Over the past few weeks, we have been studying the hydrologic cycle as well as the carbon cycle. Cycles show how interconnected elements in nature are as well
as how humans can have an impact at multiple levels within a system.
When learning about the hydrologic and carbon cycle, our property is an excellent teaching tool. Starting at street level, we can follow the flow of water all the way to the creek. Water always flows downhill, a fundamental principle of hydrology. Through evaluating our landscape, we can see areas where water is being slowed down by vegetation and able to percolate to recharge the groundwater as compared to our play area where there is a lot of compacted soil and we tend to have more surface runoff. By looking at our landscape, we are able to compare permeable and impermeable surfaces and their impact on groundwater recharge. Once we understand topography and the flow of water within our
landscape, we can apply this to how water moves through the water cycle as well as the effects of human impacts.
When studying the carbon cycle, we can look to our own landscape to see how carbon moves through the environment. Carbon is always moving through the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. We specifically focused on carbon sources and carbon sinks and how humans can impact the flow of carbon. We also discussed how improving soils and reclaiming land into diverse ecosystems can be a solution to carbon in the atmosphere.