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Friday, December 30, 2011

Cool Paleogeography Site


Dr. Ron Blakey of Northern Arizona University has provided an amazing collection of maps depicting the Earth at various times in the past. CLICK HERE to read about the terms of use, etc. and then select "Gallery of Products" or "Enter the Library" to gain access to the maps. The colorful maps can be used to enhance presentations related to plate tectonics or Earth's history. The map at the right shows the Earth 340 million years ago, during the Mississippian Period.

Reminder: Watch "NOVA: Deadliest Volcanoes" Wednesday, Jan. 4 on PBS.

Friday, December 23, 2011

NOVA Shows Students How Science Works


It looks like NOVA will be featuring some really interesting Earth Science topics over the next couple months. CLICK HERE to see the schedule. Scroll down and select "More Upcoming Posts" to see programing through February 1st. NOVA comes on Wednesday evenings on PBS (check your local listings). Although I watch NOVA for my own education and enjoyment, I do show some episodes to my students throughout the year. Typically I make up a worksheet with 10 questions for them to answer as they watch. The programs are especially effective at showing students how real scientists do research. Here are the titles of upcoming shows related to Earth Science.

December 28: Extreme Ice and Secrets Beneath the Ice (both re-runs)

January 4: Deadliest Volcanoes (new)

February 1: Ice Age Death Trap (new)


Here are some downloadable worksheets from some of the NOVA programs that I use in class.

Magnetic Storm

Mystery of the Megavolcano (Toba)

The Last Extinction

Friday, December 16, 2011

'Tis the week to explain the Solstice!

A little something from Santa: This year, the Winter Solstice will occur at 10:30 pm MST on Wednesday, December 21. CLICK HERE to see an animation courtesy of the Santa Barbara City College Dept. of Physics and Engineering. I project the animation onto a big screen and use it to explain the solstice (and its relationship to the length of daylight). CLICK HERE for more information about the solstice. CLICK HERE to see another animation (courtesy of Prentice Hall). CLICK HERE to read more about the image to the right. And finally, CLICK HERE to get sunrise and sunset times for your city. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Animate these Global Maps from NASA's Earth Observatory

NASA satellites provide a global view of what’s happening on our planet. To explore how key parts of Earth’s climate system change from month to month, CLICK HERE. There are 16 different maps that you can animate to watch how different aspects of the Earth change over several years. One of my favorites is "snow cover".

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Culture for You

As I was looking for a way to make Chinook winds more interesting to my students, I found a great music video on YouTube called, "The Bear Who Stole the Chinook", by Jack Gladstone. Gladstone's song is based on a Native American story about the Chinook winds, which deliver heat to the east slopes of the Rockies in Montana and Alberta. A search led me to maps that revealed a remarkable correlation between the part of Montana-Alberta where Chinook winds are most common, and the homeland of the Blackfoot Confederacy.

CLICK HERE to find out how to use the video, learn more about these warm winds, and download a PowerPoint presentation (includes the maps and many more images).