Environmental Science -- 07
8:00 - 8:15 Daily observations
8:15 - 10:00 Health & History of Puget Sound

Opening Question: Yesterday we listed 5 characteristics of Puget Sound that have changed over the last 150 years -- What were those?


Now let's take the top three of those:

#1) Blues - People/Population

#2) Greens - Ecosystem

#3) Oranges - Pollution

#4) Red - Building/Land Use Changes

Please regroup yourself with other folks of the same color designation

Take about 15 minutes to research those characterists/changes in Puget Sound

Every time you find something interesting, please write a VERY brief (no more than 3 words) description of that item on a post-it. Please include:

    1. a 3 word description LARGE so everyone can see it
    2. the specific place in Puget Sound where that item MOST impacts Puget Sound
    3. the source you found that information (do not include "http://www)
    4. the author of that item (if it is given, if not write "No Author")
10:00 - 1:00: Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Plankton Study
Field Notes are HERE

1:30 - 2:00: Please once again grab a National Geographic, Scientific American or Smithsonian magazine (Please take a different title than you took last time)

The good news is those magazines are very well regarded as sources of reliable information about a wide range of topics.

Also, each of those tends to avoid publishing speculative or unproven science. When they do write a story about something that is not established science they are very good about explaining that topic and why it is cutting edge.

Please take a few moments to find a particular article that you find interesting:

  • Read the first paragraph
  • Skim the article looking for pictures, graphs and such and be sure and read the captions beneath each.
  • Return to skimming the article using our usual method--
      • Glance at the first sentence of the paragraph
      • If that sentence is interesting, read it, if it's not skip to the first sentence of the next paragraph
      • Proceed


Have a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Explain the main topic of the article to your partner and elaborate on one additional part of the article you thought was interesting.

Now let's have a class conversation, what about the article is present that helps build confidence that the article is accurate and reliable?

2:00 - 2:15 Daily Observations #2 - if time permits

2:00 - 3:00 Return to Our Conversation on Water

  • Let's Revisit the Colorado River & the American Southwest
  • Begin conversation on the Aral Sea in Asia
  • Coming Next: Thirsty metropolis'-- Providing water to 8 million New Yorkers


Southern California and virtually all of the American Southwest exists as a desert. By definition that means that ON AVERAGE, that area gets between 0 - 10 inches of rain in one calendar year.


Let's do a comparison of a VERY dry area, a Moderately rainy area and an VERY rainy area in the United States:

Las Vegas Avg Monthly Rainfall
Seattle Average Monthly Rainfall

Hilo Average Monthly Rainfall

Let's take a gander at THIS article

Please take a moment to review that data

1) Work with your group to suggest a title for that graph

2) Work solo for a few moments and write a one or two sentence summary of that data.


What is the NUMBER ONE driver for water consumption in the American Southwest?


Here's what the Univ of California at San Diego says--

The current population of ALL of So Cal is about 22 million.

Where do they get their water? (Go find out!)



Colorado River Basin:

Colorado River Water River Flow:


So who gets that water? It's awful complicated but check out THIS

And this site or This reading

Okay... this is getting complicated, let's try to put this in words that make sense to us in our every day use.

1 acre foot is defined to be the amount of water required to cover 1 acre of land under 1 foot of water.

So far so good

1 Acre foot is = to 325,851 gallons

1 regulation olympic swimming pool holds just over 660,430 gallons.

Therefore we can imagine one olympic pool as holding 2 acre feet of water.


And just WHERE does so cal get it's water? *YIKES*