Melissa Thaw, a doctoral student at the University of California, Merced, is studying how water moves through the soil and where trees and shrubs are taking up water in the Sierra National Forest. She is focusing on the transition zone between rainfall and snow, which will be pushed higher into the mountains as the climate warms. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

Building Understanding of the Critical Zone

Our lives depend upon what happens in the Critical Zone. All life on land depends upon what happens in the Critical Zone. Yet, what happens in the Critical Zone is not broadly understood. Indeed, most people have never heard of the Critical Zone or of Critical Zone Science. We aim to change that. Building broad understanding of Critical Zone processes for the public, and for both scientists and future scientists are the primary goals of our Critical Zone education and outreach programs.

Training Interdisciplinary CZ Scientists

Through research and education opportunities associated with each CZO, cross-CZO scientific endeavors, and annual meetings, we engage young scientists in Critical Zone science, developing a new cadre of future CZO leadership. The necessity of understanding Critical Zone processes globally was recognized early in the development of CZOs, and through international partnerships, U.S. graduate students have benefited their home CZOs as well as their personal career pursuits through travel to European labs and field sites to engage in collaborative learning and research.


Sharing with the Public

The CZOs offer a great opportunity for the Earth sciences community to explain to the public how hypotheses are tested and experiments are conducted, as well as to share exciting scientific results and their societal relevance.

E/O Contacts

Don Duggan-Haas
Place-based Earth Science Education, Teacher Professional Development, & Curriculum Development

Robert Ross
Earth system science education, educator professional development; paleontology, paleoceanography

Tim White
CZO National Office Coordinator

Alexandra Moore
Science education, with emphasis on undergraduate geoscience programs



CZO Virtual Institute

The CZO Virtual Institute is part of NSF's Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI). It aims to develop workshops, support graduate and post-doctoral research primarily on cross-CZO, common measurement-based projects, and further the development of web-based collaboration tools on CZEN.org. The project has implemented CZO workshops, a summer interns program and an international scholars program to promote collaboration in and out of the network towards common measurement-based CZ science.


National Blogs

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Education/Outreach News

FEATURED NATIONALLY

“Voices of Fire,” a documentary film about wildfire in the West, is now available on YouTube!

05 Sep 2017 (National, Reynolds) - Hugo Sindelar's documentary film about the Soda Fire, which burned the northern portion of Reynolds Creek and a total of 280,000 acres in just 7 days.

FEATURED NATIONALLY

CZNews: Summer 2017

27 Jul 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - CZO National Office's quarterly newsletter CZNews: Summer 2017.

FEATURED NATIONALLY

Contribute to Springer-Nature Book Series: Advances in Critical Zone Science

26 Jul 2017 (National) - An invitation for edited and authored volumes for a new Springer-Nature book series: Advances in Critical Zone Science


FEATURED

82nd Annual Field Conference of PA Geologists tour the CZO

05 Oct 2017 (Shale Hills) - Just under 250 geologists from across the state of Pennsylvania spent three days (Oct 5-7) exploring outcrops and research sites in Blair, Centre...

New SSCZO comic artfully communicates research

19 Jul 2017 (Sierra) - Wonder what soils and sponges have in common? Or why some trees in the Sierra Nevada are dying while others are surviving? Find out in our new comic.

FEATURED

PRI’s The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change

03 Jul 2017 (National) - The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change is now available free online from the Paleontological Research Institution,

Hydrogeophysics Workshop Returns to CZO for field campaign

30 Jun 2017 (Shale Hills) - Over two days, the catena in Garner Run was home base for the Rutgers 2017 Hydrogeophysics Workshop.  Faculty, graduate students, and three...

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Education/Outreach Events

Chinese delegation from China Geological Survey to visit CZO

Delegation to visit multiple CZOs to learn infrastructure and coordination efforts of US Obseratories


Penn State and the CZO.

(Shale Hills)

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National CZO Twitter Feed