*Note: This is an abbreviated Project Idea, without notes to start your background research, a specific list of materials, or a procedure for how to do the experiment. You can identify abbreviated Project Ideas by the asterisk at the end of the title. If you want a Project Idea with full instructions, please pick one without an asterisk.
Floods can be very destructive, capable of leveling whole towns and decimating crops and fields. Typically in regions prone to flooding there are cycles of flooding that occur, usually in areas where a wet season comes after a period of drought. You can use precipitation data to test if incidents of flooding have been preceded by periods of drought. Look for long periods of dryness in the precipitation data to indicate a drought. You can also conduct an experiment on dry or moist soil to see which is most likely to flood. You can also look for seasonal patterns in incidents of flooding because in some regions it may be a yearly phenomenon, at the beginning of the wet season for example. (NCAR, 2006; NOAA, 2006; Weather Underground, 2006; WMO, 2006)
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Water is critical to the survival of virtually all the living things that you see around you. It is essential to the production of most of the things that people make, too. Hydrologists are the people who study and manage this remarkable resource. Through data gathered from satellite instruments, hydrologists examine and create computer models that show how water moves above, on, and under the earth. With these models, hydrologists work to conserve water, to predict droughts or floods, to find new water sources, and to reduce and reuse waste water.
Emergency Management Specialist
There will always be both manmade and natural disasters, like hurricanes, earthquakes, and terroist attacks, that affect public health and safety. Emergency management specialists are the officials that plan for these disasters—imagining and preparing for the worst—and then coordinating the emergency responses. Emergency management specialists work for local, state, and federal governments, as well as for law enforcement, the military and private agencies to ensure that people have the basic necessities, like clean water, food, temporary housing, sanitation, and first aid in a timely manner after a disaster. They also coordinate clean-up efforts. Emergency management specialists prevent or ease the human suffering, as well as the social chaos and instability that commonly follow a disaster.
The atmosphere is a blanket of gases, surrounding Earth, that creates our weather. Meteorologists study the measurements and motion of the atmosphere, and changing events within it, so that they can predict the weather. This weather forecasting helps the general public and people who work in industries such as shipping, air transportation, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and water and power better plan for the weather, and reduce human and economic losses.
Statisticians use the power of math and probability theory to answer questions that affect the lives of millions of people. They tell educators which teaching method works best, tell policy-makers what levels of pesticides are acceptable in fresh fruit, tell doctors which treatment works best, and tell builders which type of paint is the most durable. They are employed in virtually every type of industry imaginable, from engineering, manufacturing, and medicine to animal science, food production, transportation, and education. Everybody needs a statistician!
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