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This lab gives students a bare-bones introduction to one GIS software package, ArcMap. I hope that students will get comfortable with how GIS programs layer data, and that they will begin to appreciate the power of GIS for solving a wide variety of problems. Students access freely available shape files, and make a map of Lake Mead, the largest human-made reservoir in the United States. (It formed behind the Hoover Dam when that was constructed on the Colorado River in the 1930s.) Then, they compare the mass of water lost to evaporation from the surface of Lake Mead to the evaporation that was occurring from the surface of the pre-dam river. Finally, they make a map of some other location affected by human activities. This activity could easily be expanded to have students calculate the amount of sediment that has been trapped behind Lake Mead, because sediment depths are also available online. Designed for a geomorphology course Uses online and/or real-time data
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