GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 97-5
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM


WALKER, Becca, Department of Earth Sciences and Astronomy, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA 91789, HARVEY, Jonathan E., Geosciences, Fort Lewis College, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301 and PRATT-SITAULA, Beth, Education and Community Engagement, UNAVCO, 6350 Nautilus Drive, Suite B/C, Boulder, CO 80301

The GETSI (GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues) project is a collection of instructional modules for introductory and majors-level undergraduates that address critical societal issues using geodetic and other geoscience data. Co-authored by geoscience faculty at 2-year and 4-year institutions and science content experts, published GETSI modules include instructional materials for students; support materials for faculty, including introductory classroom presentations, teaching descriptions, and answer keys; animations and online tools; and suggestions for formative and summative assessment. This presentation features GETSI’s introductory-level module on water resources. This module was originally developed and published for majors-level undergraduates (Douglas, Small, and Pratt-Sitaula, 2017.) In the second phase of the GETSI project, the existing water resources module was revised by a different faculty author team and repurposed for the introductory undergraduate audience. Students are introduced to a variety of traditional and geodetic techniques for monitoring the hydrosphere reservoirs and transport pathways of great societal importance, including GRACE, vertical GPS, reflection GPS, SNOTEL, stream gaging, and depth-to-groundwater. They subsequently work with time-series data illustrating how drought and wet years influence groundwater storage in the High Plains Aquifer and snowpack and surface runoff in a western mountain watershed. The culmination of the module tasks students with applying their experiences in previous exercises to their local watershed, including identifying the reservoirs and transport pathways most important to their community; investigating which geodetic and traditional hydrologic data sets are available in their area; and temporal variations in the data. They also consider how competing interests among different water stakeholder groups could impact water legislation, distribution, and infrastructure in their area. We will provide a brief overview of module units, discuss instructional strategies used in the module to facilitate student engagement, and give examples of formative and summative assessments to accompany classroom exercises. Audience members will also have the opportunity to explore some of the time-series data used in the module.