Alpine Hydrology Workshop Description

Partners: MSI, LMAC, NSF-funded Dust On Snow grant, BSI, ScienceLIVE

When: March 14, 2015

Where: Durango Public Library

When: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Grade Levels: 6-16

Workshop Description:

This program is designed for teachers of grades 6 to 16 wanting to provide their students with an understanding of the connections between snow hydrology and the role of dust in nutrient cycling in the Colorado alpine. The program will inform attendees about how to understand snow pack measurements and where to find snowpack data and offer a primer on the links between human activity and their impacts on water quality and supply.

Attendees should bring a laptop.

The Program will include:

Alpine Nitrogen Cycle (CO State Standards: Grade 6 LS 2.2, HS LS 2.1)

Students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle in an alpine environment. This activity connects hydrology to alpine flora and fauna through connecting the dots in the nitrogen cycle.

Water storage in the Snowpack (CO State Standards: Grade 6 ESS 3.2, HS ESS 3.6)

Students use real snow pit data from the San Juan Mountains to calculate snow water equivalent (SWE), which Colorado water managers monitor and assess daily. Students then use their knowledge of SWE and snow distribution to calculate how many peoples’ water needs can be met by an alpine valley snowpack.

Snowpack and Hydrology Data Access and Analysis (Data analysis is an emphasis of new NGSS standards)

A short training for teachers on how to access and download real time snowpack, hydrological, and climate data from the internet. The training also includes some ideas for data analysis to use in the classroom.

Citizen Science, Forest Health, and Snow Depth Monitoring – JD Kurz and Aaron Kimple