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Laurah Jurca
Laurah Jurca
(Laurel - United States)

<p>I currently serve as an ESOL Coach for my school district in Maryland. I work with both ESOL and mainstream teachers to help them improve the quality of their instruction for their English language learners. During my career, I have taught grades k-8,  ...

Environmental Education Web Sites

The Bay Backpack

 

The Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup, a collection of representatives from State Resource Agencies, State Departments of Education and non-profits groups from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, was charged with evaluating and recommending policies related to bay education. To help accomplish the group's goals the Education Workgroup developed the Bay Backpack, a resource designed to help educators provide meaningful watershed educational experiences or MWEEs to their students.

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The Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK)

 

"The members of OAK are brought together by the belief that the well-being of current and future generations, the health of our planet and communities and the economy of the future depend on humans having a personal, direct and life-long relationship with nature and the outdoors. While childhood is the best time for instilling and fully benefiting from a connection to nature, in today’s world children are increasingly moving away from an understanding of the natural world. Although families have the leading role in connecting children with the outdoors, local, state and national decision-makers have a critical role to play to ensure that children, youth and families have the access, opportunities, skills and encouragement to connect with the great outdoors."

Follow the external link below for access to OAK's education recommendations and educational resources.

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN)

 

The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working nationally and internationally to reconnect children with nature. The network provides a critical link between researchers and individuals, educators and organizations dedicated to children's health and well-being." - taken from C&NN website,

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6 Forest Walks (Virtual Activities)

 

On this site, you can walk through a fictional Virginia forest, and use scientific tools and methodologies to determine the forest makeup, monitor its health, and conserve its biodiversity. Each walk opens with an animated entrance into the forest in a different season. Guide characters from Smithsonian’s National Zoo assist the user and encourage inquiry.

This resource is part of the Biology Links for One Laptop Per Child course which contains units on Exploring Life; The Cell; Genetics; Mechanisms of Evolution; The Evolutionary History of Biological Diversity; Plant Form and Function; Animal Form and Function; Ecology; and Astrobiology.

National Geographic's JASON Program

 

The JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire and motivate them to learn science. Our award winning curricula:

Embed cutting-edge research from NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Geographic Society and other leading organizations. Allow leading scientists to work side by side with JASON students. Challenge students to apply their knowledge to the real-world scenarios scientists face every day.

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State of Pennsylvania DEP "Just for Kids"

 

An internet resource for grades 3-5 on: Water, Land, Air, Energy, Falcons, and Recycling

Original unchanged by this contributor, current: Copyright © 2010 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All Rights Reserved

Burd Run Laboratory - Instructional / curricular library

 

The Burd Run Interdisciplinary Watershed Research Laboratory at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (SU) is a cooperative effort among 13 faculty from the Departments of Geography-Earth Science, Biology, and Teacher Education to: (1) provide intensive undergraduate field training through collection and analysis of related hydrologic, geologic, biologic, and geographic data from a single watershed, (2) establish a comprehensive statistical and spatial watershed database using a geographic information system (GIS), (3) use the accumulated data for student investigations in a wide variety of environmentally related courses, and (4) facilitate similar approaches at other institutions. The project involves equipment acquisition; continuous monitoring of hydrology, water quality, and meteorology; and data collection and analysis in various undergraduate courses.

The project will link learning across courses and disciplines over several semesters, allowing students to build and integrate scientific skills throughout their education using the watershed as a common case study. Six specific needs will be addressed: (1) strengthen hands-on field and laboratory learning; (2) enhance students' quantitative skills; (3) improve the teaching of complex, interdependent environmental systems by linking a variety of scientific perspectives to a common case study; (4) allow students to conduct long term monitoring of environmental change and impacts of human disturbance; (5) improve the earth-space science and biology education curricula by providing pre-service teachers intensive training in scientific methods; and (6) provide field opportunities otherwise unavailable for a wide range of users.

Original unchanged by contributor, current Copyright © 1999 Shippensburg University?. All rights reserved.

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Bridging the Watershed

 

The Alice Ferguson Foundation shares the wonder and excitement of the farm, woodlands, wetlands and waterways of the Potomac River watershed with thousands of students, teachers and citizens every year.

The Bridging the Watershed program, in partnership with the National Park Service, provides personally meaningful, educational experiences that connect high school students to their place in the natural and cultural world.

Students observe problems in the watershed in which they live from a historical perspective, from the perspective of being a member of the human community, and from the perspective of an environmental scientist. Working in cooperative groups, and at times individually, students work on activities that include engaging questions and situations. They are guided through field and laboratory explorations that invite them to hypothesize about what will happen, to interact with natural phenomena, to observe, and to collect data about their observations. At the conclusion of each module, students are encouraged to engage in a service project during which they can apply what they have learned about the environment to their own community or in a national park.

The Watershed Game

 

Water...we all depend on it for survival. But water is a scarce resource—only one percent of all water on earth is freshwater! How can we keep this water pure and fresh?

Many things happen in a watershed that affect the quality of the water we rely upon. What are they? Would you make the best decisions in managing your watershed? Examine the issues in each area of the watershed, then see the impacts of your choices!

Invasives.org Species Listing

 

The following species have been listed on an invasive species list in North America. For more information on each species, including the listing sources, images, and publication links, click on the species.

