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In this introductory textbook chapter, students learn that life on Earth would not be possible without the atmosphere and its greenhouse effect. The history of research on the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is presented, and the concept... (View More)

The importance of rainforests to Earth's biodiversity, climate and production of rainforest products is discussed in this textbook chapter. Includes an interview with an Amazonian rainforest scientist, a discussion of the competing perspectives of... (View More)

This textbook chapter presents a real case study involving the the logging of an old stand forest from three perspectives, that of the environmentalists, the wood products industry, and a politician. An associated writing activity engages students... (View More)

In this case study, students read about the Canopy Crane at Wind River, a project that enables the study of Earth system interactions that take place high in the tree canopy. The chapter profiles scientists, studying birds, fungi, chemical transfer... (View More)

This textbook chapter summarizes the changes in the ecosystems found in the world's forests. This is chapter 2 in the unit, A New World View, which introduces global systems science, emphasizing the concepts of environmental diversity, Earth as a... (View More)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

This activity involves the use of satellite imagery to derive observations. Using an introductory Landsat classroom activity, learners will compare two images from North Dakota to quantify how much of the land surface that was water in 1997 has been... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this data activity, students explore the relationship between surface radiation and mean surface temperature in several geographic regions. By observing how these parameters change with latitude, students will understand the relationship between... (View More)

This activity is about how fossil fuels release carbon. Learners will use toys, sand and other materials to simulate a city, considering the formation of fossil fuels and how burning these releases carbon and produces warming. As part of the... (View More)

In this simulation exercise, students determine where to place a hosptial using a classified land cover map to make environmentally sound land use decisions. Results are presented in a mock town hall meeting. A student worksheet is included within... (View More)

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