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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council
    Descriptive info: .. Home.. |.. About ELC.. Site Map.. Contact Us.. Air Climate.. Land.. Water.. Ecosystems.. Energy.. Food.. Environment Society.. IN THE NEWS: New Strain of Rice Discovered.. Scientists have created a new strain of flood-tolerant rice which can survive up to 17 days of flooding, compared to 3 days for conventional rice.. Field tests in Bangladesh and India successfully increased yields between 3 and 5-fold; the potential could be immense considering that rice is a staple for more than half the world's population.. The new discovery also relies on precision breeding - not.. genetic modification.. - which should decrease the timeframe for which it could be made widely available.. Rare rhino calves found in Indonesian jungle.. Researchers recently saw 4 Javan rhino calves during a field survey on Indonesia's Java island.. The rhinos are thought to be the most.. critically endangered.. large mammal on the planet, with nearly 90 percent (approximately 45 rhinos) living in Ujung Kulon park -  ...   energy use, climate change, and recycling.. Don?t miss our.. Special Features.. describing cool creatures, neat places, and environmental topics in the news.. COUNCIL NEWS.. The Council welcomes new Board Member Nick Kulibaba who is working closely with ELC staff to kick-start the next phase of our fundraising efforts.. Read about his favorite Freshman high school course or the "pure fun" of Piotr Naskreeki's.. The Smaller Majority.. @.. The Council's Corner.. Printer Friendly Version.. Send this Page to a Friend.. Send your tax-deductible gift to:.. The Environmental Literacy Council, 1625 K Street NW, #1020, Washington, DC 20006.. Our preferred vendor:.. $.. Through Paypal:.. Click here to set-up a recurring donation.. Council News.. Register for updates on our programs resources.. Enter your email below:.. privacy policy.. What is Environmental Literacy?.. The Environmental Literacy Council.. 1625 K Street, NW, Suite 1020.. Washington, DC 20006.. phone: 202.. 296.. 0390 | fax: 202.. 822.. 0991.. All Rights Reserved 2002 The Environmental Literacy Council..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - About Us
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - About Us.. About Us.. For more than a decade, the Environmental Literacy Council has been dedicated to helping teachers, students, policymakers, and the public find cross-disciplinary resources on the environment.. An independent, 501(c)3 organization, the Council offers free background information on common environmental science concepts; vetted resources to broaden understanding; and curricular materials that don't tell teachers how to teach, but give them the tools to augment their own backgrounds - no matter what their current knowledge.. The environmental sciences have become an integral part of the K-12 curriculum, and for good reason.. Health, living conditions, technological development, the economic future, and our relationship with nature are all shaped by environmental actions.. The Council believes our classrooms must become places where students achieve a deep understanding of complex environmental issues ? and teachers are the key.. Through our websites, reports, and professional development guides, the Environmental Literacy Council provides practical resources to  ...   a wide variety of issues, such as global climate change, biodiversity, energy, and land use.. The Council works with scientists, educators, and partner organizations to develop cross-disciplinary teaching guides, modules, and workshops aimed at deepening our understanding of the interrelationships between natural and human systems.. Our reviews evaluate the scientific accuracy of textbooks and supplementary resources which introduce students to environmental topics.. ScienceTextCentral.. org.. , our one-of-a-kind website dedicated to enhancing the quality of K-12 science textbooks, includes reviews by the Council and other notable science and educational organizations, as well as comments from teachers who use the materials in their classrooms everyday.. For more information, please.. download our brochure.. Council Members.. Donations.. Gift in Honor.. In Memorium - December 2004.. Kathleen Bajorek deBettencourt Internship for Environmental Studies.. Planned Giving.. Privacy Policy.. Professional Partners.. Search & Shop for the Cause.. Workplace Giving.. This page was last updated on November 13, 2008.. Please send questions and comments to.. info@enviroliteracy..

