Water-Earth Dynamics, Challenge 2: Know Your Watershed

Test Your Mettle

Quizzes, tests, labs, and assignments offer the opportunity to apply what you know and to evaluate what topics you need to study further.  They are tools that your teacher uses to evaluate and document what you have learned, and to identify misconceptions and important gaps in your knowledge, which can be addressed by additional teaching.


As practice to test your knowledge about watersheds, take the Center For Environmental Education Quiz on Watersheds


  1. Texas Water Development Board, Lesson #5: Management of Watersheds as a Water Resource.  This assignment requires you to visit your local watershed and learn why watersheds need to be protected.  You will need to identify terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals, measure/observe qualities of the stream, determine evidence of human alteration of the landscape (identified as point or nonpoint-source pollution), map the watershed, and describe how the watershed could be protected to maintain it as a water resource.  When you have completed the assignment, discuss the impacts of creating impermeable layers such as pavement on land adjacent to watersheds.
  2. Linda Reinen, Watershed Analysis, Starting Point — Teaching Entry Level Geoscience (Article on Watersheds).  In this activity you will conduct a regional watershed analysis of an area of your choosing.  Using on-line data and personal knowledge of the area, determine the annual hydrologic budget and teach the class about "their" watershed.
  3. Brian Welch, Stream Gages and GIS (Activity on Teaching Entry Level Geoscience), found in Starting Point - Teaching Entry Level Geoscience, is an exercise that utilizes the national network of stream gage data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division as an online Geographic Information System (GIS).  The presentation of real-time streamflow data in national and state maps presents opportunities for you to interpret recent regional-scale climate events based on current streamflow, monitor changes in time, and consider additional interpretations that could be derived if other data were in map form.  Connections are provided to existing online hydrology exercises that consider interpretations based on time-series streamflow data from single gages within the U.S. Geological Survey database.  This exercise may be used to consider regional-scale conceptual problems in tandem with the traditional hydrology exercises, or vice versa.  If you live in Austin, you may substitute the labs below for an activity previously listed.

NOTE: Teachers, remember to address misconceptions and reteach concepts as necessary.