General Public

The CZOs strive to educate the general public.

Study of the Critical Zone is a new and evolving realm of science - by necessity, the CZO education and outreach effort has focused on the Earth science community. Nonetheless, the CZOs strive to educate the general public, for example through our presence at the second U.S. Science and Technology Exposition in Washington, D.C. during April 2012. Our exhibit booth included a variety of pamphlets as well as hands-on activities: geologists demonstrated various processes of weathering and erosion, ecologists showed how to determine the leaf-area index of a forest, and hydrologists used on-line tools to show how land use change affects hydrologic characteristics of a landscape.

Eric Carpenter (CU-Boulder), education and outreach specialist for the Boulder Creek CZO, leads students through a hands-on learning exercise relating glaciation to erosion and sedimentation during the U.S. Science and Technology Expo in Washington, D.C. during April 2012.

Educational Resources (examples for general public)

  • Grades 9 - 14

    What is the Critical Zone?

    All Disciplines

    Information & Video

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × Illustration of the Critical Zone, showing a slice of Earth's near surface pulled out of the ground.  Labels are shown for air, biota, soil, water, and rock. Image credit: After Chorover et al, 2007. Catalina-Jemez CZO (artwork by R. Kindlimann).

    Grades 9 - 14

    What is the Critical Zone?

    All Disciplines

    Information • Video

    A short web page that answers questions like: what is the Critical Zone? Why it is so important? Why does it need to be studied? The page includes text, images, and video.

    Educational Objectives

    Be able to discuss where the Critical Zone fits on Earth's surface and its importance to Humans and all life. 

    Visit this resource

    See CZO listing


    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO • Boulder CZO • Calhoun CZO • Catalina-Jemez CZO • Christina CZO • Eel CZO • IML CZO • Luquillo CZO • Reynolds CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO

    Author: CZO National Office

  • Grades 9 - 12

    What is the Boulder Creek CZO? - A video series

    All Disciplines

    Video & Tour

    Preview

    Boulder

  • × Bob Anderson kneels on a barren rocky surface while studying river terraces in the Boulder Creek watershed.

    Grades 9 - 12

    What is the Boulder Creek CZO? - A video series

    All Disciplines

    Video • Tour

    Watch three sets of videos about the Boulder Creek CZO, spanning from the Continental Divide (4120 m) down to the western edge of the Plains (1480 m). CZO researchers describe their fieldwork and data collection, supporting CZO science in the Rocky Mountains.

    Educational Objectives

    This video series includes several videos addressing a range of objectives. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Briefly describe the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory.
    • Describe aspects of instrumentation and how data is collected at the Boulder Creek CZO.

    Note that the page has three embedded videos but includes a link to the Boulder Creek's YouTube page with many more.

    Visit this resource

    See CZO listing


    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: Boulder CZO

    Author: Marshall Frech (Vantage Point Media), Suzanne Anderson (BcCZO PI) and staff from the Boulder Creek CZO


    Funding: NSF CZO

  • Grades 3 - 14

    Virtual Fieldwork in the Critical Zone

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork & Activity +

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × The Virtual Fieldwork Experience (VFE) Graphic Organizer for the Shale Hills VFE. The graphic organizer structures sets of questions that can be investigated at any field site. The overarching question is, 'Why does this place look the way it does?'

    Grades 3 - 14

    Virtual Fieldwork in the Critical Zone

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork • Activity • Curriculum • Lesson Plan • Computer Activity 

    This webpage serves as an introduction to both CZ science and the use of Virtual Fieldwork Experiences (VFEs) for exploration of the CZ. Embedded within this page you will find VFEs of Shale Hills Susquehanna, Southern Sierra CZO and Luquillo CZOs.

    Educational Objectives

    • Interpret the environment represented within the VFE you are investigating, including descriptions of why the landscape looks the way it does, and how it has changed over time.
    • Create a VFE representing your local environment or a field site you have visited and present it to interested others.

    Objectives for specific VFEs are included within those VFEs.

    Visit this resource

    See CZO listing


    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO • Luquillo CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI), Alexandra Moore (PRI), Michelle Gilmore (SSCZO)


  • Grades 3 - 16

    Shale Hills Tree Survey, Google Earth File

    Biology/Ecology +

    Virtual Fieldwork & Computer Activity  +

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × Trees within the Shale Hills focus catchment have all been catalogued. Different colors show different species.

    Grades 3 - 16

    Shale Hills Tree Survey, Google Earth File

    Biology/Ecology • GIS/RemoteSensing • SoilScience/Pedology

    Virtual Fieldwork • Computer Activity  • Demo • Dataset

    This kmz file contains basic data on every large tree within the Shale Hills catchment, including species and Diameter at Breast Height (DBH). Explore the data and look for patterns of species distributions by clicking on and off different species. This file is included within the Shale Hills VFE.

    Educational Objectives

    The listed objectives are suggestive. Teachers may design activities using the dataset with their own objectives.

    • Describe how distribution of trees varies by species.
    • Speculate what factors determine species' affinity for particular placement within the Shale Hills catchment.
    • Design investigations to test hypotheses about species distribution.

    The survey can also serve as a model for surveying trees (or other elements) in your local environment.

    Visit this resource (other)

    See CZO listing


    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO • Shale Hills CZO

    Author: Don Haas, Sarah Sharkey


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