Activities for Teaching about Water


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How Much Oil Leaked from Deepwater Horizon? part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Stephen Boss, University of Arkansas Main Campus
Students develop an estimate of the total quantity of petroleum discharged from the Deepwater Horizon from 20 April to 15 July 2010 using only two known facts, the diameter of the riser and the flow rate of the oil/gas mixture emanating from the riser.

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Exploring sustainability through water cycle connections part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Tim Lutz, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
During this module students use multiple experiences (reading, video, the outdoors, a survey of their water footprints, writing, and lots of discussion) to examine how life today, in comparison to pre-industrial times, makes our connections to water virtually invisible. Students use the class's water footprint results to find out how agricultural and industrial water uses link us to people distant in both place and time. They weigh the consequences of these invisible connections in creating the lost sense of dependence and responsibility that typifies unsustainability. Students study the variability of water footprints within our class to help identify more sustainable personal choices. They consider the activity of a local watershed association to educate and involve people in improving the quality of local streams as a model of how community action can accomplish what individuals cannot.

Analyzing Water Neutrality of U. of Utah Campus part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Steven Burian, University of Utah
Water Neutrality Case Study Activity

'Reporting' on the World Water Forum to understand media coverage and gaps part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Abigail Schade, Davidson College
'Reporting' in-class on the tri-ennial World Water Forum.

Environmentally Sustainable Mining part of Integrate:Workshops and Webinars:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Stephen Kissin, Lakehead University
A field trip that illustrates a contrast between environmentally sustainable mining activity and a case of a lack of environmental planning in mining operation and closure.

Lesson 3: The Value of a Water Footprint (High School) part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
Kai Olson-Sawyer, GRACE Communications Foundation
Session 1 of this lesson begins with a quick activity to get students thinking about their direct and virtual water use. It introduces a few new ideas for virtual water use that may surprise students, including the ...

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Unit 1: Climate Change and Sea Level: Who Are the Stakeholders? part of Understanding Our Changing Climate
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington; Susan Kaspari, Central Washington University
How are rising sea levels already influencing different regions? This unit offers case study examples for a coastal developing country (Bangladesh), a major coastal urban area (southern California), and an island ...

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Unit 4: Groundwater, GPS, and Water Resources part of Measuring the Earth with GPS
Karen M. Kortz (Community College of Rhode Island) Jessica J. Smay (San Jose City College)
GPS data can measure ground elevation change in response to the changing amount of groundwater in valleys and snow cover in mountains. In this module, students will learn how to read GPS data to interpret how the ...

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Module 4: Food and Water part of Future of Food
Gigi Richard, Fort Lewis College
In this module, students will be introduced to the connections between water and agriculture. The first part of the module (4.1) explores how water is essential for growing food and how water is embedded in all of ...

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11. Composting Toilets part of Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability
Maurice Crawford, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore; Benjamin Cuker, Hampton University
Toilet use accounts for the largest use of water in single family homes. In 2016, the average US household toilet accounted for a quarter of a home's total indoor water. Compost toilets are one method that may ...

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Unit 3: Managing the Risks of Lead Exposure part of Lead in the Environment
Katrina Korfmacher (University of Rochester), Richard Gragg (Florida A&M), Martha Richmond (Suffolk University), and Caryl Waggett (Allegheny College)
In the past two units, students considered the strengths and limitations of scientific tools to identify exposure pathways and demographic patterns of lead poisoning. In Unit 3, students evaluate domestic ...

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Unit 2: Characterizing groundwater storage with well and GRACE data part of Measuring Water Resources
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington; Eric Small, University of Colorado at Boulder
This unit provides students with experience analyzing traditional (depth to water table measured in a well) and geodetic: GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) data for monitoring changes in groundwater ...

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Unit 3: Monitoring groundwater storage with GPS vertical position part of Measuring Water Resources
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington; Eric Small, University of Colorado at Boulder
This unit shows how GPS records of surface elevation can be used to monitor groundwater changes. Students calculate secular trends in the GPS time series and then use the original and detrended records to identify ...

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Unit 4: Water budget assessment of a California drought part of Measuring Water Resources
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington; Eric Small, University of Colorado at Boulder
The California Drought of 2012–2016 had significant social and economic consequences. This final unit focuses on this drought as a case study for measuring the hydrologic system so that we can better understand ...

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Unit 1: Introduction to the hydrologic cycle and stakeholder analysis part of Measuring Water Resources
Bruce Douglas, Indiana University-Bloomington; Eric Small, University of Colorado at Boulder
This unit introduces the hydrological cycle to provide context for the module as a whole. It particularly focuses on those portions of the hydrological cycle that take place on land and that form the basis for ...

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Unit 4.1 - Energy Budgets part of Critical Zone Science
Jim Washburne, The University of Arizona
The purpose of this unit is to explore, compare, contrast, and calculate energy fluxes from different CZO field sites to better appreciate the critical differences in the driving radiative forces affecting each ...

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Unit 5.1 - Water Balance of a Tree part of Critical Zone Science
Martha Conklin, University of California-Merced
The assignment is to calculate an annual water balance for a tree using data gathered at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. In the framework of experimental design, students will organize around a ...

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Unit 5.2 - Water Balance Impacts part of Critical Zone Science
Martha Conklin, University of California-Merced
This is the second module of a two week-long unit on hydrology in an upper-level undergraduate course on the Critical Zone. After Unit 5.1, students should have a basic understanding of the fluxes and reservoirs in ...

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Unit 6.2 - Biogeochemical Examples part of Critical Zone Science
Adam Hoffman, University of Dubuque
In this week-long unit students will explore Critical Zone function and dynamics as they relate to nutrient cycling in agricultural systems and nutrient pollution into aquatic systems. This unit is generally ...

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Capstone Project: Urban Water Portfolio part of Water Science and Society
Students will use the skills and knowledge they have developed throughout the course to develop a water portfolio for the future for a given water-critical city. They will need to estimate the city's water ...

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