Lake 3D Visualization Content Map

Draft November 10, 2011

Lake3D Viz Content Map articulates content main messages for the informal science education on freshwater water ecosystems and their stewardship. The users of the content map are developers and practitioners who create learning materials for visitors and the public. The ideas articulated in the map drives all the educational products including (but not limited to) the visualizations, tabletops, media and websites.

The top level of the map has 3 overarching key big ideas about fresh water ecosystems and their stewardship. All educational products engage the visitors and the public in these main messages.

Each of the big ideas is linked to a set of learning objectives that the educational products will address. The learning objectives simplify the ideas into various pathways that will result in conveying the message to the visitor.

In order to develop the educational product such as visualization or a table-top activity, the learning objectives are further expanded into a detailed list of categorized topics, similar to the index in a textbook. Each topic may be addressed in more than one educational product. For example, earthquakes and faulting are topics that are closely linked to the formation of lakes and the dynamics of its change. These topics can be address through the 3D visualization as well as through table-top interactives.

Big Ideas:

Idea 1: Water connects to water, land, air and life

Idea 2: Freshwater ecosystems are dynamic, complex and are constantly changing

Idea 3: Humans study, manage and impact freshwater ecosystems on local as well global scale

Idea 1: Water connects to water, land, air and life

  • All living things need water
    • Human water consumption
    • Portion of water that is freshwater
    • Life is connected through the water cycle (hydrologic cycle) – on, under and above the earth and the amount of water on earth remains fairly constant.
      • Water cycle (precipitation, infiltration, evaporation, condensation)
      • Water moves nutrients as well as pollutants
      • Wetlands and their importance
      • Biodiversity is important to the health and sustainability of a freshwater ecosystem
        • What is Biodiversity
        • What is an ecosystem and how is related to biodiversity?
        • Food web
        • Invasive and native species
        • Changes in biodiversity
        • Freshwater moves through watersheds
          • What is a Watershed? Watersheds – also known as drainage basins – know no boundaries between villages, towns, counties, cities, and states.
          • Why is it important? Watersheds serve to recharge aquifers, to prevent soil loss, reduce flood and fire damage, provide vital habitat for countless flora and fauna, and most importantly to act as a natural filtration unit for eliminating the pollutants introduced into the water system agriculture, manufacturing, and other human activities.

Idea 2: Freshwater ecosystems are dynamic, complex, and are constantly changing over time (at a range of timescales)

  • Formation of freshwater ecosystems
    • Lakes and streams
    • Formation through geological processes-Earthquakes and faulting
    • Glaciers
    • Rainshadow effect
    • Mountain formation
    • Evolution of freshwater ecosystems
      • Natural cycle of formation, eutrophication, sedimentation into a meadow
      • Lakes are a reservoir of history in the sediments
      • Seasonal changes in lakes
        • Natural Eutrophication
        • Temperature
        • Clarity (light reflection/refraction/absorption)
        • Turbidity
        • Sedimentation rates
        • Physical Process in Lakes
          • Water Levels
          • LakeMixing
          • Waves and Currents, gyres, thermoclines
          • Life Within Lakes
            • Food webs
            • Uniqueness of organisms
            • Invasive species
            • Phytoplankton and Algae
            • Freshwater ecosystems in peril

Idea 3: Humans impact freshwater ecosystems on local as well global scale

  • Short term human actions impacting on a local scale
    • Pollutants (sediment, nutrients, toxins)
      • Mercury
      • Nutrient loading (Phosphorus)
      • Fertilizers and its impact on lakes
      • Scoop the poop
  • Storm drains
  • Transport of invasive species
  • Fishing/over-fishing
  • Swimming and boating
  • Long term impacts on a local scale
    • Deforestation
    • Land development and impervious surfaces
    • Agriculture and use of fertilizers
    • Impacts to food web due to invasive species
    • Erosion and run off
    • Human impacts on global scale
      • Changing climate-increasing temperature, changing seasons
      • Geological impacts-disappearance of glaciers
      • Changing wetlands and watersheds
      • Stewardship of freshwater ecosystems
        • Citizen science
        • Best Management Practices (agriculture and development)
        • Responsible usage (fishing, boating and swimming)

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