455 Records

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Teach Engineering - Rocks, Rocks, Rocks

 

Student teams will test rocks to identify and record rock properties such as luster, hardness, color, etc., and classify rocks as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. They will complete a worksheet table with all of their rock properties, and then answer some worksheet questions to deepen their understanding of rock properties and relate them to the cavern design problem.

Ohioline - Environment, Ohio State University Extension

 

According to http://ohioline.osu.edu/lines/welcome.html:

"Ohioline is a valuable information resource. Principally produced by Ohio State University Extension, OhioLINE is your Link to Information, News and Educational resources of not only OSU Extension but of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, and the Agricultural Technical Institute. Research and Extension programs are also supported by the colleges of Human Ecology, Veterinary Medicine, and Biological Sciences...Through Ohioline, you have access to the hundreds of factsheets, bulletins and other educational materials covering a wide array of subjects --- such as agriculture, natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community development, 4-H and youth."

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The Mississippi River: Draining a Majority of the United States

 

Objectives:

  1. To establish the role of the Mississippi River in the formation of the coastal wetlands
2. To increase awareness of the problems created by nature (flooding) and those from other sources (pollution) associated with the presence of the Mississippi River

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Rivers: Lifelines of the Land

 

Overview: The idea for this lesson plan was inspired by Michael Arquin of Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California, who received a teacher grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation in support of a year-long project called Life on the Other Side of the Monterey Bay: An Integrated Study of the Carmel River Watershed.

This lesson introduces students to river ecology and addresses the societal and environmental impacts associated with dams and their construction. By understanding dams and their effects on the environment, students will propose the construction or abolition of a dam in their hometown or other geographic area. They will think objectively and critically about real issues affecting the future of rivers.

Water Availability - Earth Exploration Toolbook

 

Users study the relationship between precipitation, evaporation, and surface runoff data, collected and aggregated by the North American Regional Reanalysis project. Using FieldScope, an online GIS created at the National Geographic Society, they explore data layers, create a map table for comparison, and analyze geographic patterns. A full set of curriculum materials for students has also been created for FieldScope by Northwestern University and The GLOBE Organization. These materials will be available online in the future. See the Going Further section for more information.

Earth and Sky

 

A clear voice for science. The worlds top scientists heard 15 million times a day.

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Invasives.org Species Publications

 

Publications addressing various invasive species, like: Yellow Starthistle, Knapweed, Purple Loosestrife, Exotic True Thistles, Leafy Spurge, Dalmatian and Yellow Toadflax, and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

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Project WET - Resources by Topic

 

Educate. Empower. Act. The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators, and communities of the world with water education. We invite you to join us in educating children about the most precious resource on the planet — water.

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Project Learning Tree - Curriculum

 

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is the American Forest Foundation's environmental education program that produces high quality curriculum materials for students in grades PreK-12. PLT provides training and professional development opportunities for teachers, non-formal educators, and pre-service teachers (teachers in training.)

PLT teaches students how to think, not what to think about the environment.

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Project WILD

 

Project WILD is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. A national network of State Wildlife Agency Sponsors ensures that Project WILD is available nationwide --training educators in the many facets of the program. Emphasizing wildlife because of its intrinsic value, Project WILD addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet.

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Geology of the Marcellus Shale: A Paleontological Perspective on a Modern Resource

 

The Marcellus Shale is a black shale formation extending deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia northeast into Pennsylvania and southern New York. It has long been known that the Marcellus Shale holds natural gas deposits; however recent technological advances and commodity price increases have made recovering these deposits very attractive to natural gas companies.

Oil Slick

 

Discover which materials best clean up an oil spill. Can you think of other ways to collect and dispose of the oil without causing further harm to the environment?

Teach Engineering: Weather Basics

 

Students are introduced to the basics of the Earth's weather. Concepts include fundamental causes of common weather phenomena such as temperature changes, wind, clouds, rain and snow. The different factors that affect the weather and the instruments that measure weather data are also addressed.

Teach Engineering - Biodome

 

Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.

Geomorphology from Space

 

Geomorphology from Space is an out of print 1986 NASA publication edited by Nicholas M. Short, Sr. and Robert W. Blair, Jr. designed for use by the remote sensing science and educational communities to study landforms and landscapes.

The core of this book is a gallery of space imagery consisting of 237 plates, each treating a geographic region where a particular landform theme is exemplified. Commentary, photographs, locator maps, and sometimes a geologic map accompany each plate.

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Rehabilitation of Aging Watershed Flood Control Dams

 

Development and application of appropriate technology will lead to safe, cost-effective rehabilitation of flood control projects built by the USDA. Technology needs include improved methods for evaluation and rehabilitation of aging flood control dams…

Activities: "Whatzzzup-Stream?"

 

In this set of exercises, students will study rivers and waterways around them by using the Internet, maps, and their knowledge of local landscapes. The students will use an EPA Web site to investigate what is upstream and downstream of them. They will also look at graphs of flow in familiar river locations on a live U.S. Geological Survey Web site. Using small rocks and a washbasin, students will build a model that leads to extending their understanding of streams in different geographic locations. A topographic map exercise will expose students to topographic maps and allow them to look for the origins of streams. Finally, a reading exercise will illustrate the issue of the importance of lower-order streams to downstream areas, and students will be asked to implement their ideas to protect a stream on a dairy farm.

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