I’m back with another set of bookmarks for students and teachers. Because I’ve taught the IB Environmental systems and societies course for several years, this set of online resources is closest to my heart. Some of these links are here simply because I think they’re cool or fun. Many may also be applicable for studying biology and chemistry as well. Let’s get to it:
- United States Census Bureau. Extensive database of global human populations. Can be used to create age-sex pyramids, as well as other applications.
- Earth wind map. A cool interactive resource to check wind patterns in real time anywhere on the planet.
- Visualizing Environmental Science, 1st edition. By John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Online textbook and animations. Much of the site is password protected, but parts are available for free.
- IB Environmental systems and societies worksheets and past questions. From Pearson, a of publisher of one of the IB-aligned student textbooks.
- Edge of Existence, by the London Zoological Society. Full of resources on endangered species.
- Living National Treasures. A guide to threatened and endangered species which are endemic to a single country and nowhere else. Searchable by country or species.
- Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomes. University of Miami, Florida, USA. The page looks a little dated but is still a wealth of information.
- The Habitable Planet. An extensive digital platform for teaching “the systems approach to environmental science”. By the Annenberg Foundation and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
- Ecology and geography fieldwork techniques.
- Survey techniques for beginners. From Wild About Britain.
- Field survey methods from the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage. More advanced than resources above.
- Wildlife Surveys presentation 1. A powerpoint presentation about how to conduct wildlife surveys.
- Wildlife Surveys presentation 2. A powerpoint presentation about how to conduct wildlife surveys.
- Wildlife survey field lab template. This PDF from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a good layout to help middle school teachers and students design their own field surveys.
- GRID-Arendal Maps and Infographics Library. In association with UNEP. This is one of my favorite resources for teaching environmental science. Searchable by topic, keyword, or geography. All maps and images are free to share. Awesome!
- Timelapse. Watch the world change over the course of nearly three decades of satellite photography.
- Ocean Health Index. A searchable database around several components of ocean health.
- NicheScience. An IB ESS YouTube channel, with podcasts for most of the old syllabus and a growing list of videos aligned with the new syllabus.
- AP Environmental Science. Another YouTube playlist from the very talented Paul Andersen.
- Kyoto Protocol. A website dedicated to the organizations and research involved in the effort to understand climate change.
- IPCC official website. Home of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service homepage.
- Animation gallery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Searchable. Reliable. Lots of visual data.
- Visualizing global carbon footprints. Interactive data maps from National Geographic.
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. From the World Food and Agriculture Organization.
- ARKive photo and video collections organized by species, conservation status, geography, environmental topic, habitat, and student age group. UK-centered.
- Edible Schoolyard. All the resources you need to create a food garden at your school. Based on the very successful program in the U.S.
Posted in Environmental Systems, MYP Science, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged 21st century learning, Africa, agriculture, biodiversity, biology, chemistry, climate change, conservation, cool stuff, ecological pyramids, ecology, ecosystems, Education, elephants, energy, Energy resources, environmental perspectives, environmental science, ESS, evolution, food resources, human impact on the environment, human populations, life science, online resources, photosynthesis, plants, poaching, population growth, research, resources, science, Science education, trophic levels, videos
My 8th grade classes developed independent projects focused on the role of plants in society, and I received a wide variety of products from them, from posters to presentations to animations. The one I’ve embedded below is a particularly solid example of the kind of work young people are capable of doing when given the freedom to choose a topic of interest and the resources to create something different.
Thanks for this, Abby!
Posted in MYP Science
Tagged 21st century learning, agriculture, biology, cool stuff, economic development, Education, human impact on the environment, human populations, plants, population growth, sustainability
That’s the title of a recent (June 2013) publication from the World Bank, which outlines the probable impacts of continued global climate change. Among the highlights of the article, according to the official press release:
- This report, part II in a series, looks at likely impacts of 2°C and 4°C warming across three vulnerable regions.
- It describes risks to agriculture and livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa, the rise in sea-level and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia, and water extremes facing South Asia.
