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Environmental Science

Additional Resources

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Internet Sites Books top
Environmental Literacy Council - features labs, projects, and activities for studying the air and climate, land, water, ecosystems, energy, food, and environment and society. Learn about the carbon cycle, forests, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, renewable energy, photosynthesis, soils, thermodynamics, waste management, water quality, weather, and more. Find out about legislation and treaties, resources in your state, and science in the news. (MA)
Guide for Teaching About Coastal Wetlands - helps students identify types of wetlands and understand the role of wetlands in controlling erosion, retaining water, filtering pollutants, and serving as nurseries for young organisms. The barrier islands, the Mississippi River, and the consequences of wetland loss are examined. Includes activities for all grade levels (USGS)
NRCS Soils - includes soil surveys for each state, a manual for surveying soil, an urban soil primer for homeowners and local planning boards, and "tools for educators" -- lessons and information on soil taxonomy (the "12 orders of soil"), fundamental conceptsabout soil, soil biology, and soil risks and hazards. (USDA)
Soil Science Home Page - looks at soil fertility, nitrogen in soil, soil chemistry,soils as electrical systems, soils as filters, soil physics and particle sizes (silt, sand, and clay), microorganisms in soil,nutrients that plants need, soil morphology, judging soil byfeel, structures and shapes of soil, and "soil profile" imagesfrom Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and other states. Learn howsoil is formed and how long it takes to create an inch of soil. (NASA)
National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) - A website for K-12 environmental education emphasizes many of the most popular and highly-regarded environmental education programs available today. It provides educators with profiles, reviews, and useful information on how to obtain materials, training and more.
Environmental Inquiry - EI is a website and curriculum series developed at Cornell to help students conduct environmental science research and participate in communities of fellow student scientists. Our goals are for students to: 1) Develop research skills, 2) Use these skills to design and conduct research projects focusing on relevant local environmental science topics, 3) Participate in communities of fellow student scientists, and 4) Enhance their understanding of scientific content and process.
What's Up with the Weather - This is an introductory page to the topic of Climate Change. It links directly to a variety of activities on energy use creating climatic change. These activities run the gamut from an interactive game to statistical data to an online discussion. Great resources for scientific debate about global warming (click on "The Debate").
Environmental Defense - Wealth of information on hot topic environmental issues like air quality, stabilizing the climate, environmental justice, global warming, etc.
Environmental Question Bank - from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission; these questions and answers are based on air quality and pollution; water conservation, quality, and testing; and waste and compost issues. Each section also includes Jeopardy-style questions, all of which can be used in the games of the Texas Environmental Science lesson plans. High school, Intermediate elementary, Middle school, Primary elementary.
Classroom Resources-Directories - Directories and databases of EE curricula and resources are available. The mission of EE-Link is to disseminate information and ideas that will help educators explore the environment and investigate current issues with students.
Environmental Education Center - This site offers information of interest to teachers including: curriculum resources, workshops and conferences, community service projects, career opportunities, and grants. It includes a collection of fact sheets, brochures, and web pages that you can use to teach about and explore environmental issues.
The Center for Great Lakes Environmental Education - is an informational resource designed to provide access to Great Lakes educational material, as well as to identify, and address teacher training needs. This web site is a first step to provide educators, both formal and non-formal, with centralized access to educational information on the Great Lakes.
GIS and Environmental Science for Teachers K-14 - This website aims to provide students with a sense of place, to see themselves as part of the global community and as having a responsibility for taking care of the planet. It provides a series of presentations, tutorials, and activities to be used in the classroom and help teach students about the importance of our environment and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Informational sites on Ecosystems (for teachers AND students)