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  • Title: ELC - Sitemap
    Descriptive info: ELC - Sitemap.. Directory.. Air, Climate & Weather.. Air Quality.. Acid Precipitation.. Carbon Monoxide.. Cities in Developing Countries.. Ground-Level Ozone.. IAQ Triggers.. Indoor Air Quality.. Particulate Matter.. The Ozone Layer.. Urban Air Quality.. Biogeochemical Cycles.. Carbon Cycle.. Nitrogen Cycle.. Phosphorus Cycle.. Sulfur Cycle.. Unbalancing the Nitrogen Cycle.. Water Cycle.. Climate.. Aerosols.. Black Carbon (Soot).. Climate Change.. Climate Change Policies.. Climate Forcing & Feedback.. Climate Modeling.. Greenhouse Gases.. Land Use Changes & Climate.. Latitude & Climate Zones.. Ocean Fertilization.. Paleoclimatology.. Possible Consequences of Global Warming.. Sources & Sinks.. Steps to Reduce Global Warming.. The Greenhouse Effect.. The Missing Carbon Sink.. Weather.. Air Mass & Pressure.. Clouds.. El Niño & La Niña.. Floods.. Humidity.. Hurricanes.. Precipitation.. Seasonal Changes & Predictions.. Temperature.. The Coriolis Force & Global Wind Systems.. The Sun's Radiation.. Tornadoes.. Biodiversity.. Measuring Biodiversity.. Stability & Diversity.. Trends in Biodiversity.. Classifying Species.. How Many Species are There?.. Threatened & Endangered Species.. Drivers of Biodiversity Loss.. A Changing Climate.. Habitat Change.. Non-Native Species.. Nutrient Loading.. Overexploitation.. Habitats, Biomes & Eco-Regions.. Freshwater & Marine Ecosystems.. Terrestrial Ecosystems.. Your Local Ecosystem.. Hotspots of Biodiversity.. Atlantic Forest.. Cerrado.. Indo-Burma.. Madagascar.. Mediterranean Basin.. Mesoamerica.. Succulent Karoo.. Sundaland.. Steps Toward Conservation.. Value of Biodiversity.. Ecosystem Services.. Human Well-Being.. Electricity.. Deregulation.. Electric Current.. Electric Power Grids & Blackouts.. Energy Efficiency.. Energy Security.. Fossil Fuels.. Abiotic Theory.. Are We Running Out of Oil?.. Coal.. Coal Bed Methane.. Natural Gas.. Oil Spills.. Petroleum.. Petroleum History.. Hydrogen.. Hydrogen Fuel Cells.. Nuclear Energy.. Nuclear Waste & Disposal.. Yucca Mountain.. Renewable Energy.. Biomass Energy.. Geothermal Energy.. Hydroelectric Power.. Solar Energy.. Wind Energy.. Environment & Society.. Economics.. Cost Benefit Analysis.. Diminishing Returns.. Ecosystem Valuation.. Environmental Impact Analysis.. Externalities.. Marginal Costs & Benefits.. Net Present Value.. Quotas.. Regulatory Policy vs Economic Incentives.. Supply & Demand: How Markets Work.. Sustainable Development.. Trade-Offs.. Environmental & Resource Economics.. Agriculture.. Carbon Trading & Sequestration.. Energy Production & ANWR.. Fisheries.. Forest Management.. Population.. Property Rights.. The Greening of Business.. Tropical Deforestation.. Water Resources.. Environmental Health.. Antibiotic Resistance.. Assessing Health Risks.. Dose-Response Assessment.. Endocrine Disrupters.. Epidemiology.. Exposure Assessment.. Hazard Assessment.. Microorganisms.. Persistent Organic Pollutants.. What is Risk?.. Life Cycle Analysis.. Cell Phone Life Cycle.. Computer Chip Life Cycle.. Paper or Plastic?.. Wood Utility Pole Life Cycle.. Materials Use.. Asbestos.. Cement.. Industrial Ecology.. Lead.. Matter.. Plastics.. Salt.. The Nature of Matter.. Wood Products.. Population Studies.. Basic Population Concepts.. Carrying Capacity.. Changing Population Structures.. Population & Health.. Population & the Environment.. Population Data & Projecting Trends.. Population Policies.. Transportation.. Air Transportation.. Automobile Alternatives.. Automobiles.. Deicing.. Marine Transportation.. Public Transportation.. Rail Transportation.. Roadways.. The Horse & the Urban Environment.. Waste Management.. Bioremediation.. Composting.. Incineration.. Landfills.. Recycling.. Reduce and Reuse.. Wastewater.. What is Waste?.. Crops.. Food Production & Supply.. Genetic Modification.. Green Revolution.. Organic Farming.. Food Safety.. Livestock.. Pest & Pathogen Control.. Integrated Pest Management (IPM).. Home Page.. 1999 Earth Week Conference.. Council Highlights.. Land Use.. Conflict & Natural Resources.. Environmental Impacts.. Weapons of War.. Forests.. Deforestation.. Forest Ecosystem Services.. Forest Fires.. Forest Types.. Management Options.. Mineral Resources.. Coal Mining.. Diamond Mining..  ...   Discuss Climate Change.. High Oil Prices.. Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.. Is a Hybrid Car in Your Future?.. Kuwaiti Oil Fires.. Lebanon Oil Spill.. Lewis & Clark.. Mad Cow Disease.. Prestige Oil Spill.. