Watershed Resources for Teachers and Students
Curricula ideas for the classroom and the field.
Basic Student Curricula
- Students identify a local watershed and delineate it on a
Quantify land use, topography, slope, aspect,
tributaries, watershed order (first, second, etc.).
Go to the EPA Surf Your Watershed site and get more
detailed information about the watershed or the larger watershed it is
Go to the Web and find precipitation data from the NCDC
site and streamflow data from the USGS site for the watershed.
Plot streamflow and precipitation for a particular year.
Look at the correlation between precipitation and
streamflow throughout the year.
Calculate evapotranspiration (precipitation minus
streamflow) and determine what percent of precipitation goes to each on
that watershed. Compare these numbers among different watersheds.
Download water quality data from the watershed from the
USGS site and acid rain data from the NADP site. Discuss the water
quality concerns of the watershed based on this data and where the
pollutants may be originating.
Use water quality kits to measure various chemical
parameters in the stream and relate the results to watershed land use.
Suggested tests: pH, alkalinity, nitrate, turbidity, chloride,
temperature, dissolved oxygen, bacteria
Collect macroinvertbrates and compute a biotic index for
the stream preferably up and downstream of major land use changes to
show a difference.
Estimate stream flow using a floating object and compare
estimated value to actual flows if the stream is monitored by the USGS