Are Culverts the Culprits? An Ice Lake Mystery
In the first
weeks of July 1998, the conductivity data for the all levels of Ice
Lake showed a surprising increase. Local officials were quite concerned
about the increase. They knew, and have explained to you, that in the
weeks before the conductivity increase, city workers flushed the storm
sewers and culverts. They want to know if the culvert flushing caused
the problem. As a Water Resources Specialist you need to research the
temporary increase in conductivity and create a report explaining your
interpretation of what happened. Keep in mind that the increase might
be the result of natural changes or human activity, or it might be
a technical problem with the sensor or data transmission from the Remote
Underwater Sampling Station (RUSS).
reviewing the factors that affect conductivity. Useful information
is available on the WOW Web site and additional information can be
on the Internet. You will need to refer to your list of potential influential
factors during your investigation. Some factors will require close
others can be eliminated if they do not relate to this incident.
an experimental plan for your investigation. Consider the data you
have available to collect and analyze. Think also about how to present
results. (Hint: It may be helpful to prepare a standard curve for conductivity
using salt concentrations in water.)
plan for data collection. Be sure to write out your methods and sources
and create accurate tables.
Management and Analysis
analyze the data you collected. Are there any reasons for suspecting
that some of your data are not accurate?
data eliminate any possible causes for the increased conductivity?
Does it point to a possible culprit? What are your conclusions about
causes for the increased conductivity? Can you prove it? If you cannot
prove your hypothesis at this point, what further research might help
you examine your hypothesis?
research to prepare an oral report, written paper, multi-media presentation,
or scientific poster. Your report needs to provide enough detail on
your methods and analysis that your study could be replicated by another
scientist. Be prepared to answer the questions of your colleagues (classmates)
and your supervisor (teacher).