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This investigation introduces students to the phenomena of urban heat islands, areas of higher then normal temperatures associated with populated areas. Using Atlanta, Ga., as the study site, students begin by analyzing the population growth and geographic expansion of the area over a 24-year period. Students then use surface images from Landsat, thermal data from aircraft instruments, and land use maps to compare and contrast the distribution of vegetation, variations in daily temperatures, and diversity of land usage types around the city. The URL opens to the investigation directory, with links to teacher and student materials, lesson extensions, resources, teaching tips, and assessment strategies. This is Investigation 3 of four found in the Grades 5-8 Module 3 of Mission Geography. The Mission Geography curriculum integrates data and images from NASA missions with the National Geography Standards. Each of the four investigations in Module 3, while related, can be done independently.
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