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Analyze these satellite images comparing Ocean Chlorophyll Concentrations with Sea Surface Temperatures beginning with the North Atlantic region, then expanding global patterns of these phenomena.  Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


The world's ocean is heated at the surface by the sun, and this heating is uneven for many reasons. Earth's rotation, revolution around the sun, and tilt all play a role, as do the wind-driven ocean surface currents.This animation shows the long-term average sea surface temperature, with red and yellow depicting warmer waters and blue depicting colder waters.  


An environmental planner tries to minimize the environmental impacts of housing, industrial, and transportation-related construction projects. Environmental planners help project managers navigate the environmental permitting process where they review a site to investigate potential environmental effects. This includes the effects of natural disasters.




Environmental engineers use the basis of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to problems in the environment. Some of their efforts involve recycling, waste disposal, public health, water and air pollution control. Many are engaged in solving practical, yet global issues such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.


Helping students build their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they are connected is difficult.  Review the graphics to help identify the parts of the Earth System and the processes that connect them at the local, regional, and global scales.


Scientific data are often represented by assigning ranges of numbers to specific colors. The colors are then used to make false color images which allow us to see patterns more easily. Students will make a false-color image using a set of numbers.



At the core of scientific visualization is the representation of data graphically - through images, animations, and videos - to improve understanding and develop insight. Data visualizers develop data-driven images, maps, and visualizations from information collected by Earth-observing satellites, airborne missions, and ground measurements. Visualizations allow us to explore data, phenomena and behavior; they are particularly effective for showing large scales of time and space, and "invisible" processes (e.g. flows of energy and matter) as integral parts of the models.


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