Geography Awareness Week 2010

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With GIS, students investigate real issues that are critical to the world�on a daily basis. It is difficult to think of a topic that is as critical as climate. Climate underpins our agriculture, biodiversity, and our very civilization.

Web Mapping
USGS stream gaging stations indicating real-time streamflow from ArcGIS Online.
ArcGIS Online

Go to ArcGIS Online ( and search on water, streamflow, and other water-related terms. You will find maps on water quality, lakes, wetlands, stream gaging data, floods, and much more. Make your own maps by combining layers, save them for later use, and share them with others.


Examining Stormwater using GIS:

The focus of these units is on stormwater in Maryland, but the issue of stormwater, runoff, population, permeable/impermeable surfaces, and related issues are important in all areas of the world. The expression of this issue varies greatly depending on what part of Maryland or any region that is being analyzed. The first three lessons build background for students in the issue using geographic information systems (GIS) as an investigative tool. These lessons are connected to a variety of Maryland and national standards including the Common Core math standards.

Examining Stormwater using GIS

Analyzing Water Use in the USA using GIS
USGS stream gaging stations indicating real-time streamflow from ArcGIS Online.
Analyzing Water Use in the USA using GIS:

In this lesson, you will understand (1) how to access and format data from the USA County database from the US Census Bureau within a GIS environment; (2) how to analyze these data, specifically about water and by extension, other variables�using GIS and spatial statistics techniques, including regression analysis, hot spot, scatterplot, and others. With updates and improvements December 2009!

Assessing Environmental Impact on Montana's Watersheds

The EPA wants you to prepare a report on the effect that mines and landfills in the Upper Kootenai watershed could potentially have on the water quality there. You will download and analyze hydrographic and environmental data in a GIS framework for your report.

Assessing Environmental Impact on Montana's Watersheds


Teaching about watersheds with Online and 3D GIS: Part 1

Why teach about watersheds? As the area of land that drains all of the water falling into it into a common waterway, watersheds are connected to a larger system. Furthermore, each is a part of a larger watershed. Thus, watersheds (or drainage basins or catchments) are excellent means by which to teach about scale and interconnectivity.

Teaching about watersheds with Online and 3D GIS: Part 2

Another excellent resource to teach about watersheds from a spatial perspective is the EPA's Surf Your Watershed site. For each watershed, environmental threats, streamflow, citizen-based action groups, and water quality data can be analyzed. Navigate upstream and downstream to foster understanding of the interconnectivity between adjacent watersheds, and to watersheds far away.

Examining Historical and Current Flood Hazards using GIS

Floods are a problem in mountainous areas in part because runoff from rainfall and snowmelt is constrained to narrow river valleys. Many cities at the base of mountain fronts were founded at the places where the rivers flowed onto the plains. Denver, Boulder, Loveland, and Fort Collins, Colorado, were founded at these places on the South Platte, Boulder, Big Thompson, and Cache la Poudre Rivers, respectively to provide settlers and miners access to the mountains and to provide access to water sources for irrigating crops and watering livestock.

Analyzing Water with GIS as the Investigative Toolkit

On 6 October 2010, youth from across the USA will participate in the third annual 4-H National Youth Science Day. This year�s experiment is called 4-H20, and as the name implies, focuses on water quality. The experiment, developed by the North Carolina State University�s cooperative extension and North Carolina A&T State University, can be downloaded from the 4-H website and invites participants to study the effects of an increasingly heated environment on living algae.

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