Human Impacts

How Natural Gas Forms

In this activity, you’ll make a model of how natural gas might be formed from decaying organic material.

Humans and Water, Past to Present

Humans use lots of water. We need it for various activities, including agriculture, transport, washing, and recreation. Most important, we need to drink fresh water to stay alive. Today, in many regions around the world, fresh water comes straight to where we need it. But in some places, people must carry gallons of water from the closest stream, river, lake, or well to their homes.

Hurricane Tracking

In this activity, plot data found on the National Hurricane Center website to track the path of the hurricane storms.

Identifying Your Watershed

The goal of this activity is to identify the watershed you live in, the source of water you use at home and the pathway of surface water runoff in your watershed.

Investigating Water Use in Your Home

Water is often called a renewable resource, but what does that really mean? Is water an unlimited resource? What happens to water after we use it? This investigation will help you understand exactly how much water you use in your home and how you can keep from wasting water. If many people are participating in this investigation, work in small groups of 3-5. Before you begin, think about all the ways water is used in your home. How much water do you and your family use at home everyday? Record your thoughts and share them with others. Make a list that combines everyone’s uses of water in their homes.

Know Your Energy Costs

Fossil fuels play an important role in allowing us to have lifestyles we’re accustomed to, but they do emit carbon dioxide, and we all want to be good stewards of our resources. The goal of this activity is to become aware of how much energy you use at school — and the financial and environmental costs.

Land and People: Finding a Balance

This environmental study project allows a group of students to consider real environmental dilemmas concerning water use and provide solutions to these dilemmas.

Looking for Wild Elements

In this activity, students will explore local places with wild elements, such as wildlife refuges. Students also will create maps showing spatial relationships between wild places and school, and they will find creative ways to record experiences.

Measuring Glacial Retreat

The USGS has been studying glaciers in Glacier National Park since 1850. It is estimated that there were 150 glaciers in the park back then, and when the national park was established in 1910. Today only 25 glaciers remain.

 Scientists go back every year to repeat photographs, as well as to examine the ice and the ecology of the landscape to see how glacial retreat is affecting plant and animal species that live there.

Model of a Normal Fault

A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault.

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