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					                                                               Student Lesson
Lesson Title:   Watershed Exploration
Lessons Summary: Students use skills gained from the Web-based GIS tutorial to explore the
Willamette Watershed in Oregon. A correlation will be found between types of trees and the riparian
zone along the McKenzie River. Population in the Willamette Valley and annual rainfall in the Coast
Range and the Cascades will be evaluated. Due to the recent downward trend in rainfall, students will
be expected to propose a new site for water collection, similar to Portland’s Bull Run watershed.

Lesson Objective:

      Students will navigate an interactive map to identify types of trees that grow along the
       McKenzie River.

      Students will explore population data and annual rainfall to determine a new site to collect
       drinking water.

      Students will research career connections for GIS and water or natural resource management.

Before you begin using this module, you will need to know about using a Web-based GIS
viewer. You can do this by watching the tutorial video or working through the tutorial. The
tutorial video, student activity, and Web-based GIS Tutorial Viewer can be found at  “Modules” tab  “Web-based GIS Tutorial” link. The activity works
best with a high speed Internet connection.

Prior Skills: You will need to know how to turn layers on and off, use the ID tool and, zoom in
and out of the map, toggle from layers to the legend, and perform a search (Boolean) query.

Remember, computer steps are indicated by a             symbol and questions you need to answer are

   Begin by connecting to the MAPS-GIS Web page at
   Scroll down until the Oregon Precipitation and Vegetation Map is visible
   Click on Oregon Precipitation and Vegetation and then click on the link to the Web-based
   Or go directly to the map at
   Use the inset tool      to turn off the inset map.

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                                             1
  Click on the “Visible” button next to County to turn it off.
  Click on both the “Visible” and “Active” buttons next to Oregon Basins to
  turn them on, then click on the                     .
  Use the Identify Tool    and click on the large green basin that runs from
  Portland to just below Cottage Grove.

     1) What is the name of this Basin ?

  Use the Zoom In tool       to enlarge this Basin.
  Make the River layer Active and click on                    .
  Use the Identify Toll     to learn the names of the rivers within the basin.

     2) What are the names of the other three rivers?

  Turn off the Oregon Basin layer, make the Vegetation layer visible, click on   .

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                            2
   Use the Zoom tool        to zoom in on the McKenzie river.

   Use the Legend tool       to switch from layer to legend.

   Use the Identify tool     to determine what type of vegetation is growing along the McKenzie
   (light green).

       3) Looking at the value in the VEG_NAME field, what types of vegetation is growing along
           the McKenzie River?

       4) From field work and class discussions, would you describe this vegetation as upland or
           riparian? How do you know? (you may open another window on your browser to verify
           your answer.)

Extra credit: If you were hired to restore a riparian zone, what type of trees would you plant? What
evidence do you have to support your decision?

   Use the tool     to zoom out to the original map size.

   Turn the County and Population layers on. Make the Population layer active. Turn the Relief and
   Vegetation layers off.

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                                              3
  Use the Zoom in tool        to draw a rectangle starting from the northwest corner of Columbia
  county, stretching down to the southern edge of Lane county and stretching right to the western
  edge of Jefferson county.

  Toggle the Legend tool       on to see the value of the gray population dots.

  Notice the concentration of population dots in Multnomah and Washington county, this is
  Portland, the largest city in Oregon.

  Now examine the concentration of population in the Willamette Valley (same as Basin we found
  in step one.)

      5) Of the three counties, Marion, Linn, or Lane, which has a greater population?

 In the 1800’s, the city of Portland took their drinking water from the Willamette
 river. Due to increasing population and mounting pollution, many people got
 sick and died. After the Civil War, Portland sold bonds in order to build a new
 water system. The new system included 26 miles of pipes and building dams in
 the Bull Run watershed. During the last decade, Oregon has been receiving
 less rainfall. If this trend continues, drinking water supplies may not be
 adequate in the Willamette Valley. Use this map and the various layers to find
 a source of water for the county you selected above.

 Consider the following: the legend for the precipitation layer will show areas
 of high rainfall like the Bull Run (east of Portland,) the relief layer will show
 where the mountains are (tops of mountains define which way the water runs
 off,) the measure tool can determine how many miles of pipe must be laid.

      Note: Find your ideal location of the new water system and use the absolute location (lower
      left hand corner of the map) to answer the next question.

      6) Where do you propose to collect rainfall to meet future needs of Oregonians living in the
          Willamette Valley? If you can only build one site, how do you know your site is the best
          one? What is the annual rainfall at your site?

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                                           4
Now use your map to further investigate the amount of rain available by running two queries.

   With the active layer set to Average Precipitation, query      for areas with precipitation greater
   than 90 inches per year.

       7) Is your site within the turquoise areas?

   With the active layer set to Average Precipitation, query      for areas with precipitation greater
   than 130 inches per year.

       8) Is the site you selected still within the turquoise area or the area with more than 130
           inches of rain?

       9) Estimate the area that your selected site will capture rainfall in square miles.

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                                                5
 Look closely at the map below; there are two areas to the east of Portland that
 have more than 130 inches of rain per year. One is above timberline on Mount
 Hood, the other area is the Bull Run reservoir!

       10) Do you want to move the site of the new water system? If so, where will you put it and

The field of natural resources has been aided immensely by GIS. Use the link below to learn more
about summer opportunities.

       11) What is the hourly rate for this type of work? Do you think you would like a job like
           this? Why or Why not?

Use the link below to explore jobs currently open at the Oregon Water Resources Department.

       12) What is the salary for this type of work? Do you think you would like a job like this?
          Why or why not?

GEOSTAC NSF-ATE # 0903330                                                                           6

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