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This virtual field trip takes students to the site of a local groundwater controversy in Gallatin Valley, Montana. Students virtually travel through seven stops which highlight the groundwater hydrology, local geology, geologic history of the valley and local groundwater policy. During the virtual field trip, students are asked to role-play as geologists hired to evaluate the area. Ultimately, they are asked to formulate an argument for or against the development of a nearby subdivision and to support that argument with evidence they gathered on the virtual field trip. Evidence may include observational field notes, hypotheses and questions regarding the geology and geohydrology of the area as well as limited hydrological data. Students must produce a final report discussing the decision they made as a consulting geologist. Reports should include a well-supported argument using the data and information collected during the virtual field trip. This virtual field trip gives students an opportunity to explore a local dispute regarding groundwater and learn how geology, geohydrology and scientific data are involved in policy issues.
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