Office of the Director: Education/Outreach, Illinois State Water Survey

Education and Outreach



The mission of the Educational and Outreach Program at the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is to promote stewardship of Illinois' natural resources, foster public understanding and support of environmental programs, and nurture interest in the sciences. The primary goals of the Program are to provide information about water and atmospheric resources to the public, develop a new generation of good stewards who respect natural resources, and entice students to become scientists. The staff at ISWS is working to achieve these goals by participating in various educational and outreach activities. Provided below is our growing list of links to educational sites on the ISWS Web site and the web abroad. Many water topics are covered.

Private Well Class - The Private Well Class is designed to help a homeowner better understand how to properly care for their water well, to ensure their water remains safe to drink. By understanding the basic science of water wells and following best practices to maintain and protect your water supply, this class will provide the tools you need to ensure a safe water supply and help extend the life of your well.

ISWS Speakers Bureau - Do you have a question about water resource or climate issues? Would you like to find a speaker for your classroom or community group? Are you a stakeholder in a watershed area and need further information? The Illinois State Water Survey employs individuals with many talents and educated in far-reaching specialties. These staff members are eager to share their interests and knowledge with the public.

Illinois Water Cycle - The ISWS water cycle diagram depicts water moving through the atmosphere and on and under the surface of the earth. Another term for the water cycle is hydrologic cycle. Water moves downward as precipitation, into the soil and through the unsaturated zone as infiltration, and through the saturated zone to shallow and deep aquifers as recharge; laterally on the surface as surface runoff to lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers and underground as groundwater flow; upward as evapotranspiration from lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers, plants, soil, and groundwater, and as groundwater discharge to surface waters; and laterally aloft as atmospheric moisture, where condensation forms clouds.

On-line Weather Resources for Kids - A collection of climate and weather links for teachers and students. Links include live weather radar, weather warnings and forecasts, flood information, and much more.

Educational Links Developed by The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) - A great list of precipitation and acid rain educational links as assembled by the Central Analytical Laboratory at NADP. This list contains lesson plans aimed at teachers, and also activities for children themselves.

Nitrogen in the Nation’s Rain (Brochure) - Nitrogen is a macronutrient that is essential for all living things. Fossil fuel combustion, animal husbandry practices, nitrogen fertilizer production and application, and other human activities add substantial amounts of nitrogen compounds to the atmosphere every year. Higher airborne nitrate and ammonium concentrations from these activities increase the wet and dry deposition rates of nitrogen. Increased atmospheric deposition can affect natural and agricultural systems. Information on nitrogen deposition, such as that collected by the NADP, is important to regulators, policymakers, and land managers responsible for the protection of air and water quality in natural and managed ecosystems.

Rain Check Network - Think about the weather. How much rain fell in your backyard during the last storm? Is this month wetter or drier than the last? Don't know? Use a rain gauge and find out! The Rain Check Network web site will let you request a free raingage, and then use it to enter rain amounts into our Rain Check Network database. You can also search the database for results entered by yourself and others, and sort the results by zip code, date, city, and more. The results contain entries from many U.S. cites and states.

Contact: Patti Hill

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Illinois State Water Survey

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Champaign, IL 61820-7463

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