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I. Abiotic Factors
- Know the processes and phases for each part of the water cycle and understand the water cycle’s role in soil nutrient erosion, and climatic influences.
- Understand the concept and components of a watershed and be able to identify stream orders and watershed boundaries. Know the feature of a healthy watershed and an unhealthy watershed. Be familiar with stream flow dynamics.
- Understand why aquatic organisms and water quality is affected by the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the water; this includes changes caused by climate change such as ocean acidification.
II. Biotic Factors
- Understand the dependence of all organisms on one another (food web) and how energy and matter flow within an aquatic ecosystem. This includes oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon.
- Identify common, rare, threatened, and endangered aquatic species as well as Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) through the use of a key.
- Know how to use a dichotomous key to identify animals.
- Be familiar with aquatic plants and animals visually and descriptively.
III. Aquatic Environments
- Identify aquatic and wetland environments based on their physical, chemical, and biological characteristics.
- Know characteristics of different types of aquifers, and understand historical trends and threats to groundwater quantity and quality.
- Know Maryland’s physiological provinces.
- Understand the different kinds of flooding and how flooding benefits aquatic environment.
- Understand the value and effects of different cycles of flooding.
IV. Water Protection and Conservation
- Interpret major provincial and/or federal laws and methods used to protect water quality (surface and ground water)
- Be familiar with the federal, state, and county agencies that provide oversight of water resources.
- North American water rights: history, kinds, controversy.
- Water use in the U.S.; water conservation plans; citizen conservation