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
This article from Scientific American outlines a recent idea sweeping across much of East Africa, including several projects and start-up companies here in Tanzania.
The idea is quite simple, actually: Rural families who can’t afford the high costs in setting up a traditional solar electricity system are able to pre-pay for a certain amount of electricity generated by the solar kit. Once they’ve used the electricity paid for, the kit shuts off access until they make another payment – just like the scratch-off cards for mobile phone vouchers we use here in Dar es Salaam – and payments can be made via M-Pesa or similar services. When they have the cash, they buy more electricity, and once they’ve paid for the full kit, it continues to generate electricity for them for free!
Published on the same day was this article from Mary Ellen Harte at the Huffington Post, outlining current and future developments in the field of renewable energy. She focuses specifically on solar energy, with some discussion of wind, wave, and geothermal power as well.
Both of these articles fit nicely within our ESS Topic 3.3.3 – “Outline the factors that affect the choice of energy sources adopted by different societies.”
At the bottom of the post I’ve linked to a really interesting article from Reuters about some of the difficulties and opportunities associated with population growth in Nigeria. Here’s a quick summary:
- Lagos is already 21 million people
- Lagos adds 4,000 new people every day
- Nigeria’s population will be 400 million people within 30 years, making it the 4th largest country on Earth
According to several sources, including the United Nations, Dar es Salaam is one of the 10 fastest-growing cities on Earth, which means that many of these same issues in Nigeria are either already relevant here, or they will be soon.
Click here for the full article. The article serves as a great case study for the start of Topic 3 – Human Populations, Carrying Capacity, and Resource Use.
Posted on October 24, 2013 in Environmental Systems
Tagged Africa, carrying capacity, Dar es Salaam, ESS, human populations, lagos, megacity, Nigeria, population growth, resource use, Tanzania, Topic 3
Infographic from screen capture, The Gates Notes
Follow the link below to read about Bill Gates’ take on future developments in food production, specifically concerning the global increase in meat consumption over the past couple of decades. Here’s what the illustrious Mr Gates has to say about the issue on his personal blog, The Gates Notes:
Meat consumption worldwide has doubled in the last 20 years, and it is expected to double again by 2050. This is happening in large part because economies are growing and people can afford more meat. That’s all good news. But raising meat takes a great deal of land and water and has a substantial environmental impact. Put simply, there’s no way to produce enough meat for 9 billion people. Yet we can’t ask everyone to become vegetarians. We need more options for producing meat without depleting our resources.
Mr Gates’ comments align perfectly with some of the issues that we’ll study in ESS Topic 3.5 – Food Resources. This issue is particularly relevant to us here in Tanzania as well, especially considering that, according to the UN, Dar es Salaam is one of the world’s fastest growing cities.
Click here to read the full article at The Gates Notes.