A Web-Based Interactive Teaching Database Advanced Hydrology: The Mirror Lake Watershed

TitleA Web-Based Interactive Teaching Database Advanced Hydrology: The Mirror Lake Watershed
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBecker, MBecker Pri
Date Published2014/04/02/

9978335<br/>Becker<br/><br/>Every geoscience instructor recognizes the value of learning-by-doing, and the motivational advantage of real-world data. Real hydrologic data is available on the Internet and other sources, but rarely are the data sets comprehensive or placed in the context of a larger Earth system. This Interactive Teaching Database (ITD) will offer over 40 years hydrologic information collected at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, in a form that will allow for effective implementation in the classroom. Detailed hydrologic data concerning the atmospheric, surface, and ground water fluxes to Mirror Lake will be provided, along with more general information about the hydrology, geology, and ecology of the Hubbard Brook Valley. Thus, the instructor of hydrology will be able to create instructional exercises involving these data in the context of a larger environmental system. In addition, the hydrologic ITD will include an interactive companion study guide that provides students the opportunity to practice advanced hydrologic quantitative methods. This guide will take advantage of the latest in internet-based scientific visualization technology, including Java applets and VRML based three-dimensional interactive objects. The skills to be practiced include estimating baseflow and ground-water recharge using streamflow recession, estimating evapotranspiration using an energy balance, calculating the hydrologic budget of a watershed, and developing a numerical model of ground-water flow. Calculations will be carried-out using spreadsheets, simple Java-based algorithms, and the ground-water model MODFLOW. Educational problems and the underlying data will be based on published studies by the U.S. Geological Survey to ensure data quality and to provide a resource for upper-level undergraduate and entry-level graduate instruction, the ITD will also be the first comprehensive digital compilation of data resulting from the intensive hydrologic study of the Mirror Lake surface and ground water basin. The ITD will be designed with an open architecture, so that in the future it may be expanded to include more of the tremendous amount of ecologic, hydrologic, and geologic data that have been collected at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.