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The Mystique, Mystery, Magic, or Marvel of Models

Case In Point - Predicting Ground Water Contamination Nitrate-Nitrogen and Our Health

Room for Discussion

In summary, the directions this "Access Excellence Science Seminar" discussion can go are many, especially for the science teacher interested in environmental issues, public health, student awareness of societal issues, sustainability of land use practices, biology, chemistry, ecology. From my own perspective, I might ask several questions, which you could enlighten me with by your responses:

  1. What are the physical and biological reasons or causes by which we would find nitrate-nitrogen occurring in ground water but seldom in surface water systems? Click here to answer.

  2. What degree of credibility and utility can we apply to a correlation-based, statistical model that relies on only two physical variables and what might be the significance of these variables with respect to nitrate-nitrogen in ground water? Click here to answer.

  3. Is there really a significant correlation between nitrate-nitrogen and some illnesses besides methoglobinemia; if so, where are the documented references and cases? Click here to answer.

  4. What is the value of a model - how do we teach the modeling concept in the classroom and what are the many applications, appreciations, and implications that can be derived from the modeling effort? Click here to answer.

  5. Why model? Why construct models? What are the unseen or non-obvious benefits and outcomes of constructing and using models? Click here to answer.

  6. How can we teach the nitrogen-nitrate cycling process in the classroom? What is the significance of such now and in the future? Click here to answer.

  7. How much reliance can we put on recommendations for alterations in changes in our behavior in the environment based on predicted outcomes from statistically based models? Click here to answer.

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