ARCHIVED CONTENT: The CZO program has been succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

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

    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)

    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)


  • 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. 

    Visit this resource

    See CZO listing


    Audience: K-12 • General Public

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Justin Richardson (UMass)


    Related Resource:

  • 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 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 
    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)


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