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

Undergraduate course curriculum, “Introduction to Critical Zone Science,” available free online

23 Jun 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - A 15-week semester-long upper-level undergraduate course curriculum entitled “Introduction to Critical Zone Science” is now available free online.

FEATURED NATIONALLY

UCTV: Southern Sierra CZO researchers featured on Sustainable California channel

21 Jun 2017 (National, Sierra) - University of California Television (UCTV) features Bales, Conklin, Glaser, Safeeq, and others on the new Sustainable California channel

FEATURED NATIONALLY

Corn better used as food than biofuel, study finds

21 Jun 2017 (National, IML) - Scientists obtain comprehensive view of agricultural ecosystems

FEATURED NATIONALLY

CZNews: Spring 2017

01 May 2017 (National) - CZO Newsletter CZNews: Spring 2017

FEATURED NATIONALLY

2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

06 Apr 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.

FEATURED NATIONALLY

NSF: Dust contributes valuable nutrients to Sierra Nevada forest ecosystems

28 Mar 2017 (Sierra) - NSF Press Release: New research finding provides insight into role dust may play as ecosystems change

FEATURED NATIONALLY

CZNews: Winter 2017

25 Jan 2017 (National) - CZO Newsletter CZNews: Winter 2017


ERCZO research featured in Lawrence Hall of Science video: Studying the Eel River Watershed

25 Jun 2017 (Eel) - Eel River CZO researchers are featured in a new video at the Lawrence Hall of Science.

FEATURED

AGI’s ‘Faces of Earth’ Series on YouTube

20 Jun 2017 (National) - AGI has released its award-winning "Faces of Earth" series on YouTube for Earth Science Week 2017.

FEATURED

NAGT: Serving our communities with education and geoscience

19 Jun 2017 (National) - From local communities to international efforts, education and geoscience both play important roles in our society. The National Association of...

Joanmarie Del Vecchio delivers engaging presentation for M.S. Geosciences defense

25 May 2017 (Shale Hills) - Joanmarie Del Vecchio, MS Candidate in Geosciences, delivered an engaging public presentation on her thesis research "A Record of Coupled Hillslope...

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Education/Outreach Events

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