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Field Research on Glacial Change
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ttv10.sci.ess.earthsys.fieldresearch/

ThinkTV, Teachers' Domain

This video describes how field research -- in this case, making water measurements in rugged mountain locations -- helps us to understand the complex relationships among changing climate, populations, and water usage.

Video length: 4:50 minutes.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Reducing human vulnerability to the impacts of climate change depends not only upon our ability to understand climate science, but also upon our ability to integrate that knowledge into human society. Decisions that involve Earth’s climate must be made with an understanding of the complex inter-connections among the physical and biological components of the Earth system as well as the consequences of such decisions on social, economic, and cultural systems.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Climate plays an important role in the global distribution of freshwater resources. Changing precipitation patterns and temperature conditions will alter the distribution and availability of freshwater resources, reducing reliable access to water for many people and their crops. Winter snowpack and mountain glaciers that provide water for human use are declining as a result of global warming.
About Teaching Principle 7
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for some organisms and industrial processes. Water in rivers, lakes, and underground can be depleted or polluted, making it unavailable or unsuitable for life.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
The growing worldwide interdependence of social, economic, and ecological systems means that changes in one place in the world may have effects in any other place.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educators can use this resource to help students understand the process that scientists go through to develop a method of taking measurements to obtain useful scientific data that can help answer their research questions.

About the Science

  • A key issue that the scientists solve in this video is how to distinguish glacier-produced water from surface runoff and ground water.
  • The research project is ultimately focused on protecting the water supply of communities served by the glacier.
  • Comments from expert scientist: It provides a reasonable overview of the concepts of glacier mass balance and hydrological regimes, although the accompanying text does a better job of explaining this than the video itself. The video is titled as being about 'Field Research on Glacial Change', but it doesn't really address this topic. Instead it shows a couple of professors doing basic measurements of water temperatures. It's not clear how this relates to glacial change, and I have some concerns about the scientific methods that they are using.

About the Pedagogy

  • As with many of the Teacher Domain resources, the video segment is accompanied by background information, discussion questions, and teaching tips.
  • The video is useful for showing how scientists work in the field to conduct research and collect data.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easily available in several formats for viewing. The image is pixilated when viewing online in full screen mode, so the quality is too poor for projection.

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