Educational Resources: General Public

Because Critical Zone (CZ) Science is so important and new, it is vital to help everyone learn about it: STEM education professionals, their students, general public, and others. CZ Science is well suited for the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Page: ALL   K-12   General Public   Higher Education   Research Community

Filter by:  Video    VFE  

See all Resources for National CZO

× A view from Mt. Lemmon.  Two hikers stand on a rock outcrop and look down onto the steep valleys below.

Grades K - Professional

Mt. Lemmon science tour app

All Disciplines

App • Tour

Use a narrative "science tour" app for the drive up Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Travel from desert to pine forest, listening to the audio guide and watching slideshows and videos. Learn how our world is sustained by natural environments, systems, and cycles.

Educational Objectives

Describe the natural history of Mt. Lemmon with special attention to geology and biology. The tour follows the Catalina Highway to the top of Mt. Lemmon.

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


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

Observatory: Catalina-Jemez CZO

Author: Producer: Shipherd Reed (Univ. of Arizona)

Funding: NSF CZO, Contributions from UA College of Science and other regional organizations

× 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

See CZO listing


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

Observatory: National CZO

Author: Don Haas (PRI)

Don
Haas


× 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.

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

Don
Haas

Sarah
Sharkey


× 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

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)

Don
Haas

Alexandra
Moore

Michelle
Gilmore


× 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

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)

Don
Haas


× Jon Chorover (U of Arizona) presenting 'Introduction to the Critical Zone' during the 2015 Critical Zone Science Cafe Series.

Grades 6 - 14

CZ Science Cafe Series

All Disciplines • SoilScience/Pedology • Biology/Molecular • Hydrology

Video

Watch fascinating, public lectures from four Catalina-Jemez CZO researchers. The 30-minute lectures are part of the Critical Zone Science Cafe Series from Fall 2015, in Tucson, AZ.

Educational Objectives

Viewers will be able to describe:

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public

Observatory: Catalina-Jemez CZO

Author: Jon Chorover (U of Arizona), Craig Rasmussen (U of Arizona), Rachel Gallery (U of Arizona) and Tom Meixner (U of Arizona)

Jon
Chorover

Craig
Rasmussen

Rachel
Gallery

Thomas
Meixner


Funding: The Catalina-Jemez Critical Zone Observatory in collaboration with the University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.

× Cover of 'In the Trenches' journal.  It features State College High school students with TeenShale Network measuring stream discharge and additional water quality parameters of Black Moshannon Creek. [Photo by Earth & Environmental Systems Institute, Penn State University]

Grades 6 - 14

In The Trenches CZO Theme Issue

All Disciplines

Article

Learn about educational initiatives and resources for teaching CZ Science. This issue includes seven articles that describe approaches to teaching CZ Science, why teaching CZ Science is important, and how such approaches can satisfy NGSS expectations. Full access requires NAGT membership.

Educational Objectives

Describe a range of approaches to, and resources for, teaching CZ Science.

As this is a collection of seven articles, the educational objectives are too numerous to list here. They are listed in the individual entries for each article.

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

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

Author: D. Haas, T. White, S. McGee, N. Rodriguez, J.Z. Williams, S. Dykhoff, J. Pollak, S.L. Brantley, K.P. O’Neill, J.F. Rice, D. deB. Richter, C. Roemmele, S. Smith, A. Moore

Don
Haas

Tim
White

Steven
McGee

Jennifer
Williams

Susan
Brantley

Katherine
O'Neill

Daniel
Richter

Alexandra
Moore


× The Reynolds Creek Virtual Tour

Grades 6 - 14

Reynolds Creek Virtual Tour

Biogeochemistry • Biology/Ecology • Climatology/Meteorology • SoilScience/Pedology • Outreach/EducationResearch

Tour • Video • Website • Information

Take a virtual tour of the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory! Track snowfall and predict soil thickness. Learn about soil carbon and how climate change and sagebrush ecosystems are modeled.

Educational Objectives

Objectives being written.

Tracking Snow:  Measuring Nature’s Water Reservoir.  

Organic Carbon:  The Key Variable in a Changing Climate.  

Inorganic Carbon:  A Different Type of Carbon.  

Predicting Soil Thickness:  Anywhere on a Landscape.  

CORE Sites:  The Most Advanced Ecosystem Measurements Anywhere.  

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

Observatory: Reynolds CZO

Author: Sindelar, H., Kanode, C., and S. Lanier. Montana State University. School of Film & Photography.

Funding: The Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory: EAR # 1331872 and ICER # 1445246

× About 5.5 pounds of the six pound weight of a gallon of gasoline is carbon. This graphic shows a gallon of gasoline beside 5.5 pounds of pure carbon in the form of graphite.

Grades 6 - 14

Where Does Gasoline Go?

Climatology/Meteorology • Biology/Ecology • Outreach/EducationResearch • SocialScience

Information • Demo • Video

In the U.S., we burn over a gallon of gasoline per person, per day. What becomes of all that? What does it have to do with the Critical Zone? This blog post investigates these questions with powerful but simple visuals that can be easily translated to classroom use.

Educational Objectives

  1. Explain why burning a six pound gallon of gasoline produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  2. Communicate the scale of carbon dioxide emissions by describing the carbon cycle through the story of gasoline.
Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education

Observatory: National CZO

Author: Don Haas

Don
Haas


× 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

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public

Observatory: National CZO

Author: Justin Richardson (UMass)

Justin
Richardson


× 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

 

Visit this resource (video)

See CZO listing


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)

Robert
Ross

Alexandra
Moore

Lou
Derry

Tim
White

Justin
Richardson

Kamini
Singha

Susan
Brantley


× 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

× 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:

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

Suzanne
Anderson


Funding: NSF CZO

× 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. 

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public

Observatory: National CZO

Author: Justin Richardson (UMass)

Justin
Richardson


Related Resource:

× 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:

Visit this resource

See CZO listing


Audience: K-12 • General Public

Observatory: Eel CZO

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

Justin
Richardson

William
Dietrich