Illinois State University
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Project EDDIE: Water Quality Module

Project Summary

Water quality is a critical concept for undergraduate students studying Earth Sciences, Biology, and Environmental Sciences. Many of these students will be asked to assess the impacts of a proposed anthropogenic activities on human water resources and/or ecosystems as part of their future careers. This module engages students in exploring factors contributing to the variability of nitrate in surface waters; one of the most common contaminants found in US rivers. Students will utilize real-time nitrate data from the US Geological Survey to statistically evaluate water quality impacts and to identify their causes.


We recognize that many users might wish to modify this activity. Please include text in each file that you use that acknowledges the original development of this module. We suggest this text, which is currently included in each file:

“This module was initially developed by Castendyk, D. and Gibson, C. 30 June 2015. Project EDDIE: Water Quality. Project EDDIE Module 6, Version 1. Module development was supported by NSF DEB 1245707.”


Please cite this module as: "Castendyk, D. and Gibson, C. 30 June 2015. Project EDDIE: Water Quality. Project EDDIE Module 6, Version 1.

Class Time

This entire module can be completed in one 4-hour lab period or four 50 minute lectures periods for introductory or intermediate level students. Students may need 1-2 hours outside of class to prepare for the exercise and additional time to complete the homework activities.

Class Context

This module has been used in introductory and mid-level courses for majors and non-majors in Earth Science, Biology, and Environmental Science courses. Module materials can be tailored to increase or decrease the background information depending on students' quantitative skills and interests. This module can also be taught as Part 2 of a three-part module sequence, beginning with Module 5) Stream Discharge and concluding with Module 7) Nutrient Loading.


  • Instructor's Manual [docx]
  • Instructor's PowerPoint [pptx]
  • Student Handout [docx]
  • Student Dataset [xlsx]

Project Support

Project EDDIE is supported by funding from NSF DEB 1245707. Project EDDIE is sponsored by the National Association for Geoscience Teachers.

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2014-03-28T13:39:36.547-05:00 2014