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  • Created 12 Nov 2021

Selected Modules

These are the selected modules for the Spring 2022 Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN). During the Spring 2022 semester, participants will adapt and implement portions from one of the following into their classrooms. These modules cover a range of earth and environmental science topics, so please select the activities that will fit best into your course curriculum. All EDDIE modules are built with an A-B-C structure that makes them flexible and adaptable to a range of student levels and course structures. Below are overview descriptions of the available modules. Additional details for each module can be provided upon request.  

Quick List of Modules (short descriptions follow below):


  • Climate Change

  • Sustainability Metrics

  • Hypoxia and Coastal Marine Ecosystems

  • Green Infrastructure/Green Roofs

  • Praire Eco Services

  • Stream Discharge Module

Climate Change

In this module, students will explore how climate is changing from the recent record. They will then compare current patterns to pre-historic rates of change calculated from ice-core data and use their results to support whether or not human activity is likely to have influenced current climate change.

In part A, students determine current rates of air temperature and CO2 change from modern datasets.
In part B,  students explore whether temperature and CO2 concentrations are related.
In part C, students compare current rates to pre-historical rates of change using data from an ice core to investigate how climate has changed in the past.

This module is a good fit for courses covering climate change such as environmental science, geology, sustainability, and ecology courses. The entire module can be completed in one 3 hour lab period or two 50 minute lecture periods for introductory or intermediate level students. It  If students have experience graphing in Excel, it is possible to complete Activities A and C within a single 70 minute class period, although there is not much time for discussion (this option excludes doing Activity B, which could be assigned for homework)

Module Details and Materials

Sustainability Metrics

In this module, students use an analytical framework with publicly available data to formulate questions, analyze data, and report metrics of sustainability.

In Part A, students learn to navigate the Gapminder tool, identify components of a graph, and interpret a graph under the IPAT analytical framework.

In Part B, students explore sustainability metrics by framing a sustainability question, building a graph, interpreting results, and communicating findings with peers.

In Part C, students formulate their own question about sustainability, download datasets from the Gapminder Tool website, compare and contrast sustainability metrics for a specific country over time, and reflect on strengths and limitations of datasets and IPAT framework for quantifying sustainability.

This module is intended for an upper-level undergraduate course in sustainability, environmental studies, systems thinking, natural resources consumption, or any interdisciplinary course that includes these concepts. Students are expected to be familiar with the three facets of sustainability and to have some experience with reading and interpreting graphs. This module was designed to be implemented in two 1.25-hour classroom sessions, but could be adapted to be completed in one 2.5 - 3 hour lab session.

Module Details and Materials 

Hypoxia in Coastal Marine Ecosystems

Engage introductory environmental science or biogeochemistry students in the exploration of dissolved oxygen concentration through time in the Chesapeake Bay using data from the Chesapeake Bay Program. Students will use a multi-variable 10-year data set from the Chesapeake Bay to investigate the change in dissolved oxygen concentration over time. To determine the possible cause(s) of hypoxic events, students will analyze additional variables and will need to relate and apply their understanding of natural and anthropogenic processes affecting the ecosystem and support their conclusions using evidence from their analyses.

In Part A, students learn to plot time series with 2 data sets (top and bottom measurements of dissolved oxygen); and understand that parameters at the surface can vary from bottom.

In Part B, students calculate and plot two different variables (dissolved oxygen and density) in a time series and explore possible correlations.

In Part C, students decide on how to determine the cause of hypoxic events by plotting additional biological variables and look for correlations and manageable measures

Module Details and Materials

Green Infrastructure/Green Roofs

In this module students will explore green roofs as a potential solution to the environmental impacts of increased precipitation brought on by climate change. They will evaluate data collected from studies on 15 green roofs from different areas of the US and other countries, as well as historical precipitation data from Central Park in NY to illustrate how precipitation patterns are changing and if we need to use green infrastructure, such as green roofs, to combat the symptoms of climate change.

In Part A, students determine precipitation patterns and rates of change from modern datasets.

In Part B, students explore temporal distribution of intense rain events and wettest years to determine if rainfall intensity has changed over time.

In Part C, students evaluate data from green roofs to determine their effectiveness for reducing runoff. Use Model My Watershed to collect data using professional-grade models and implement their own green infrastructure plan.

This module has been used in a lab period for an environmental science course for non-majors, comprised primarily of freshmen and is a good fit for course covering environmental science and sustainability challenges. This entire module can be completed in one three-hour lab period or two 90 minute lecture periods for introductory or intermediate level students. 

Module Details and Materials 

Prairie Eco Services

This module introduces students to prairie restoration strategies through exploring data from a 1 acre plot in Texas. The KHS Tiger prairie serves as a model for green decision making, allowing students the opportunity to calculate the quantifiable cost-savings of incorporating native landscapes in their communities. Students will analyze recent precipitation and infiltration data, make predictions on which locations in urban areas have the most potential for restoration, and reflect on the societal and economic barriers to current conservation efforts.

In Part A, students investigate and plot historical severe-weather data from the NOAA website (on student handout) and predict the likelihood and severity of future flooding events.

In Part B, students investigate land use patterns in the Texas Gulf Coast region and analyze the relationship between land-use and infiltration rates.

In Part C, students evaluate the eco-services provided by prairies; in particular, students will model the additional infiltration capacity of 1 acre of native Texas grasslands. Students will quantify the amount of displaced flood waters as well as the cost-savings provided by native green spaces.

In Part D, students synthesize their interpretations from activities A-C into a community action plan; students should write their plans using collective impact strategies and incorporate data findings to support their statements.

This module was written for secondary and post-secondary academic levels, and is applicable to a variety of Earth Science, Environmental Science, and Ecology units. The module explores topics relevant to soil properties, hydrology, meteorology, climate change, botany/biology, land use studies, and general data-analysis. 

Module Details and Materials

Stream Discharge Module

This module introduces students to stream discharge as a fundamental measure of water supply in stream systems. Low discharge may cause problems with water supply and fish passage, while high discharge may mean flooding. In this module, students explore real-time stream discharge data available from the United States Geologic Survey. Students use this data to assess changes in discharge with time, calculate flood frequency, and see the effects of urbanization and flood control. 

In Part A, students investigate variability in real stream data, using data from the USGS Hydrologic Benchmark Network.

In Part B, students identifying changes in discharge over time, using data from the USGS Hydrologic Benchmark Network.

In Part C, students calculating flood frequency from peak discharge data, and assessing the effects of urbanization and flood control on flood frequency, using data from the USGS real-time streamflow network.

This module has been used in courses in introductory geology, environmental geology, and surface water hydrology. 

Module Details and Materials