Instructor Materials: Overview of the An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources Module
Module Goal: To use an ecosystem services approach to engage in civic discourse concerning land-use change. See a Conceptual model of Hydrologic Ecosystem Services (Acrobat (PDF) 338kB Jan5 18).
Summative Assessment: The summative assessment for the module has two parts. The first part is a group presentation where students will develop a presentation describing a proposed land-use change and mitigation strategy from the perspective of a particular stakeholder group. The second part consists of reflective questions that should be completed individually.
Unit 1Recognizing Ecosystem Services and their Relation to the Hydrologic Cycle
At the end of this unit, students will be able to (1) recognize a variety of ecosystem services, (2) identify/describe those services related to the hydrologic cycle, and (3) infer how qualitative changes in land use/cover affect the hydrologic inputs/outputs.
- Unit 1.1: Mapping Ecosystem Services — Students identify land use and land cover and associated ecosystem services from aerial photographs or maps.
- Unit 1.2: Exploring the Hydrologic Cycle — Students use rainfall and runoff data to explore the hydrologic cycle and develop a simple hydrologic model (i.e., a regression between rainfall and runoff).
- Unit 1.3: Understanding Perturbations to Hydrologic Systems — Students use rainfall and runoff data from different land uses to understand perturbations to hydrologic systems using a systems-based approach.
Unit 2Measuring and Modeling Ecosystem Services
Students will model the impact of changes in land cover on stormwater runoff. At the end of this module, students will be able to execute the model for a proposed land-use change and judge the effectiveness of different types of low-impact development to mitigate change in stormwater runoff.
- Unit 2.1: Hydrologic Impact of Land-Use Change — Students use the National Stormwater Calculator to model the hydrologic impact related to land-use change.
- Unit 2.2: Mitigation Using Low-Impact Development (LID) Controls — Students explore how inputs in the National EPA Stormwater Calculator relative to low impact development allow it to be used for mitigation.
- Unit 2.3: Modeling Land-Use Change and Mitigation Strategies — Students examine the impact of a proposed scenario involving a land-use change and model mitigation strategies.
Unit 3Using an Ecosystem Services Approach for Civic Engagement
Students will create a persuasive argument pertaining to a land-use change that utilizes geoscientific and other data. Students will recognize what stakeholder groups are and how they often have varying interests and values. Students will create a position paper advocating for or against a proposed land-use change.
- Unit 3.1: Land-Use Change and Stakeholders — Students evaluate a proposed land-use change based on perspectives of different stakeholder groups.
- Unit 3.2: Presentation and Reflection — Students compose a position paper for or against a proposed land-use change.
Making the Module Work
To adapt all or part of the Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources Module for your classroom you will also want to read through
- Instructor Stories, which detail how the Ecosystem Services Approach to Water Resources Module was adapted for use at three different institutions, as well as our guide to
- Adapting InTeGrate Modules and Courses for Your Classroom, which outlines how to effectively use InTeGrate modules and courses.