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Vegetation/land cover  
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Instructions are provided for constructing a terrarium. The analogy between the terrarium and Earth is also provided. This activity is part of the Climate Kids website, a NASA education resource featuring articles, videos, images and games focused... (View More)

Water is essential to Earth's living system, the biosphere. In this lesson, students determine the types of living things within an outdoor study site, use a taxonomic key to determine the predominant land cover type of their site, then predict the... (View More)

In this lesson, students investigate the relationship between precipitation, surface temperature and vegetation for four geographic locations. Students will download graphs of each of the three system components (vegetative index, surface... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

Tree ring analysis and satellite data observations are combined in this investigative lesson on past climate. Students will compare the width of tree rings from a real or virtual tree x-section with precipitation levels from authentic satellite... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this field activity, students document examine the role of a tree in its ecosystem and as part of the environment in a human community. Students measure the tree's dimensions, examine co-residing organisms, leaf litter, and soil, and research the... (View More)

This worksheet provides a pair of satellite world maps, showing vegetation in January and July, and has a series of questions guiding exploration of the similarities and differences in the two images. The activity is from Space Update, a collection... (View More)

In this activity, students produce a land cover map of a 15 km x 15 km GLOBE study site from hard copies of Landsat satellite images. Students place clear transparencies over the Landsat TM images and use markers to outline and classify areas of... (View More)

In this field activity, students conduct a visual survey of a hydrology study site, and collect information about land cover and water quality. These observations are used to stimulate research-able questions about land cover and water chemistry... (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)

In this problem-based learning activity, students help the Forest Service make a decision: the next time there's a natural fire in Yellowstone National Park, should they try to put it out or let it burn? They perform an Earth system science analysis... (View More)

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