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Field Research on Glacial Change

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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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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