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 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.

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

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI)


  • Grades 9 - 12

    What is the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory?

    Biology/Ecology +

    Information

    Preview

    Eel

  • × Image from ERCZO cartoon

    Grades 9 - 12

    What is the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory?

    Biology/Ecology • Geomorphology • Outreach/EducationResearch

    Information

    An illustrated introduction to the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory in the Angelo Coast Range Reserve.

    Educational Objectives

    After reading this cartoon, students will be able to:

    • Identify the Eel River Watershed on a map of California
    • Understand why the Critical Zone is of interest to scientists
    • Explain the role the Critical Zone plays in supporting healthy trees and river ecosystems 
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    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: Eel CZO

    Author: Justin Richardson (UMass Amherst), Bill Dietrich (UC Berkeley), Alana McGillis (www.alanamcgillis.com)


  • Grades 9 - 12

    Where do trees get their water?

    Biology/Ecology +

    Information

    Preview

    National

  • × Two illustrated cross-section views of a landscape. One with a plant's root system in shallow soil saying, 'Shallow for rain!' The other with a tree's root system reaching deeper soil saying, 'Deep soil water.'

    Grades 9 - 12

    Where do trees get their water?

    Biology/Ecology • Hydrology • SoilScience/Pedology

    Information

    In this blog post, learn how stable isotopes are used to determine a tree's water source.

    Educational Objectives

    Readers will be able to describe the possible sources of water for trees and the method used to determine a tree's water source. 

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Justin Richardson (UMass)


    Related Resource:

  • Grades 6 - 14

    Mapping Earth systems

    All Disciplines

    Information & Dataset +

    Preview

    National

  • × Very colorful map of Bedrock Geology for the U.S.  Maps of very different characteristics in the landscape can reveal surprising connections.

    Grades 6 - 14

    Mapping Earth systems

    All Disciplines

    Information • Dataset • Activity

    View ten maps of the contiguous 48 states, each highlighting different geographic features. Viewing the maps collectively reveals connections among different Earth systems.

    Educational Objectives

    • Describe similarities in the geographic distribution of different characteristics of the landscape.
    • Speculate on relationships among these different characteristics.
    Visit this resource (pdf)

    See CZO listing


    NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns • Systems and System Models

    NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models

    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS2 - Earth’s Systems • ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity


    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Don Haas (PRI)


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