Naturalist Perspectives Assignment 3: Water in the Landscape

Since our discussion of chemistry had a strong emphasis on the properties of water, let’s see if you can find these properties of water at work in the natural world. This assignment is due in the form of a blog post by the end of the day on April 10th.

  1. Choose and visit a body of water such as a pond, lake, stream, etc. We will not consider a puddle to be a body of water.
  2. Just enjoy it for a while.
  3. In your notebook, record your general observations by first noting the following:
    • Date & Time
    • Location
    • Weather Conditions
  4. Conduct and observation transect in the area. If your transect goes away from the water’s edge, what do you observe as you get further from the water? If your transect goes along the water’s edge, what do you notice along the boundary between water and land?
  5. Note the temperature: is it warmer or cooler by the water’s edge? If it is safe to do so, try to take the temperature of the water with a thermometer or simply my immersing your hand (again, only if it is safe to do so) and comparing the feeling of your immersed hand to the feeling of your other hand held in the air.
  6. pH_paperUse the pH paper you received in class to measure the pH of the water. What pH value do you get? Does this body of water have more of fewer hydrogen ions than pure water? How many times more or less?
  7. Record your observations in your notebook as well as your interpretation as to why the water’s temperature is higher, lower or the same as the surroundings; which property or properties of water accounts for this?
    • Bonus: What might be some of the health benefits for people living near or visiting this body of water? Be sure to cite sources supporting your thoughts on this body of water’s impact on human well-being.
  8. Post a summary of your responses to 2 – 7 on your blog.
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