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This textbook chapter describes the role photosynthesis, food webs, and fossil fuels in the movement of energy through the biosphere. The resource includes a student investigation, links to current news articles, and an essay-based unit assessment.... (View More)

Keywords: Energy pyramid
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

This textbook chapter makes the case for preserving desert old growth forests, and endangered species. The captive breeding program for the black-footed ferret is presented as a case study. Students learn about conservation practices they can do,... (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 several biodiversity case studies, including a study of prairie soil, the 1930's Dustbowl, and the importance of soil conservation practices. The resource includes a link to current news articles and a teacher's guide.... (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)

Readings in this chapter guide student reflection on sustainability of the planet, and whether the Earth system is near a tipping point, where ecosystems will reorganize and seek a new equilibrium, with consequences for biodiversity. The resource... (View More)

This textbook chapter introduces the buffalo as a keystone species, and describes the environmental impacts of its near extinction, including today’s predominance of non-native species in the Great Plains. Human activities that contribute to... (View More)

In this textbook chapter, sea level rise, ocean acidification, storm surge, desertification, ecosystem loss, and extreme weather are all discussed, along with economic and social costs to society. A video clip of NASA scientist, Dr. Tom Wagner,... (View More)

Audience: High school

In this textbook chapter, students are introduced to Mendelian inheritance and the biological processes through which changes in DNA are created and propagated within a population. An activity teaches students about dominant and recessive alleles,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

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