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In this activity, students examine visible and infrared satellite images of Hurricane Mitch to learn how remote sensing provides crucial information to forecast the size and strength of a tropical storm. They plot the hurricane on a hurricane... (View More) tracking chart, and measure the storms width, and the size of the eye. Satellite images and the hurricane tracking chart are provided. Summary background information, data and images supporting the activity are available on the Earth Update data site. To complete the activity, students will need to access the Space Update multimedia collection, which is available for download and purchase for use in the classroom. (View Less)
In this lesson, students analyze land cover change in order to help them grasp the extent, significance, and consequences of land cover change; and to introduce them to the perspective of space-based Earth observations. Students learn to identify... (View More) kinds of land cover (such as roads, fields, urban areas, and lakes) in Landsat satellite images. They decide which land cover types allow the passage of water into the soil (pervious) and which types do not allow it (impervious). They consider some effects of increasing impervious surface area on ecosystem health. Students then make land cover maps using two Landsat satellite images taken about a decade apart, and quantify the change of land cover from pervious to impervious surface. They also make predictive maps of what they think the nature and extent of land cover change in the area will be in the year 2025, and speculate about the consequences for the availability of water for people and ecosystems. Students justify in writing their predictive maps and their thoughts about the consequences of change. This activity uses Landsat images of Phoenix, Arizona; links are also provided for finding Landsat images of other cities. (View Less)
In this activity, students consider the sudden release of a tremendous amount of kinetic energy when an extraterrestrial object strikes the Earth. In small groups, they study satellite images that show possible evidence of impact events. To... (View More) demonstrate their understanding of the role of impact events in shaping the Earth, students design a field expedition to determine whether or not a given landform is an impact crater. The resource includes a lesson plan, satellite images, teacher background, student readings and worksheets, a student learning assessment rubric, and extensions. (View Less)
In this self-guided lesson, students read and learn about the history of Earth imaging and the Landsat satellite. They develop interpretation skills as they play a game that involves inferring the subjects of various Landsat images.
Students examine a series of remotely-sensed images of the US, scaling from the continent to San Francisco, and distinguish the concepts of scale and resolution. At greater resolution, students are able to identify different land classes on the map,... (View More) using the color key for false color images. This lesson gives students first-hand experience in seeing how reality is represented by maps and models, determine spatial relationships between landscape features on a map, and an opportunity to design and create their own maps and models. This activity is part of the Ground Truth Studies Teacher Handbook, which provides more than 20 activities to build student understanding of global change and remote sensing, and includes background chapters for teachers, glossary, and appendices. (View Less)