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 6 - 12

    What is leaching?

    Hydrology +

    Information

    Preview

    National

  • × Illustration of water moving through vegetation and into and through the soil and rock.

    Grades 6 - 12

    What is leaching?

    Hydrology • SoilScience/Pedology

    Information

    This blog post covers the topic of leaching, the process in which water carries soluble substances or small particles through soil or rock.

    Educational Objectives

    Readers will be able to describe the process of leaching, its function, and the effect it has on the structure of the Critical Zone.

    Visit this resource

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Justin Richardson (UMass)


  • Grades 3 - 16

    Technical tools of real and virtual fieldwork

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork & Activity +

    Preview

    National

  • × Screenshot of a webpage including a Google Street View spherical panorama of a highly instrumented tree at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory.

    Grades 3 - 16

    Technical tools of real and virtual fieldwork

    All Disciplines

    Virtual Fieldwork • Activity • Project

    See an annotated list of technical tools for creating Virtual Fieldwork Experiences about a site. Tools include smartphone apps for capturing imagery and other data as well as accessing information (ie geologic maps). Desktop and web-based software is also included, as is some hardware.

    Educational Objectives

    Users will both create and access media to explain why a site looks the way it does.

    Visit this resource

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education • Research Community

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI)


  • 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

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    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 6 - 12

    Explore the Critical Zone: WSKG video

    All Disciplines

    Video

    Preview

    National

  • × Kamini Singha (Boulder Creek CZO, Colorado School of Mines) sits in a grassy field discussing the importance of the Critical Zone.

    Grades 6 - 12

    Explore the Critical Zone: WSKG video

    All Disciplines

    Video

    A seven-minute video that explores the Critical Zone, what it is, why it's important, and how the NSF CZO program is studying it. The video emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of work in the critical zone.

    Educational Objectives

    • Explain what the Critical Zone and Critical Zone Science are.
    • Describe some ways humans are changing the Critical Zone and why these changes are important to understand.

     

    Visit this resource (video)

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: R. Ross (PRI), N. Coddington (WSKG), S. Johnson (WSKG), A. Moore (PRI), L. Derry (Cornell Univ), T. White (Penn State), J. Richardson (Cornell Univ), K. Singha (CSM), S. Brantley (Penn State)


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