This site has something for everyone, from glaciologists to grade school students. It explores nearly all aspects of glaciers and includes data and science, facts, a gallery, and a glossary.
This is the education section of a larger site about the Aquarius underwater habitat in the Florida Keys. It includes classroom activities exploring concepts of buoyancy, pressure and light; a series of classroom activities exploring the biology of corals; and an on-line book about coral reef biology.
This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 6-8. It focuses on aquatic habitats and how community wastewater-disposal methods can harm these habitats. Students research the harmful effects of wastewater as well as environmental techniques, then invite a guest speaker to class to discuss this subject and answer their questions. Included are objectives, materials, procedures, discussion questions, evaluation ideas, suggested readings, and vocabulary. There are videos available to order which complement this lesson, an audio-enhanced vocabulary list, and links to teaching tools for making custom quizzes, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans.
This site provides an explanation for cloud formation and seeks to correct myths or misconceptions about how clouds form. Water vapor, condensation, and evaporation are discussed in the context of dew-point temperature and saturation. Educators and anyone explaining cloud formation will find hints on how to present the correct information and avoid misinforming their audiences.
The purpose of this lesson is for students to explore the nature and composition of a comet. The student will select ingredients to create a comet and will learn to identify ingredients responsible for a comet nucleus, and how changes in the nucleus when the comet approaches the Sun cause two different kinds of tails to form. Students can explore some facts, myths, and legends linked to the appearance of comets throughout history. The site also contains a section on evaluation and assessment that is based upon what the students observed about comets in the "Make A Comet" activity. It challenges students to observe images of different comets and asks them to identify what type of tail or tails the comets are showing. There is also an extensive vocabulary list of associated terms.
Users can access information about educational programs and materials for teachers and students, including tours, traveling exhibits and presentations by the staff of the Des Moines Water Works. "Water Trunks", which contain water-related literature, books, science experiments, videos, games, CD-ROMs, hands-on activities, picture cards, career information, and a teacher resource book, are available to order. There are also links to other water websites, a teachers' newsletter and pollution prevention tips for classroom use and for the general public.
This is an inquiry activity that, while based on a local area (the San Francisco Bay), could be adapted to the teacher's/student's local area. Students perform an experiment in which they observe how water pollution is absorbed into plants. The site contains a teacher's guide and printable student worksheet.
This project examines the entire water system of an ancient city, including supply, distribution, use, and drainage. Until now, individual water system elements have been studied as archaeological objects, but infrequently subjected to analysis by such disciplines as fluids engineering and urban history. This work is part of two larger long-term studies, the first concerning the relationship between physical setting and urban growth in the Greco-Roman world, and the second a comparative study of Old and New World water management techniques in the pre-modern period.
Users can obtain current weather forecasts for their own areas by entering a ZIP code, or they can access a large archive of historic data on severe weather (tornadoes, hail, high winds, hurricanes). Materials presented in the archive include dates, times, and intensities of storms, a photo gallery, maps, radar and other satellite data, storm chaser reports, and links to other weather sites. Raw data can be found in several forms for teachers wishing to have unprocessed data to work with.
This site presents two case studies regarding the Wheeling Creek area of West Virginia. The scenario asks students to research problems and come up with answers to a ficticious local water board's concerns over water quality in the watershed. The site provides students with extensive, yet easy to understand background information on the following topics: Importance of Water, Water Cycle, Hydrosphere, Forms of Pollution, and Methods for Monitoring. Graphs, charts, maps, and photos of the creek give students detailed information to help them in their investigations. The case study approach is a great way for students to explore all the issues affecting a watershed.
The materials available here were brought together by government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, and businesses in an effort to make Earth Science information accessible to a broader community. The Federation was established to make this a reality by encouraging and establishing the use of best science practices in the production of high quality data, information, products and services. It also works to ensure that data and information is readily accessible and easily exchanged, which in turn leads to new types of integrated Earth Science data products. These data and educational products are available through this site for education and public use. Users can access datasets, educational resources (CD-ROMs, teachers' kits, online resources), imagery, and technological tools and software. Other resources include news articles, business listings, and links to related sites.
Segments on Rivers & Streams, Ponds & Lakes, and Wetlands provide information, photos, and graphics related to fresh water resources. The site provides information related to the geology and biology of these ecosystems and some information on technology as well. Each segment provides links to additional resources related to that topic. Students could readily use the site as a resource for independent learning or research, and educators could use the site to develop water-related activities.
As part of the GLOBE program's 2003 Teacher's Guide, this site provides information and activities related to understanding hydrology. Sections featuring protocols and activities cover collecting water samples, conducting tests such as dissolved oxygen, conductivity and salinity, modeling a local watershed, comparing local water to global data, modeling water balance and looking at how water chemistry affects life. Instuctors will also find information on learning goals and student assessment.
Students will utilize the Internet to take a virtual field trip to visit a glacier and discover what physical effects glaciers have on the land. They will also have the opportunity to virtually visit Vermont and trace the pictorial history of how a whale's fossils were found there. The site also contains a student worksheet for their visual field trip. The site also provides an explanation of the formation of fossils.
This lesson plan is part of the DiscoverySchool.com lesson plan library for grades 6-8. It focuses on glaciers and icebergs, specifically, glacial scraping and landforms left behind by glaciers, and information about icebergs in the oceans. Students do a lab simulating glacial scouring. It includes objectives, materials, procedures, discussion questions, evaluation ideas, extensions, suggested readings, and vocabulary. There are videos available to order which complement this lesson, an audio-enhanced vocabulary list, and links to teaching tools for making custom quizzes, worksheets, puzzles and lesson plans.
The GREEN program provides ideas and information related to creating a watershed-based educational project and is geared toward taking action to protect watersheds. There are exercises and action steps for various aspects of watershed management including monitoring, analysis, research, policy issues and background information. The site allows groups to enter their watershed monitoring or action project onto the web and to review projects that others have entered.
This program provides an overview of the issues surrounding the construction of the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze River in China. When it is completed, this dam will produce the energy of 15 nuclear power plants and tame some of the river's deadliest floods. However, it is also the subject of much controversy. Topics include the loss of important archaeological, cultural, and paleontological sites, the displacement of large numbers of people, threats to endangered species, and loss of natural habitat in the path of the rising water.
This United States Geological Survey (USGS) general interest publication presents a description of ground water in the U.S. This includes what ground water is, how it occurs, aquifers and wells, ground water quality and what affects it, and the state of U.S. ground water resources.
This Oregon State University site offers in-depth information on groundwater including: human impacts, protection, contamination, regulations, agencies, community action, and community stewardship. Although some information, such as how the geology of Oregon affects groundwater, is specific to that state much of the information is transferable to other locations.
This resource provides scientific understanding, detection, monitoring, assessment, and prediction of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia (low oxygen). Specifics are given on understanding HABs (red tide) where they occur, the climate and economic impact on the environment as well as a framework of response options.
Ships travelling between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie use the Welland Canal. Beginning with a conversation between characters Mathise, Geo, and Trig, they explain how a lock in the canal operates by gravity alone, without pumps. The characters use mathematics to solve problems such as how long the locks take to fill and how to express the volume and flow of water in more common terms (bathtubs of water per second). They also ask why the lower lock door is much larger and heavier than the upper one, a question which users can answer by watching the animation of the lock's operation.
Using the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, Spanish and Italian astronomers have for the first time measured the total amount of water in cold regions of the Milky Way. The findings and implications of this research are discussed here, with emphasis on the fact that water is abundant in these cold regions and exists mostly in the form of ice. Images and videos are included.
In the Clouds Photography specializes in photos of weather skyscapes taken by a photographer who is also an atmospheric scientist. Spectacular images of tornadoes, lightning, supercells, and other related severe weather are available, as are weather photos of a less severe nature;strange cloud forms and optical phenomenon such as rainbows, halos, and glories. Weather-related photos are a specialty but this web site also contains galleries that generally fit within the Landscape, Nature, and Travel photo themes with hundreds of photos of mountain scenes, flowers, trees, etc. Use the site's Search function for specific topics or simply peruse the Gallery.
This site provides the user an opportunity to explore storm clouds and climate change through the use of NASA climate research data obtained through satellite imaging. The user is challenged to investigate actual scientific research data on clouds and storms, and make observations and interpretations available to NASA research scientists for review. Topics addressed by these investigations include the role of clouds in relation to the changing climate of Earth, the role of clouds in warming or cooling the planet, and the major types of clouds produced by storms.
Visitors can study this account of the calving of the Larsen ice shelf and the disintegration of the ice shelf around James Ross Island that occured in Austral Summer of 1994-95. The account is in chronolgical order and is accompanied by photographs. Follow-up examinations from 1996-2002 and links to related material are provided.
The information on this site indicates that the life cycle of a glacier is more eventful than it appears. The site allows students to follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a ride through a glacier, a process that can take as much as 30,000 years to complete. It can be viewed as an interactive slide show or a single page of text and illustrations.
Arctic Science Journeys Radio (ASJ) is a free service that offers interesting stories about science, culture, and the environment of the far north. This audio file of a radio story describes the research of one scientist into the animals and plants that live within the ice of the Arctic Ocean.
This unit, designed to span two class periods, helps students understand that physical factors, particularly temperature and precipitation, limit the growth of plant ecosystems. The activity begins with a discussion in which students develop their own ideas about the role of temperature, precipitation, and environment on plant growth. They will then examine X-Y graphs of vegetation growth, temperature, and precipitation versus month for four diverse ecosystems to determine which climatic factor is limiting growth. A worksheet and scoring rubric are provided.
In this lesson, students will identify rivers in their local area and compile information about aquatic life in or near these habitats. Through research in various books or other sources, the students will learn more about the various animal and plant species living in riparian areas. The compiled information can be assembled into a class book, combining both text and drawings related to aquatic life.
Until very recently, planetary scientists had thought that Mars is a cold, dry planet. Then in the summer of 2000, NASA released images from the Mars Global Surveyor showing evidence of very recent seepage of ground water from crater and valley slopes in the planet's southern hemisphere. It seems that substantial reservoirs of the water that once may have run so copiously on the surface may still exist. Evidence of other water-created landforms is presented and accompanied by remote imagery.
Thousands of people in the Andes mountains of Peru are having their lives affected in both a practical and cultural way by climate change, which is causing the region's glaciers to melt. This document explores the causes of the glacial melt and its impacts on the local cultures.
This applet presents a visualization of the albedo of the earth. It is one of a series for a textbook. Users can adjust the speed of the visualization.
This site is maintained by the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology. A Microbe Zoo and the Microbe of the Month are included. The site provides some background material on many different types of Microbes, in ponds, around the deep sea vents, and various other locations. Two water regions are represented on the site, although mention is made of several others.
This is a fact sheet on the water quality programs directly administered by the USGS. USGS provides information on issues such as the suitability of water for public supply and irrigation, aquatic ecosystem health, effects of agriculture and urbanization on water resources, acid rain, and disposal of radioactive waste. There are hot links to several studies and to data available from USGS and other agencies.
Users can read about the discovery of ice on Earth's moon, which occurs in the form of ice crystals accumulated near the lunar poles. The discussion covers the use of the neutron spectrometer as a tool for detecting water by sensing the hydrogen it contains, some ideas on the origin of the ice, and the fact that water has been found elsewhere in the solar system (on Europa, Jupiter's fourth-largest moon). Other materials include an interview with Harrison Schmidt, the last astronaut to walk on the Moon, and a bibliography.
The Antarctic Meteorological Research Center focuses on observational Antarctic meteorological research, providing real-time and archived meteorological data and observations and provides recent and archived imagery of icebergs, including data and imagery.
NSIDC offers data and information about the cryosphere; that portion of the Earth where water is in solid form, typically snow or ice. Topics include snow, glaciers, permafrost, sea ice, news and features, and others. The State of the Cryosphere section provides an overview of the status of snow and ice as indicators of climate change. An image and photo gallery provides historic photographs and satellite imagery of cryospheric conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctica.
This interactive map allows users to access climate information down to the county level for states or territories of the United States. The data includes wetlands, Temperature and Precipitation Summaries (TAPS), frost free days, and growing season. It is in table or text form, with metadata, and is downloadable.
The NOAA Ocean Exploration program strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America's environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. Increasing this literacy requires high-quality, effective collaborations between ocean explorers and America's teachers. NOAA is forming such collaborations to reach out in new ways to the public to improve the literacy of learners with respect to ocean issues. This site is a daily log of exploration in the Arctic and research on the Polar Bear.
This site provides information on the many aspects of the study of the sea surface from space. Measuring the ocean surface topography provides information for studying global ocean circulation and the oceans heat budget. Regular scanning of the ocean surface to maintain a database of ocean surface topography can help predict short-term changes in weather and longer-term patterns of climate. Educational materials include a wide variety of games, puzzles, and facts; educational entertainment; on-line resources for educators; information about useful books; and links to lesson plans and classroom activities. There is information on obtaining a variety of visual materials on Oceanography and El Nino in both hardcopy form or PDF files. A class activities area presents plans for classroom activities in Oceans, Climate and Life from the "Visit to an Ocean Planet" CD-ROM in PDF format; shows how an El Nino works using common household items; and describes an El Nino Skit for primary grades. This area also lists on-line resources for educators, information about useful books, and links to lesson plans and classroom activities.