit 3: Warm with a Chance of Melting
In this unit, you will use a variety of data sets from Greenland to predict where the greatest Greenland ice mass change occurred between 2000 and 2005.
In order to complete this unit, you will need to do some preparation prior to coming to class. First, you will watch a short video about the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, which scientists use to measure changes in Greenland's ice mass, and you will answer some questions about GRACE. You will also familiarize yourself with Greenland air temperature trends by completing an air temperature preparation exercise.
- Video: Grace: Tracking Water From Space (more info)
- Air temperature preparation exercise: Air temperature preparation exercise (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1.5MB Nov12 15)
- GRACE preparation exercise: GRACE preparation exercise (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 745kB Jun23 19)
In class, rather than investigating all of the data sets on your own, you will become an expert in one of three data sets—air temperature/snowmelt; ice velocity; or ice elevation—then work with your classmates who have looked at the other data sets to make a group prediction map. Once your group has made its prediction maps, you will participate in a class discussion about the differences between your predictions and the measurements that scientists have made about ice mass change in Greenland and why your predictions might differ from the actual data.
- Questions to accompany air temperature and snowmelt data: Group A: Air temperature and snow melt (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 4.4MB Dec8 17)
- Questions to accompany ice velocity data: Group B: Ice velocity (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 5.4MB Dec8 17)
- Questions to accompany ice elevation data: Group C: Ice elevation (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 4.6MB Dec8 17)
- Questions for group exercise: Unit 3: Combined group data activity (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 3.5MB Dec8 17)
Unit 4: An Uplifting Story of Sea Level Change
Scientists have installed high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) stations across Greenland to measure how the elevation of Earth's crust changes as ice sheets grow and shrink. In this unit, you will complete an in-class activity about Helheim Glacier in Greenland to identify the relationship between ice mass changes and changes in Earth's surface. Then, you will participate in a class discussion related to sea level changes that have occurred on geologic timescales. In order to complete this unit, you will need to do some preparation before coming to class. After watching a short animation titled "Glaciers Are Retreating—How Can We Measure the Full Ice Loss?", you will answer some questions about how scientists use GPS to measure changes in Earth's surface due to changes in ice mass.
- Glaciers Are Retreating-How Can We Measure the Full Ice Loss? (MP4 Video 14.6MB Feb13 19)
- YouTube: Glaciers Are Retreating—How Can We Measure the Full Ice Loss?
- Preparation exercise: Unit 4: Animation questions (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 343kB Feb25 19)
- Primary exercise: Unit 4: Student activity PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 829kB Dec8 17)
- Additional exercise: Unit 4: Additional calculations (student) PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 27.1MB Dec8 17)
Unit 5: Regional Sea Level Changes—A Tale of Two Cities
In this final unit of the Ice Mass and Sea Level Change module, you will think again about how future sea level changes may impact the economy, infrastructure, habitability, land use, and residents of specific communities—not Bangladesh this time, but closer to home. After investigating regional sea level trends in the United States using tide gauge data, you will read case studies on the impact of sea level changes on New York City and Southern California, then participate in a discussion with your classmates about these two study areas. Finally, you will learn about how other communities are already attempting to adapt to sea level change and prepare for the future, and you will provide your opinions on the feasibility of these strategies.
- Tide gauge exercise: Unit 5: Tide gauge student activity PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1.6MB Dec8 17)
- New York City case study reading: Unit 5: New York City vignettes PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 9.5MB Dec8 17)
- Southern California case study reading: Unit 5: Southern California vignettes PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1.5MB Dec8 17)
- Discussion questions: Unit 5: Discussion questions PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 313kB Dec8 17)
- Sea level adaptation reading: Unit 5: Adaptation vignettes PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 480kB Dec8 17)