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.
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.
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.
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.