Riddle me this…

Mud Creek

Mud Creek – Durham, North Carolina

As you found out in class today, you are starting a new unit called the “Mud Creek Case Study.”

In class, Mr. Merritt presented you with an overview of a scientific ‘riddle’ into which your new team of 2-3 scientists will invest a great deal of time and effort over the next 3-6 weeks.

Here’s a breakdown of what you learned in class today…

You and 1-2 other classmates constitute a team of Swiss scientists that the mayor of Durham–a city in North Carolina (USA)–wants hire to come and do research on a stream, Mud Creek, which flows through Durham county.

The mayor of Durham (city) tells you that Mud Creek flows through Durham county from a natural area to an urban area and then back into another natural area.  The mayor of Durham (city) wants to know:

  • By the time Mud Creek flows into the (second) natural area, should it still be considered an urban stream or has it become a natural stream once again?
Upper Neuse Watershed

A close up of the watershed in which Mud Creek is located near Durham, North Carolina (USA)

The main reason why the mayor of Durham wants to know this is as follows: His community will be fined a large amount of money if they let Mud Creek–as well as the other Durham creeks and rivers–enter the next community (the city of Raleigh, NC) while still having the characteristics of urban streams and rivers.

And there’s one more problem that your team faces…

The mayor of Durham also tells you that about 50% of the Durham (city) residents don’t want to give money to a group of Swiss scientists because they feel that there are more important issues on which to spend their local taxes.

In light of this fact, the mayor asks your team to write a letter to the Durham residents that explains why they should care about rivers and streams (in general), but more importantly, why they should care about keeping Durham rivers and streams as natural as possible.

 

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About Doc Bretto

Equal parts teacher, naturalist, teacher educator, and education researcher, I have a Ph.D. in science education and nourish my soul with a steady diet of anthropology, history, and philosophy--but also with photography, gastronomy, fußball/football, and freeriding in the European Alps.
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