- Turn Down the Heat warns that poor coastal urban communities are among the most vulnerable to climate change.
As a poor, coastal, urban community in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dar fits this description perfectly. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, talks about the perils of climate change in the brief video embedded below.
Here are a few more links relating to this topic, which seems to be all over the news lately.
This first item, from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the same organization which just declared the Western Black Rhino officially extinct) is a publication called Pachyderm. In it, there are several case studies about both rhinos and elephants, including some information on using micro-chemical evidence to trace the origin of poached ivory. Here’s the link to the complete PDF.
Edge of Existence is a website I recently stumbled across, and I think it has a lot of well-researched information about a lot of issues in wildlife conservation. EDGE stands for “Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered” species – unique creatures threatened by human activities around the world. Their page for elephants, linked here, has some really useful information on elephants’ role in maintaining the savanna ecosystem, conservation initiatives currently in use, links to organizations involved in elephant conservation, and references to more scientific information about Loxodonta africana.
The International.org posted a brief article in June 2012 about the impact of poaching on ecosystems, which is a nice model for the 9th grade poaching project currently underway.
A younger-looking Sir David Attenborough with lemurs from Madagascar. (Screen capture image from www.bbc.co.uk)
And finally, no wildlife conservation unit would be complete without at least one video from Sir David Attenborough (probably my favorite scientist of all time). The short video clip linked here is from Sir David’s earlier work in Madagascar, so he looks a bit different than most of you are used to seeing him. It was originally released in 1961 – 52 years ago!
November 11, 2013 in Environmental Systems, Grade 9 Science
Tagged biology, conservation, david attenborough, ecology, elephants, ESS, human impact on the environment, lemurs, poaching, rhino, rhinos, topic 4, wildlife
The University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology released this study a few years ago, detailing the impact of poaching on elephant populations in Mikumi and Amboseli.
Graphic credit: University of Washington’s Center for Conservation Biology
I post this link for several reasons:
- The topic is clearly relevant to both the grade 9 biology unit, as well as ESS’s Topic 4 – Conservation and Biodiversity.
- The study was carried out in conjunction with Sokoine University in Morogoro, just a couple of hours from here.
- The targeted areas are Mikumi National Park in Tanzania and Amboseli in Kenya, so it’s entirely relevant to where we live.
- The inclusion of simple graphs with the article complement and support the written work of the authors, and it can serve as an example to you students about how to use visual aids in your scientific writing.
- Follow the ‘Research Programs’ and ‘Elephants’ tabs to see how DNA analysis is being used to track poached ivory.
- I like the graphic at the top of the page.
I also found this 2006 document from the World Wildlife Fund – the Wildlife Trade Factsheet 2006.PDF – which “is designed to give a broad overview of the environmental harm that illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade can cause, and to give examples of WWF and TRAFFIC’s work and solutions on the ground.” (www.panda.org)
WWF Image Credit: Martin Harvey
November 6, 2013 in Environmental Systems, Grade 9 Science
Tagged biodiversity, biology, CITES, conservation, elephants, ESS, Grade 9, human impact on the environment, poaching, rhinos, topic 4, wildlife, World Wildlife Fund, WWF
While I was at the AMMUN conference in Jordan, IPP media published this article about a recent ivory haul in Mikocheni, just a few blocks from my house in Dar es Salaam. Police uncovered more than 700 pieces of ivory, “representing more than 200 tuskers killed,” according to the newspaper’s sources.
I post this link because I want you to realize that poaching isn’t just something that happens ‘out there’ in the bush. It is inherently linked to the trade and economy of Dar es Salaam, and it is happening in our neighborhoods. You probably sit next to someone who is somehow involved in poaching each time you’re stuck in one of Dar’s famous traffic jams.
November 3, 2013 in Environmental Systems, Grade 9 Science
Tagged biodiversity, biology, conservation, ecology, ESS, Grade 9, human impact on the environment, poaching, topic 4