Two streams, two stories: How Humans Alter Floods and Streams

Eric M. D. Baer, Carleton College Science Education Resource Center

In this class activity, students determine the discharge of a 100-year flood for two human-impacted streams. This activity supports the quantitative concepts of recurrence intervals, floods and flooding, and probability. It is appropriate for a class of under 40 students. This assignment uses real data, asks students to graph and interpret data, examines the errors associated with that data and its analysis, and requires the students to look at societal impacts. Learning goals, context for use, teaching tips, materials, assessment tips and related resources are provided.

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Floods/Fluvial Processes, Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water
Resource Type: Datasets and Tools:Datasets with Teaching Activities, Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Special Interest: Hazards, Quantitative
Quantitative Skills: Probability and Statistics:Describing Data Distribution, Data Trends:Curve Fitting/Regression, Models and Modeling, Graphs
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Surface Water
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards