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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos

The National Science Foundation (NSF) special reports and videos feature scientific work being done by NSF funding. Topics include weather, evolution, mathematics, visualization, technology, polar, infectious disease, robotics, wild animals, earthquake engineering, cyberinfrastructure, tsunami, arctic and climate. Special reports are available as interactive resources or complete text only versions.

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  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Archaeology from Reel to Real
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For some, the word archaeologist brings to mind Indiana Jones, the hero of four action-packed adventure movies. While Indiana Jones may have some things in common with real archaeologists, the differences far outweigh the similarities. Rather than relic hunters and adventurers, NSF-funded archaeologists are scientists, whose work is aimed at answering key questions about the past, answers that may even inform policy about contemporary problems such as how societies adapt to climate change, ecological shifts, political upheaval or mass migrations. They work as far afield as the Aleutians, Egypt, China and the deserts of the Southwest, or as close as Mississippi.

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Diagram/Illustration
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NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Climate Change
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Our planet's climate affects--and is affected by--the sky, land, ice, sea, life, and people found on it. To understand the entire story of climate change we must study all of the natural and human systems that contribute to and interact with Earth's climate system. There are links to information on major projects and research highlights.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Cyberinfrastructure
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Cyberinfrastructure is a tightly integrated, planet-wide grid of computing, information, networking and sensor resources which will enable individual researchers to have the power of the world's highest-performance digital resources at their disposal. NSF has funded or is exploring cyberinfrastructure-related projects designed to lead the scientific and engineering community in the coordinated development and expansive use of cyberinfrastructure.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Dead Zones
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The Earth currently has more than 400 "dead zones"--marine expanses covering hundreds, or even thousands, of square miles that periodically become virtually lifeless. Explore the surprising causes of Oregon's dead zones, and the pioneering methods used to research them.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Digging Dinosaurs
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Recent NSF funded expeditions to Antarctica have uncovered new dinosaur finds. This article is a report on the expeditions and on the research tools used to analyze the finds. Theories of the extinction of dinosaurs are reviewed. The site includes links to video Q&A with the paleontologists.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Disasters
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Whether caused by acts of nature, human error or even malevolence, disasters are an increasingly costly threat. The National Science Foundation works with the Administration and other federal agencies in a coordinated effort to anticipate disasters and minimize their effects. Research projects provide information on understanding the causes and predicting natural disasters, disaster preparation in the form of stronger buildings, infrastructure and cybersecurity, and disaster response.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Evolution of Evolution - 150 Years of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species"
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On Nov. 24, 1859, Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" intrigued scientists, appalled religionists and fascinated the public. Now, 150 years later, "Origin" still causes ripples. This report--updated on the original publication's anniversary--gives a surprising glimpse inside the science and society that fueled his rise to science stardom. A collection of essays, audio transcripts, and video transcripts on Charles Darwin and evolution in the fields of anthropology, astronomy, biology, geosciences, and polar sciences.

Subject:
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
From the Ground Up: Eyes on the Sky
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NSF is making it possible to explore the universe‰Ű_from the ground up. Today, NSF funds world-class facilities that use cutting-edge technology, providing images that rival the view from space. This video slideshow gives the viewer a glimpse of some of the tremendous radio, optical, infrared and solar observatories.

Subject:
Space Science
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Diagram/Illustration
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NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Future of NSF on Its 60th Anniversary
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At the National Science Foundation's 60th anniversary symposium during the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting, past and present NSF leaders reflected upon 25 years of experience and offered advice about the agency's future. Video and text transcripts of presentations by former and the current NSF Director and by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the National Science Board are available.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Mathematics
Space Science
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Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Simulation
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NSDL Staff
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National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Jellyfish Gone Wild
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Since the 1980s, worldwide jellyfish blooms have caused hundreds of millions--or perhaps even billions--of dollars in losses. Worldwide reports of massive jellyfish blooms are triggering speculation that jellyfish swarms are increasing because of human activities. But are they? This report--which is guaranteed to make your skin crawl--explains the basics of jellyfish biology and what scientists have thus far discovered about the causes and future of jellyfish blooms.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Learning From Haiti - Rapid Response Research
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Every disaster leaves critical clues in its wake--not only of its cause, but also of how to protect lives in future emergencies. In this Special Report, researchers on site within days of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti discuss their work there and around the world.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Liberty Bell: Protecting an American Icon
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The 2,080 pound Liberty Bell has had three homes: Independence Hall (the Pennsylvania State House) from 1753 to 1976, the Liberty Bell Pavilion from 1976 to 2003 and the new Liberty Bell Center beginning on October 9, 2003. Of particular concern during the last move was a hairline fracture that extends from the main crack to the rear of the Bell‰ŰÓif the hairline fracture split, so would the icon. Wireless sensors developed with support from the National Science Foundation monitored stresses on the Bell as it moved to its new home, ensuring a safe move.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
MATH: What's the Problem?
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Most agree that math smarts are essential to the country‰ŰŞs future. Yet, U.S. students‰ŰŞ math scores rank below those of many other countries. Why do so many people struggle with math? Why is math so important, anyway? This site contains videos of discussions with educators and researchers addressing these questions.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
National Lab Day
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NSF joins other partners in National Lab Day, an initiative connecting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers with STEM professionals who volunteer to share their expertise--and their passion--for science and engineering with students. You can view video clips that explain the basics of what National Lab Day is and how it works, get tips from a professional educator about how to effectively help in the classroom and learn about some NSF-funded projects that already are conducting activities in the spirit of Lab Day.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Science Nation
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An online magazine examining the breakthroughs and the possibilities for new discoveries about our planet, our universe and ourselves. Each week, Science Nation takes a dynamic, entertaining look at the research--and the researchers-- that will change our lives. The articles include text and video.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Science of NFL Football
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NBC News' educational arm, NBC Learn, has teamed up with NSF and the National Football League to release the "Science of NFL Football"--an informative 10-part video series that explores the science behind America's most beloved sport. Made especially for students and teachers as they head back to the classroom, these videos are aligned to lesson plans and national state education standards. A link is provided to lesson plans that accompany the videos developed for teachers by Lessonopoly, Silicon Valley Education Foundation's online repository of open educational resources.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Author:
NBC Learn
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Science of the Olympic Winter Games
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NBC Learn has teamed up with the National Science Foundation to produce Science of the Olympic Winter Games, a 16-part video series that explores the science behind individual Olympic events. Each video is complemented with lesson plans which include fun classroom activities.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Life Science
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Seafloor Science
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In the depths of the ocean, a mile or more below the surface, a fascinating mix of organisms thrives. In areas of volcanic activity, where superheated and chemically rich water emerges from the seafloor, life takes exotic and even unexpected forms. This article contains information on seafloor life and the geological structures which support these life forms. There is information on types of research vessels, submersibles and various underwater helpers used and a report on Visions 05, a 5 week research expedition to the northeast Pacific in September 2005.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Secret Lives of Wild Animals
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Scientists are collecting new information about the secret lives of wild animals using modern technologies like global tracking systems and ultra-miniaturized sensors. Learn about research into some rarely seen behaviors of deer, ocelots, agouti, zebras, dragonflies, and seals.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Standing Strong: 2009 NEESWood Capstone Test
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On July 14, 2009, a six-story condominium building shook under the forces of an earthquake more powerful than any quake California has experienced in modern times. The final experiment of NSF's multi-year NEESWood project, the effort tested new ways to construct buildings that can withstand severe forces of nature.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Reports and Videos
Date Added:
11/06/2014