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Photo by Ryan Loughlin via Unsplash

Author

United States Geological Survey

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey

USGS National Water Dashboard: New Jersey

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Synopsis
  • This interactive map of New Jersey displays real-time water data from USGS observation stations, paired with current weather conditions. 
  • Students can view water levels, water quality, precipitation, cloud cover, drought, aquifers, watersheds, and more. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The map is fully customizable by turning on or off the various layers.
  • There is an easy-to-use "measure" tool that allows users to quantify any distance on the map.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Click the layers button in the top right corner of the page to select the features to be displayed on the map. Click the legend button (next to the layers button) for details on how to interpret the map.
  • The FAQ link under the tools tab is helpful when learning how to navigate the page.
  • This resource link is specific to New Jersey, but anywhere in the US can be viewed by selecting a new area of interest in the toolbar on the left side of the page.

Differentiation

  • In geography classes, students can create customized maps using layers, and look for patterns in the spatial distribution of various features.
  • In science classes, students can use these maps to observe the uneven distribution of water and discuss the geological processes that may be to blame.
  • Students can zoom in on the map and explore the characteristics of their specific region or neighborhood within New Jersey.
  • Many of the observable items like hurricanes, droughts, precipitation, and flooding can be related to climate change. Check out this lesson plan for middle school, this video, or this article to connect extreme weather and climate change.
Scientist Notes
This map presents real-time data on New Jersey's physical features such as the state of groundwater level, flood risk, air quality, and other environmental variables. This is ideal for classroom use.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog1.a.m Use paper and digital maps to ask and answer geographic questions (e.g., Where are there patterns? Why there? So what?). Analyze how various map projections distort shape, area, distance, and direction (e.g., Mercator, Robinson, Peters).
      • SS.Geog3.b.m Analyze spatial patterns of social and economic development in a variety of regions in the world. Identify how people, products, and ideas move between places (e.g., internet commerce, outsourcing).
      • SS.Geog1.a.h Use printed and digital maps to ask and answer geographic questions (e.g., Where are there patterns? Why there? So what?) and evaluate the appropriateness of geographic data and representations to understand real-world problems. Explain how current geospatial technologies (e.g., Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), satellite images, remote sensing) are used for personal, business, and government purposes.
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