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 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)


  • 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


  • Grades 6 - 14

    Where Does Gasoline Go?

    Climatology/Meteorology +

    Information & Demo +

    Preview

    National

  • × 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


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