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).. Shark Finning.. Smallpox.. Sunstorm 2003.. The Santa Ana: Katabatic Winds.. Tsunamis.. West Nile Virus.. Wildfires in Southern California.. World Population in 2300.. World Summit on Sustainable Development.. Teaching Resources.. AP Environmental Science Course Material.. AP Environmental Science Course Outline (2006).. Classroom Tips for Teaching Inquiry Labs.. Delivering Content.. Essay Writing.. Essay Writing Tips.. Pacing the Course.. Should You Use Inquiry & Problem-Solving Laboratories?.. Webpages by AP Science Teachers.. Why Choose an Inquiry-Based Approach?.. Current Newsletter.. Environmental History Modules.. Environmental Science Toolkit.. Asking for Information.. Assessments.. Chi Square Critical Values.. Chi Square Notes.. Citation Format.. Citing Scientific Research Sources.. Connecting Classrooms.. Data Table Examples.. Environmental Science Study Words.. Environmental Science Testbank.. Evaluating Evidence.. Experimental Design Rubric.. Field Studies.. Forest Sampling.. Formal Report Format.. Hypertextbooks.. Literature Cited Format.. Meadow Sampling.. Move Beyond Cookbook Lab.. Pond Data Tables.. Pond Sampling.. Practice Examinations.. Publishers.. Reading List.. Report Rubric.. Sample Business Letter.. Statistics Tools.. Supplies to Order.. Supply Houses.. Using GIS in the Classroom.. Website Evaluation Criteria.. Firestorm: Thinking Critically about Environmental Issues.. General Resources.. Ask an Expert Links.. Environmental Employment Websites.. National Standards.. Program Teaching Materials.. Resources by World Region.. Science Websites for Kids.. U.. S.. Government Agencies.. Websites for Science Teachers.. Resources for Environmental Literacy: Science-Environment Modules.. 2002 Wye River Conference.. Project Background.. Surveys & Textbook Reviews.. 1997 Environmental Education Materials Review.. 1999 AP Textbook Review.. 2000 Teacher Survey.. 2001 Review of Revised Basic Environmental Science Textbooks.. 2004 Review of Environmental Science Textbooks.. 2007 Energy Literacy: Are Middle School Textbooks 'Making the Grade'?.. Test Category.. The Teacher Exchange.. TX: Air & Climate.. Applied Environmental Science Air Quality.. Greenhouse Effect & Global Warming.. The Carbon Cycle.. TX: Basic Concepts.. AP Syllabus & Pacing Chart.. Example Environmental Science Glossary.. Parts Per Million.. Thermodynamics.. Units.. TX: Ecosystems.. Endangered & Extinct Species Project.. Endangered Species Project Scoring Rubric.. How Do Atmospheric Conditions Affect Plant Life?.. Population Growth & Competition in Cultures of Paramecium.. Sustainable Island.. Winogradsky Columns Lab.. TX: Energy.. Boiler Room Visit.. Effects of Radiation on Growth.. Half-Lives.. Personal Energy Audit.. Watt's the Cost?.. TX: Environment & Society.. Car Emissions Internet Activity.. Cemetery Lab #1.. Cemetery Lab #2.. Light Pollution.. Tragedy of the Commons Activity.. Use of Brine Shrimp Assay to determine LC-50.. WormCo Earth Services Company.. TX: Food.. Biological Control of Pests.. Pesticide Resistance.. TX: Land.. Analysis of Soil.. Birdseed Mining Activity.. Surface Mining Simulation Lab.. TX: Miller, 10th Edition - Classroom Notes.. TX: Student Forms.. Outdoor Permission Form.. Student Safety Contract.. TX: Water.. Cadillac Desert: Discussion Points.. Cadillac Desert: Historical Context.. Cadillac Desert: Summer Assignment.. Chemically Testing for Water Quality.. Watershed Lab.. Where Did That Water Come From?.. Coastal Areas.. Oceans.. The Great Ocean Conveyer Belt.. The Water Cycle.. Water Infrastructure.. Water Quality.. Water Supply.. Water in Developing Countries.. Water Use.. Watersheds..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Contact Us
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Contact Us.. We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.. Let us know about links that have useful information or articles and books on environmental topics.. E-Mail:.. Telephone:.. (202) 296-0390.. Fax:.. (202) 822-0991.. Postal Address:.. Environmental Literacy Council.. Washington, DC 20006-3868.. This page was last updated on August 26, 2002..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Air, Climate & Weather
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Air, Climate & Weather.. The Earth's atmosphere is a blanket of gases approximately 350km (218 miles) thick.. It is a large and complex system that interacts with the Sun, the land, and the oceans in order to produce both the Earth?s weather and climate.. The Earth's atmosphere has four distinct layers:.. Thermosphere:.. The layer of atmosphere most distant from the Earth is the thermosphere, which begins approximately 80km in altitude.. It is also the hottest layer "thermo" being Greek for heat.. The temperatures in the thermosphere increase with altitude due to the absorption of intense solar radiation by the limited amount of remaining molecular oxygen.. The source of this heat is through bombardment of solar particles carried on the solar wind that do not reach deeper into the atmosphere.. Mesosphere:.. The mesosphere extends from 50 to 80km in altitude with very sparse atmosphere, accounting for only about 0.. 1 percent of the mass of the atmosphere as a whole.. Temperatures decline within the mesosphere as altitude rises, containing the coldest temperatures within the Earth's atmosphere.. At its upper boundary, the mesopause, average temperatures are near -110° C in the summer and -60° C in the winter.. Stratosphere:.. The stratosphere extends from approximately 10-12 km to around 50 km above the Earth's surface.. The air temperature remains relatively constant up to an altitude of 25 km, then increases gradually having a stabilizing effect on atmospheric conditions.. The stratosphere contains nearly 90 percent of the atmospheric ozone, which plays a major role in regulating temperatures as solar energy is converted to kinetic energy when the ozone molecules absorb ultraviolet radiation, resulting in the heating of the stratosphere.. Troposphere:.. The troposphere is the layer closest to the Earth?s surface,  ...   