Your assignment is to go to a county, state, or national park and make observations relating to Environmental Science. The park musthave some sort of water feature (stream, river, lake, pond, wetland, bay) and preferably exposed rocks. Specifically, you will need to describe the following in a typed, one page essay format:
– Name of the park and date/time you attended
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-Observations relating to the atmosphere: We haven’t covered weather, but it is part of our atmosphere. Was the sky clear or cloudy? Any precipitation? What was the temperature that day? What season is it? Is the weather typical for that time of year or atypical (e.g. a 90 degree day in December is atypical)? Feel free to add any additional information about the atmosphere (the smell of the air, noticeable exhaust fumes, etc).
-Observations relating to the environment: What is your initial thought of the park? Is it clean and beautiful or do you notice trash and pollution? Do you notice any people nearby? What sort of sounds do you hear? Is there any vegetation in the park and what type (plants, trees, etc)? Do you notice any wildlife (birds, mammals, insects)? Do you think this is a proper habitat for plants and animals native to Maryland?
– Observations relating to the soil, rocks or minerals in the area: Do you see any rocks or minerals? If so, what type of rocks are they (use your best guess)? What do the rocks/minerals tell you about this area? Tell me something interesting about the geologic history. For example, most of the piedmont region in Maryland is made of limestone which was once at the ocean floor 300 million years ago.
– Observations relating to water features: What type of water body do you see? What is the source of the water or where is it coming from (e.g. a small stream may be from a spring, a river may be from a stream, a lake may be from a dammed river, etc)? Where is the water going? Is the water part of a drainage basin or network? Does the water look healthy (clear, clean) or unhealthy (dirty, dark, litter)? If it appears unhealthy, suggest a source for the water pollution.
– Brief summary of your park experience. Did this class made you think differently (or the same) about your natural surroundings? Can you apply some of the knowledge from this course to your everyday environment?