Soils are one of our most important natural resources — just think of where all the food you eat comes from. They also are important for the beauty the many soil colors add to our landscapes.
Most of us overlook this natural beauty because we see it every day. Often these colors blend with vegetation, sky, water, etc. Soil colors serve as pigments in bricks, pottery and artwork. The color and texture of soil painting is fascinating and a creative opportunity for all ages of students.
Over Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history, tectonic upheavals and colliding plates formed mountain ranges and carved out basins. Forces of erosion and weathering have been at work to break down these landforms. Records of these processes are imprinted on the land and define distinctive landscapes around the United States and in its national parks.
Where would we be without petroleum? You can kiss lipstick goodbye!
Not only does petroleum provide fuel to run our vehicles, cook our food, heat our homes, and generate electricity, it is also used in plastics, medicines, food items, and countless other products, from aspirin to umbrellas and, yes — lipstick! We use many oil products as synthetic alternatives to natural materials, including synthetic rubber instead of natural rubber, and detergent instead of soap. Oil also gives us entirely new, unique materials such as nylon.
When it rains, much of the water drains directly into the ground. But why?
Mined land is reclaimed for future use. The objective of this activity is to investigate how plants will grow on a reclaimed landscape. Over a period of days, you will learn how overburden is incorporated into the landscape after it has been removed during the mining process.Before beginning, discuss vocabulary terms: overburden, stockpile, grading, soil types, seeding, stability, seed germination, nutrients, closure planning, and reclamation.