along with Earth?s rotation, creates rising (convection), falling (advection), and horizontal air movements (winds).. The result of these processes occuring in the form of rain, snow, heat or freezing cold, at a particular place and time, is called weather.. The longer term trends in patterns of temperature, rainfall, and other weather indicators over time, usually in blocks of 30 years, that can affect the entire Earth, is called climate.. Variations in the behavior of the weather over long periods, such as from one century to another, is referred to as climate change.. Climate variation occurs as a response to climate forcings which can cause either a warming or a cooling of the atmospher.. Over most of the Earth's history, the forcings have been entirely natural, caused by continental drift, variability in solar radiation, changes in the Earth's orbit, and volcanic emissions.. However, since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has had an effect on the global climate system, increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmospher, trapping heat and contributing to an overall global warming.. Earth's Atmosphere.. This site from NASA's Exploration provides a basic discussion of atmospheric structure along with the graphic featured on this page.. Global Atmospheric Protection.. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a site linking to coverage of air pollution issues around the globe.. FOR THE CLASSROOM.. Introduction to the Atmosphere.. Developed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, this module presents background material - as well as a variety of middle school level classroom activities.. Layers of the Atmosphere Practice Quiz.. Along with questions about the oceans, this practice quiz from the Earth Science Department at the University of South Dakota contains several basic questions about atmospheric structure.. This page was last updated on July 16, 2008..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Land Use
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Land Use.. The surface of the Earth is shaped by a combination of physical processes, including earthquakes and volcanoes, shifts of rocks and sediments, and flows of river and ice.. Humans also shape the land through increasing populations, agricultural expansion, mineral and forest resource excavation, changing the flow of rivers, and with layers of industrial and urban infrastructure.. Land cover.. is the physical and biological material found on the surface of the land, existing as vegetation or the built environment (human-created structures).. Land use.. describes the various ways in which human beings make use of and manage the land and its resources.. Over the course of history, humans have had a changeable relationship to the land.. Early humans are believed to have used the land with little modification for shelter, food gathering, and defensive aims.. It wasn't until the domestication of plants and animals approximately 10,000 years ago that land use involved extensive changes in the landscape.. With domestication came large-scale clearing for both settlement and agriculture.. Growing populations built structures on the land (or out of the land) for shelter, defense and worship, and altered the existing land cover and the course of waterways for food, power, and transportation.. In many instances, the biological and physical make-up of the land contributes to how it is used; lands with rich soils are most suitable for farming while lands prone to flooding are less suitable for settlement.. Large cities, for example, are often located adjacent to an ocean or river, providing essential water, and access for food, sewer, industrial, and economic purposes.. As food, power, transportation, and communication technologies transformed over the last few centuries in order to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding population, there have been major changes in the patterns of land use worldwide.. Within the U.. , the major uses of land are identified in the figure below.. FIGURE: Major Uses of Land, 2002.. Land Use.. 48 States.. All States.. Cropland.. 23%.. 20%.. Grassland, pasture, and range.. 31%.. 26%.. Forest-use land.. 30%.. 29%.. Special uses.. 8%.. 13%.. Miscellaneous land.. 5%.. 10%.. Urban land.. 3%.. Source: Economic Research Service/USDA.. Major Uses of Land in the United States.. Economic Information Bulletin No.. 14, 2006.. During the 18th and 19th centuries, many acres of forest were cleared to make way for cropland, and for use as fuel and building material.. In many developed countries that trend is reversing, and the regeneration of vegetation is occurring.. However, in many developing countries, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices are still a major concern.. Yet, worldwide, the most transformative change has been in the decrease of cropland and the increase of urban land (see the section on.. ).. Today,  ...   