Earth Systems Science Research Why this class? In five years, Goddard Space Flight Center will have 40% of its employees eligible for retirement. The systems approach to understanding processes on Earth
and beyond is helping us just begin to understand how everything is connected. Our Objectives: Encourage students to be curious Provide students with an opportunity to learn for the sake of learning Allow students to be self-directed Measure assessment individually
The Five Spheres HYDROSPHERE Ocean processes ElNino and LaNina Water/ Energy balance BIOSPHERE
Productivity Monitoring Disease Human impact on diversity CRYOSPHERE Icecaps and Glaciers
Albedo Effects Sealevel and Global Climate Change GEOSPHERE Topography Plate tectonics: volcanoes and earthquakes Magnetic Fields
Geothermal Erosion and weathering ATMOSPHERE Weather Patterns and general circulation Global Warming Aerosols and Ozone Severe Weather:
tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, drought Goal: Research Observe, understand, and model the Earth System to learn how it is changing, and the
consequences for life on Earth. Five Research Questions Variability, Forcing, Response, Consequences, Predicition Variability How
is the Earth System changing? How are global ecosystems changing? Forcing What changes are
occurring in global land cover and land use, and what are their causes? How is Earths surface being transformed and how can such information predict future changes? Response
How does cloud cover affect Earths climate? How can climate variations induce change in global ocean circulation? How is global sea level affected by climate change?
Consequences What are the consequences of climate and sea level changes and increased human activities on coastal regions? Prediction
How can weather forecast duration and reliability be improved by new space-based observations, data assimilation and modeling? Scientific Tools
Access and process information. Interpret and communicate findings. Interpret/create graphics. Defend a position
on a scientific issue. Earth System Science Research Course TERM 1: Mini- Projects
Nine weeks to explore various spheres Introduce students to research components Use various data analysis techniques Record activities in Log Book TERM 2: Student Research Projects Nine weeks to complete research project Record activities in Log Book Collect and organize Document Archive
Mini-Project Activities Content is Variable Examples Nine week-long projects Plotting Volcanoes and Earthquakes to determine plate motion. Studying Global temperatures to determine climate change and glacier reduction. Observing the effects of El Nino on various global systems such as fires or hurricanes.
Student Research Proposal Background Information Data Collection and Analysis Conclusions Methods/References Abstract Poster Construction Examples of Student Questions
How is the Water Quality of the Chesapeake Bay Impacted by Hurricane Isabel and the subsequent Rain Event? What is the Correlation between Tornado Frequency and Deaths? Is there a correlation between ozone depletion and the number of new cases of skin cancer in Australia?
More Research Questions Is there a correlation between South Pole Ozone levels and Antarctica Ice Extent? Is there a correlation between El Nino events and the frequency of hurricane formation in the Atlantic Ocean?
Is there are connection between Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Mauna Loa and surface temperatures of Hilo, Hawaii? Does cloud cover increase or decrease the surface temperature of the Earth?
Is there a correlation between North Pole ozone depletion and phytoplankton amounts in the Norwegian Sea? Is there a correlation between Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Surface Height? Is there a correlation between El Nino Events and earthquake activity surrounding the Nazca Plate?
Is the decrease in snowfall responsible for the recession of Sperry Glacier, in Glacier National Park ? Are volcanoes causing the planet to cool? How is local weather effecting the quality of
Little Bennett Creek? Is their a connection between tornadoes and the amount of water on the surrounding land? FINAL PRESENTATIONS Student PowerPoint Presentations Poster Presentations NASA Field Trip
Possible Paper Publications Emphasis on process not Conclusions
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