Part 3: Albedo, Snow, and Land Cover

Guiding Question:

How does albedo change in response to changes in snow depth and land cover?

Materials (one per student):

Estimated Time: 

What to do and how to do it:

  1. INTRODUCTION: Ask students, based on their prior knowledge of albedo, land cover, and seasonality, how they think snow would affect the albedo of a landscape? Would this depend on the land cover class? How?
  2. Depending on students’ familiarity with reading graphs, a review of the components of a graph, and how to interpret graphical figures, may be necessary. 
  3. Students complete the Interactions between Albedo, Snow and Land Cover handout.  This can be completed as a homework assignment.
  4. WRAP-UP: Discuss any questions students have. In pairs, or as a class, have students share the research questions they developed, and what information they would need to answer those questions. 


  1. Use the Checklist for Student Work, or your own rubric, to assess the quality of student work.