Showing posts with label ecosystems. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ecosystems. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Timelapse and Virtual Field Trip - The Great Salt Lake

This morning my attention was grabbed by a BBC video titled Utah's Great Salt Lake is Running Out of Water. It's a fascinating video about the conditions that have contributed to the Great Salt Lake shrinking by nearly two-thirds in this century. Spoiler alert: drought isn't the biggest contributor to the shrinkage. 

Watching the BBC's video about Great Salt Lake prompted me to do a little searching for more information about the lake and its ecosystem. That search led me to a few things worth sharing with students. 

In Google Earth you can view timelapse imagery of Great Salt Lake. In the desktop version of Google Earth you can view imagery dating back to the 1970s. In the web version of Google Earth you can view imagery dating back to the1980s. Both will let you see the shrinking shoreline of the lake over the last few decades. Here's a short Google-produced video of the timelapse imagery of Great Salt Lake. On a related note, here's how to find timelapse imagery in Google Earth.

Last year The Natural History Museum of Utah produced Virtual Field Trip - Great Salt Lake. This ten minute video that takes students from the origins of Great Salt Lake through today. Along the way students can learn about changes to the lake's water level and ecosystem. 

The Genetic Science Learning Center hosted by the University of Utah offers a handful of resources for helping students learn about the Great Salt Lake ecosystem. Those resources include an interactive food web, an interactive brine shrimp lifecycle display, and an interactive map of Great Salt Lake microenvironments.

On related notes, I'll be speaking in Salt Lake City in August. And if you'd like to learn more about using Google Earth in your classroom, join me on August 2nd for a webinar titled To Geography & Beyond With Google Earth and Google Maps

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Acoustic Atlas - Sounds of the Wild West

Acoustic Atlas is a Montana State University Library project that features an ArcGIS Storymap. The Acoustic Atlas storymap is an audio and visual tour of Montana's four ecosystems.

As you scroll through Acoustic Atlas you will see read text and see pictures of the four ecosystems. While scrolling you will also hear the sounds of birds, mammals, and insects that are native to each ecosystem. Those ecosystems are Greater Yellowstone, Crown of the Continent, High Plains, and Upper Missouri. In a few parts of the atlas you will find additional recordings that you can play on demand.

Applications for Education
I enjoyed scrolling through Acoustic Atlas and I'm sure that many students would enjoy it as well. It provides a great overview of the animals and plants of Montana and some neighboring areas. If you have a large monitor, the experience is better than on an iPad or Chromebook. It is also possible to print the Acoustic Atlas text and imagery with one click, but obviously you won't get the benefit of audio.

H/T to Maps Mania

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Learn About Lake Ecosystems on DIY Lake Science

For the Fourth of July holiday I took my daughters to play at a little beach on a local lake. My older daughter enjoyed gathering snail and mussel shells in her bucket while my younger daughter enjoyed playing with some beach toys. The smell of the snail and mussel shells that my daughter collected reminded me of a neat iPad app that I found a couple of years ago.

DIY Lake Science is a free iPad app designed to help students learn about lake ecosystems. In the app students will find a small simulation of a lake ecosystem. Students can change the depth of the lake, the temperature, and the general climate around the lake to learn how those changes alter the ecosystem. After using the simulation students can learn more about lake ecosystems in the DIY Lake Science video library.

The “DIY” aspect of DIY Lake Science is found in the directions for a dozen hands-on activities designed to help students learn more about lake ecosystems. Half of the activities, like “make a lake” and “freezing lakes” can be conducted indoors in a classroom or at home with the help of parents. The other half of the DIY Lake Science activities require going outdoors to learn how to measure the murkiness of water, find aquatic insects, and to see how run-off affects lakes.

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