Conservation in Action

Conservation in Action Activity Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Adapted with permission. “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” --Rachel Carson, 1954 The second full week of October is not only Earth Science Week—it is also National Wildlife Refuge Week! During this time, you are encouraged to consider the legacy of Rachel Carson, an early leader in the environmental conservation movement, and the resource management activities of the U. [Read More]

Finding Slope

Finding Slope Activity Source: Soil Science Society of America. H.M. Galloway, A.L. Zachery, Agronomy Department, Purdue University, Revised by S.S. Fulk-Bringman. Adapted with permission. Earth scientists play an important, if largely invisible, role in many aspects of our daily lives, such as building homes or growing food. For example, geoscientists help determine which locations would be best for undertaking these vital activities. The slope of the soil is an important soil property to consider when building or planting. [Read More]

Geologic Age

Geologic Age Activity Source: Adapted from the USGS Learning Web Lesson Plans Background At the close of the 18th century, the haze of fantasy and mysticism that tended to obscure the true nature of the Earth was being swept away. Careful studies by scientists showed that rocks had diverse origins. Some rock layers, containing clearly identifiable fossil remains of fish and other forms of aquatic animal and plant life, originally formed in the ocean. [Read More]

Geologic Time Scale Analogy

Geologic Time Scale Analogy Activity Source: Ritger, S.D. and R.H. Cummins. 1991. Using student-created metaphors to comprehend geologic time. Journal of Geological Education. 9:9-11. Purpose To introduce students to the vastness of [geologic time](/content/geological- time-scale) and the concept of scale. Background Unraveling time and the Earth’s biologic history are arguably geology’s most important contributions to humanity. Yet it is very difficult for humans to appreciate time beyond that of one or two generations, much less hundreds, thousands, millions and billions of years. [Read More]

It's About Time

It’s About Time Activity Source: National Park Service. Adapted with permission. Geologic time can be difficult for people to understand. Our own lives are so short when we compare them to the age of the Earth, that the hundreds of millions of years of geologic time are almost too much to grasp. But for us to understand Earth activities today, we must have at least some basic understanding of geologic time. [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]

Making Your Own National Park Geologic Tour

Making Your Own National Park Geologic Tour Activity Source: National Park Service, 2006. Adapted with permission. Background In this investigation, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the many geological features in our country’s national parks. You might not realize this, but a large number of the national parks were created because of their amazing geology. Just think of the geological features of Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and many more! [Read More]

Map-Making Basics

Map-Making Basics Activity Source: U.S. Geological Survey, 2006. Adapted with permission. Background Maps are two-dimensional ways of representing information about the natural and built world from a “top-down” perspective. You are probably familiar with road maps that show where roads go and which roads intersect with others and where. You also may have seen weather maps, which show weather patterns across a specific geographic area, or political maps, which show where borders are for countries and areas within those countries. [Read More]

Mapping a Refuge

Mapping a Refuge Activity Source: National Energy Education Development Project. Provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Adapted with permission. The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the world’s premier system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Why not visit a national wildlife refuge ( in or near your community? A refuge is a place where you can record observations of seasonal changes to plants, trees, and wildlife. [Read More]

Places on the Planet: Latitude and Longitude

Places on the Planet: Latitude and Longitude Activity Source: Geological Society of America, 2006. Adapted with permission. Background You may have seen or used Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in cars or on camping trips. These devices use data from satellites orbiting the Earth to locate places on our planet. GPS devices describe the locations to us in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates. Citizen scientists involved in the Geological Society of America’s EarthCaching project (http://www. [Read More]