For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Water Science and Society Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, 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 InTeGrate teaching materials.
Summative Assessement: Floods
Answer each short answer question in 2-3 complete sentences and short essay questions in 5-7 complete sentences. Consider each question carefully and be sure to provide a complete answer.
- Draw a diagram of a channel-floodplain system and label important features (channel, banks, 2 year floodplain, 10 year floodplain, 100 year floodplain, and any others you deem appropriate).
- Short answer: How would you expect the width of the 2, 10 and 100 year floodplains to change (if at all) following significant urbanization upstream? Why?
- Short answer: How is the concept of a floodplain useful for understanding flooding and for land use planning?
- Short answer: In many places, cities have built tall levees to keep the river within its (now augmented) banks. The benefit of this practice is obvious...we can build on, or 'use' the floodplain. But what are the economic risks and potential ecological-hydrological problems with this practice?
- Short answer: Search for flood information for your hometown area on the internet (via a simple web search, or you can find flood stage information on the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service and historical flow data on the USGS webpage). See if you can find floodplain maps and land-use plans. Briefly summarize the topographic setting of your hometown, the name of the creek or river you live on, and some information as to floodplain width and recent flood history (since 1972). Did your parents do a good job of locating your house out of harms way with respect to flooding? If you cannot find information for your hometown, use Selinsgrove, PA on the Susquehanna River as an example.
- Short essay: Listen to NPR Report on the 1972 Rapid City flood. Similar floods have occurred more recently on the Big Thompson River in Colorado and others. See files below. Answer the following questions in 5-7 sentences. Could these tragedies have been foreseen and could they have been prevented? What land-use policies would you suggest for floodplains (you can use information from your area as an example if you like) and why? Should we eliminate all development on floodplains? Limit development somehow? Or leave people (and their insurance companies) to make their own decisions about what to build where?
- Short essay: How will your newfound knowledge about floods and droughts impact your future decisions (i.e., where to live, how to live, what you do or don't buy)? Reflect for a few minutes on the most important points you learned in this module. In 5-7 sentences, briefly summarize those points and discuss how they might impact your future.
Read and Listen to Rapid City NPR Story, 40 Years After Killer Flood, A Reshaped City Reflects
Download Big Thompson River 1976 Fact Sheet (Acrobat (PDF) 6.4MB Mar28 17)
Answer the questions in a single page and bring your answers to class.
Submitting your Answers
You will be working on this lab in class and handing it in at the end of the session.
Scoring and Rubric
A scoring rubric will be provided by your instructor.