Celebrate Wilderness

Celebrate Wilderness Activity Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Adapted with permission. The Wilderness Act, signed into law September 3, 1964, celebrates its milestone 50th anniversary in 2014. The legislation poetically defines this natural resource: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. [Read More]

Connect the Spheres

Connect the Spheres Activity Source: Adapted with permission by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. This activity will provide you with an introduction to a series of lessons — Survivor Earth — about water resources on Earth. You’ll investigate Earth systems by making observations in nature and identifying systems in the natural world. Ultimately, you will understand how the four spheres, or systems, on Earth — biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and atmosphere — are interconnected. [Read More]

Connecting With Nature

Connecting With Nature Activity Source: Adapted with permission by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service The “Blue Goose” has been the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since it was first drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist J.N. “Ding” Darling, one of the greatest supporters of wildlife conservation in the 20th century. President Theodore Roosevelt designated Florida’s Pelican Island as the first wildlife refuge in 1903. Now the National Wildlife Refuge System includes more than 550 refuges. [Read More]

Exploring 'Wild' Places with GIS

Exploring ‘Wild’ Places with GIS Activity Source: ESRI, 2008. Adapted with permission. Does your neighborhood have “wild” places? What’s “wild”? What’s the personality of the environment between home and school? What’s there? How do you relate to it? How does your perspective of local geography change between being on the ground and exploring from above? Regardless of where you live, engaging with the landscape means exploring spatial relationships between human and natural phenomena. [Read More]

Exploring Change with GIS

Exploring Change with GIS Activity Source: ESRI. Adapted with permission. On our ever-changing Earth, conditions may change quickly or slowly. Some changes come from natural processes; some from human activity. Satellites allow us to see conditions and track changes over time — in land use, forest health, land/water interface, and so on. Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been collecting data using various portions of the visible and invisible electromagnetic spectrum, at a scale close enough to see highways, but not individual buildings on a city block. [Read More]

Exploring Geoheritage Through EarthCaching

Exploring Geoheritage Through EarthCaching Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Geological Society of America. An EarthCache is a special site that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth. EarthCaches are part of the greater global adventure game of Geocaching. [Read More]

Food Source

Food Source Activity Source: Association of American Geographers. Adapted with permission. How diverse are the food sources in your community and where are they located? How far do they travel to reach you? Do you think the food sources for your community are sustainable? This multi-day activity explores these questions. As of 2008, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities for the first time in the history of the planet. [Read More]

How Can You Test Your Soil?

How Can You Test Your Soil? Activity Source: Soil Science Society of America, 2006. Adapted with permission. Background We walk around on soil all the time, but how often do we think about what’s in it? If you have ever looked closely at soil, you probably saw that it is made up of various types of particles and has various materials mixed in with those particles (rocks, twigs, water, air, worms, insects, and much more). [Read More]

Looking for Wild Elements

Looking for Wild Elements Activity Source: Fish & Wildlife Service. Adapted with permission. For the Teacher: Few schools are within walking distance of a federally designated wilderness. However, many schools are within walking distance of land with wild elements. Students can look for examples of places with wild elements on or near their school grounds. Then they can duplicate the activity in a wilder landscape, such as those found on national wildlife refuges. [Read More]