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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 and Engineering
    • 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
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
      • Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by analyzing the local, national, and global geographic data on physical, environmental, and cultural processes that shape and change places and regions.
      • Geography 1 (D3): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by describing the major regions of the Earth and their major physical, environmental, and cultural features using a variety of geographic tools, including digital tools and resources.
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