The CBF Water Quality Investigation Series & Interactive Map
During CBF field experiences, participants often investigate the health of their waterway by measuring water quality parameters in the field. Since 2013, CBF has been compiling these results in our Water Quality App.
The application allows us to explore new ways to use technology in field investigations, help to document water quality trends throughout the watershed, and gives participants real-world data and tools that they can use to make connections back in the classroom.
To aid in those connections, students, teachers, and CBF staff worked together to create a series of classroom investigation guides to further analyze student-collected water quality data and watershed issues. Called the What's in Our Water(shed)? Investigation Series, the online guides walk students through interpreting the field data, creating graphs, synthesizing correlations, and developing conclusions, all to investigate different real-world natural phenomena.
General Background on Bay Topics
Here are some resources that will be helpful as you integrate the environment into your classroom:
Classroom Resources (CBF publications)
- CBF State of the Bay Report
- Schoolyard Report Card (Adobe PDF)
- Know Your Fish Activity Guides (Adobe PDF)
- Bay-sic Ratios (Adobe PDF)
- Ecological Identity Tree
- How to Start an After-School Environmental Club (created in partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools)
- Five Tips for Creating Strong Grant Proposals
- Watershed Poster (Adobe PDF image that prints poster size)
- Green Filter/Gray Funnel information about polluted runoff
- Osprey Tracking Project
- CBF's Osprey Cam
- The Incredible Oyster Reef video series
- Watershed Voice - CBF's e-newsletter specifically designed for teachers
- Chesapeake Classrooms Teachers Guide (Adobe PDF)
- An Educator's Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) - Chesapeake Bay Program
- Videos of Bay Topics (polluted runoff, rockfish, etc) - Chesapeake Bay Program
- Introduction to the Ecosystem - a guide to estuary basics
- Spark101 - videos and interactive online STEM sessions with industry professionals
- NASA WorldView Map - browse global satellite imagery within hours of it being collected!
- How's My Waterway - online interactive database of water quality monitoring reports for students to investigate. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Chesapeake Bay Remote Sensing Program - see aerial images of chlorophyll, temperature, salinity, and primary productivity levels.
- NOAA CBIBS Buoy - access real-time data from various points around the Bay as well as historic information about the area from John Smith's time
- Bay Backpack - a great collection of field activities, funding sources, and a blog to keep you updated on Bay education issues
- HHMI's BioInteractive - From climate change to genetics, BioInteractive brings real-world science to your classroom directly from the scientists' labs in a fun and interactive way.
Student leadership means taking the initiative to make a difference in your community. Below are a few resources to guide you if you are doing research on the Chesapeake Bay, looking for an action project, or job searching.
Online Research for School Projects
- Student Leadership Guide
- Chesapeake Bay Program
- Bay Journal
- Virginia Institute of Marine Science
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
- Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
- Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
- University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Student Action Projects
Fix Your Schoolyard Bare Spots (PDF, 12 pgs, 1.2 MB) Bare spots are places where vegetation (such as plants, shrubs, grasses, flowers) no longer exists in the soil. Bare spots come in all shapes and sizes. The outcome of having any type of bare spot is the same: storm water hits the ground and is not able to soak in to the land. Use this step-by-step guide to fix the bare spots in your school or home yard.
Build Your Own Rain Barrel (PDF, 4 pgs, 612 KB) Capture rain water from downspouts to reduce runoff and have a water source during droughts using this easy step-by-step guide.
Build Your Own Rain Garden (PDF, 8 pgs, 627 KB) Add colorful habitat to your schoolground while keeping sediment from choking local streams by using this easy step-by step guide.
CBF Oyster Restoration—The Oyster Corps is a diverse collection of citizens and students dedicated to the common purpose of restoring oysters to the Chesapeake Bay. There are many ways people can help rebuild the Bay's depleted oyster populations, and participation in any of these activities makes you part of this grassroots movement. Explore our programs in Maryland and Virginia.
Storm Drain Stenciling—Many people are not aware that most storm drains lead directly to waterways that dump into the Bay. You can help clean up the Bay by stenciling a message that will help members of your community remember that nothing but rain water should enter the storm drains. Storm drains are not trash cans: whatever is dumped into them ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. Learn more about how to participate in this important project.
Bay-Friendly Living Tips -How can my behavior at home impact the Bay? Make sure you are being a good steward by reviewing these simple hints (Adobe PDF).