MAKING PUBLICALLY AVAILABLE DATA ACCESSIBLE FOR STUDENTS
The StreamPULSE project has made continuous oxygen measurements and associated metabolism estimates available to scientists and the public. Many ecosystem processes are more difficult for non-scientists to understand than more familiar organismal behaviors and interactions. Thus, available does not necessarily mean accessible. We developed an educational component to complement the data. We endeavored to interactively explain background knowledge so people are comfortable exploring data from different sites and hypothesizing why oxygen varies and what that means for the stream. Wet Beaver Creek in Arizona, a core StreamPULSE site, is located beside a boarding high school. To increase understanding and use of the data, we visited three classes (chemistry, ecology, and biology) and explained aspects of the project to students in relation to things they were learning. Students learned about stream mixing and discharge by performing dilution gauging; about metabolism by measuring oxygen in microhabitats and incubation experiments; about water movement and watersheds by building a 3D ecosystem web (complementing their circulatory system lesson). Increased familiarity with StreamPULSE data allows students to interact with real data relevant to their lives (right outside) in order to better understand and apply classroom material.
Sophia Bonjour (Primary Presenter/Author), Southern Illinois University , email@example.com;
Nancy Grimm (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Arizona State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;