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Citizen Scientists Studying Evapotranspiration

News! 05 October 2010: Just published:
Juan Camilo Villegas, Clayton T. Morrison, Katherine L. Gerst, Carole R. Beal, Javier E. Espeleta and Matt Adamson (2010). Impact of an Ecohydrology Classroom Activity on Middle School Students' Understanding of Evapotranspiration [pdf], Journal of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Education, 39:150-156.

09 November 2009: We submitted a detailed description of our Evapotranspiration experiment as a classroom activity to the Ecological Society of America (ESA)'s Digital Teaching Library (EcoEd DL) and is among the library's featured Draught & Water-Ecosystem Services Teaching Collection for the ESA's Millenium Conference 2009. The material was peer reviewed and accepted. It is available here:
The partitioning of evapotranspiration into evaporation and transpiration: an experimental design assessing the affects of changes in vegetation cover.

More than 90% of the water that comes to the desert floor through precipitation (rain) evaporates right back into the atmosphere. UA scientists are working at Biosphere 2 to discover how plants and trees change the way that water evaporates from the soil. More species of woody plants are moving into the Sonoran Desert, and it is important to find out how they will affect the water cycle.
UA scientists are conducting a pilot program in collaboration with the Wilson K8 school in the Tucson area, to do the following:
  • Bring a real life scientific experiment into the classroom that does not just replicate an experiment, but produces data usable for ongoing scientific study
  • Integrate the study of the water cycle with background information about the experiment and how it is conducted into the 6th grade curriculum
  • Provide students with hands-on experience conducting a vital and important experiment
  • Provide scientists the opportunity to communicate their work to children and the general public
  • Promote the concept of citizen scientists in the Tucson community and develop closer connections between the community and the Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, and UA Computer Science.
Follow these links to learn more:
Who we are:
Citizen Scientists: Please contact Clay Morrison for more information.