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Stream Discharge Module- Beck Modification (Project EDDIE)

Author(s): Catherine Beck

Hamilton College

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Summary:
In this module, students use data from the United States Geologic Survey to assess changes in stream discharge with time, calculate flood frequency, and see the effects of urbanization and flood control.

Description

Stream discharge is 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. 

My original plan was to run all three sections of this module in my introductory topically-themed introductory geoscience class. However, a snow day closed the college on the day of my 2 hour lab block so I went to plan B which was to just run sections A and B. That also did not end up working out as when I went to test out the timing for this the night before running the assignment, I discovered the first link was broken and had trouble finding the updated link on my own and missed Jen's message on the topic. I went to Plan C and assigned a stream discharge assignment as homework for students instead.

In this upload, I included i) the lightly edited document, ii) the slides and used to introduce the content in class that also include the question I asked on students exam to assess their understanding of stream discharge!

Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry & Exploration) is a community effort aimed at developing teaching resources and instructors that address quantitative reasoning and scientific concepts using open inquiry of publicly available data. Project EDDIE modules are designed with an A-B-C structure to make them flexible and adaptable to a range of student levels and course structures.

Notes

In this upload, I included i) the lightly edited document of the module (note the broken link is not updated here!), ii) the slides and used to introduce the content in class that also include the question I asked on students exam to assess their understanding of stream discharge!

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