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(ENVS)about velocity-area method

Methods Write Up

Assignment Description and Grading Criteria


The purpose of the methods write-up assignments is to reinforce your understanding of methods that we use in class. Each write-up should be 500-1000 words (generally, 1-2 pages of single-spaced, 12-point text) in length.


Calculation part:

Please write up a description of this method (if you have experience using the velocity-area method from field work in addition to our little excursion to the stream we went to on campus, feel free to base your description on that). Make sure to include.

1) Calculation of discharge based on the single width, depth and velocity measurement we were able to get.

2) Calculation of discharge from a larger stream using the attached data in an Excel sheet.

3) Explanation of why it was difficult to use this method at the on-campus stream and what types of streams would work better.

Note: The equation for converting the number of clicks (or scratchy sounds) in 30 seconds to a velocity is:

First calculate the number of revolutions per second by dividing the number we counted in 30 seconds by 30. This number is R.

Velocity (m/s) = 0.293*R + 0.0095



The write-up must answer the following questions:


  • Define/explain the method. What is it called and, briefly, what is it?
  • What types of scientific questions can the method be used to investigate?
  • How is the method carried out? Describe what you did in the field.
  • What kind of data do you get from using this method? What form or units are the data in? Do you have to do any other work back in the lab?
  • Describe your personal experience using the method. Was it easy or hard? Were there any parts that were confusing or that did not make sense to you? Did you encounter any problems in the field?


The write-up will be graded based on the following criteria:


  • Length (10 points): Did it meet the length requirement?
  • Thoroughness (50 points): Did it answer all the questions listed above thoroughly?
  • Writing (20 points): Was it written in clear, concise, grammatically correct sentences? Were paragraphs well-organized, with a topic sentence and relevant supporting information? Were all sources cited appropriately?
  • Timeliness of submission (20 points): Was it submitted on time, via Blackboard?
  • Extra excellence points: You can earn up to 5 extra points if your write-up goes above and beyond in some way – for example, if it is written in a really professional manner, or includes a great figure, or if you include a more comprehensive summary of what the method can be used for that includes several published studies.



Last Updated on February 11, 2019

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