The Ecosystem - What is an ecosystem? What are the major parts of an ecosystem? Learn about a pond's ecosystem and discover what a food pyramid would look like from such an ecosystem.
Biomes of the World - Where in the world are those biomes? Click on a biome and discover where it is located throughout the world.
World Biomes - A compilation of information on all the different types of biomes from the oceans to estuaries to grasslands. Photos are included.
Biomes of the World - from the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Biomes - Learn how humans have affected ecosystems and explore the many biomes of the world.
Tour of Biomes - Biomes are distinct ecological communities of plants and animals living together in a particular climate. Click here to learn about desert ecosystems and the unique organisms they support plus information on five other biomes of the world.
Australia's Ecosystems - This site is an extract of a script from an Australian video series about the Australian ecosystems. Learn about arid, mangroves & wetlands, reef, rainforest, island, river and riparian fringe, and remnant ecosystems.
Coral Reefs: destruction and preservation - Coral reefs, their destruction, and organizations targeted to reconstruction and preservation is the focus of this article. Destruction of coral reefs has been a major ecological issue, only recently has major attention been given to protecting them.
The Mojave and Other Desert Ecosystems - Explore the animals, insects, and plants of the Mojave Desert at this National Park Service site and find information on other North American and world deserts. Maps, pictorial field trips and an on-line story are just a few of the things you will find.
Desert Life - What is a desert? How many deserts are in North America? Learn about the desert environment and the unique characteristics that define the beautiful arid and semi-arid landscapes of the American Southwest.
What is a Wetland? - Wetlands are land areas covered by water some or all of the time. These unique habitats have certain characteristics in common. Click here to learn about these characteristics and take a tour of four different types of wetland environments.
What Are Wetlands? - This page has a definition and lists five categories of wetlands.
Wetlands and People - Only recently have we begun to understand the importance of the functions that wetlands perform. Far from being useless, disease-ridden places, wetlands provide values that no other ecosystem can.
Plankton - Plankton includes plants and animals that float along at the mercy of the sea's tides and currents. Material explains the various types of plankton and their importance in the ecosystem.
Tropical Rainforest Animals - Learn about the animals of the rainforest and why the rainforest is home to more species that any other ecosystem.
Insects of the Rainforest - Discover the insects that live in the rainforest. Click on the ECOsystem button.
Home on the Ridge: Life on the Hydrothermal Vents - Over 60% of the earth is covered by ocean that is more than a mile deep. Hydrothermal water is full of energy-rich chemicals like hydrogen sulfide spewing from chimneys that support tubeworms and other interesting creatures. Highly informative site.
Hydrothermal Vent Communities - Information on the unusual communities that surround hydrothermal vents. contains a ten question quiz, self-scoring, with reference links to material for each question.
Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents - An interactive activity that allows the user to learn about the deep ocean floor and its strange inhabitants while making choices to investigate different areas or creatures.
Reef Database - From this Reef Survey project database you can generate a variety of reports on marine fish species distribution and abundance patterns. Click on a map to choose the coral reef region. Invertebrate survey data are also available.
Internet Sites Books top
Understanding Your Environment - This five-part unit for grades 9-12 in the EarthComm: Earth System Science in the Community series teaches the tenets and practices of earth science and explains how river systems, bedrock geology, and land use affect life on Earth. Student activities sections are included in each chapter. The teachers edition contains an overview, chapter timelines, student goals, and a guide that tells how each chapter relates to the National Science Education Standards. Purchase for $19.95 per student version and $39.95 per teacher version from It's About Time, Inc., Suite 307, 84 Business Park Dr., Armonk, NY 10504; 1-888-698-8463; fax 914-273-2227.
Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units - Science curriculum materials that address island environmental issues are now available free online The Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units present important scientific concepts in Pacific Island learning contexts and engage island values, such as careful stewardship of the home environment. Appropriate for Pacific Island learners everywhere, the units can satisfy teachers' needs for multicultural curriculum materials that engage diverse learners. Directed at middle school and lower-level high school students, the units include "The Island's Freshwater and Ecology," "Our Coral Reef," and "Fish as a Marine Resource." "Organisms Around Our Island" focuses on knowledge and understanding of ecosystems; "A Field Trip to Nan Madol" invites students to explore as paleontologists an important archeological site; and "Components of Pacific Sand" gives them an opportunity to classify living organisms and investigate natural rock formation processes. Conservation of natural and cultural resources is a focus throughout.
Visit The Pathfinder Teaching and Learning Units are available as a printed publication or as HTML and PDF files.
For more information, e-mail


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