Breaking Down Barriers

Supporting Community Engagement and Effective Science Communication

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River Team

Rivers are an important part of the hydrologic cycle. They transport water and sediment from high elevations to lower elevations. Rivers naturally adjust so that they can do the most “work” (moving water and sediment) using the least effort. Since rivers follow natural laws, scientists and engineers are able to make predictions about their behavior. This also means that when something disturbs a natural river, we can predict what interventions might help the river get back to its natural state of balance. 

In this activity, designed by Graduate Student Outreach Fellow Lilly Jones, you are a hydrologist traveling downriver, from the headwaters to the delta of a river in your care. Along the way, your river will experience disturbances; it is up to you to match interventions to disturbances. 



These free NCSE lesson sets are Selected-by-CLEAN. The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) uses a peer-review process to identify high-quality materials that align with the Climate and Energy Literacy Principles and the Next Generation Science Standards. Click the badge above to learn more.

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