of the United States of America.. The USGS' National Atlas combines geological and statistical data that can be used to examine characteristics of areas by regional boundaries or geographic coordinates.. Earthshots.. The USGS presents satellite imagery of environmental change, for selected areas and cities, demonstrating impacts of deforestation, urban growth, and natural and manmade disasters over time.. Library of Congress: Conservation and Environment Maps.. Hundreds of maps in this historical collection show early exploration and subsequent land use in areas throughout the U.. , including changes in landscape, vegetation, and wildlife.. Maps date from the 1600s and can be searched by subject, creator, or location.. LAWS TREATIES.. Homestead Act, 1862.. This famous Act drove people to move into the Western United States, allowing anyone to claim land rights after five years for up to 160 acres if they had built a house, dug a well, plowed, and fenced the land; it also allowed them to buy land outright at a reduced price.. The Act expired in 1976 in all the states but Alaska, where it expired in 1986.. Wilderness Act, 1964.. The Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System of federal lands.. Subsequent amendments have more specifically regulated access and use within the preservation system, limiting both recreational and commercial use.. Forests and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act, 1978.. Also known as the National Forest Management Act, this legislation encourages multiple-use and sustained yield management of our national forests and rangeland.. FOR THE CLASSROOM.. Neighborhood Mapping Project.. The Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia developed a project demonstrating how land use and neighborhood infrastructure transform over time.. Acting as part historical detective and part city surveyor, students spend several weeks drawing, journaling, photographing, and researching their local landscapes.. Meant for primary grades, the project is easily adaptable for all ages.. [Grades K-12].. Association of American Geographers (AAG): Human Driving Forces.. The AAG offers an extensive curriculum focusing on human effects on land use and cover.. The module introduces students to the concepts of systemic vs.. cumulative global change, human driving and mitigating forces, and proximate sources of change.. What Can We Learn from Satellite Images?.. Students examine maps and satellite images to see how settled parts of the Earth have changed over time in this National Geographic activity, then draw maps showing how their hometown might have looked in the 1970s compared to today.. [Grades 9-12].. America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands.. This National Geographic Society feature provides teaching resources for studying the history and geography of America 's public lands.. References.. Lubowski, Ruben et al.. Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2002.. (EIB-14) 54 pp, May 2006.. http://www.. ers.. usda.. gov/Publications/EIB14/.. This page was last updated on June 16, 2008..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Water
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Water.. "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.. ".. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner,".. Samuel Coleridge.. The basic building block for all life on Earth, water is the most plentiful natural resource on the planet; in fact, over two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water.. However, 97 percent is held in the oceans, while only 3 percent is freshwater.. Of the freshwater, only 1 percent is easily accessible as ground or surface water, the remains are stored in glaciers and icecaps.. Moreover, freshwater is not evenly distributed across land surfaces, and there are a number of heavily populated countries located in arid lands where fresh water is scarce.. Water also regulates the temperature of the planet and cycles essential nutrients through the land, air, and all living things.. The flow of water through the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere is called the hydrologic, or water, cycle.. Thus, water is both the most abundant natural resource on our planet and a fundamental element of life whose preciousness requires diligent management.. Philosophies guiding management of water supplies changed during the 20th century.. Until the second half of the 1900s, water management was governed by the goal of moving water to where it was most needed, particularly for irrigation of agricultural lands.. Rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water were also used to carry away wastes from municipal and industrial uses, because it was believed that the pollutants would disperse in the water.. In the past three decades, the focus of water management has shifted to considerations of municipal, agricultural, and industrial supplies, water quality, and the protection of aquatic ecosystems.. Many argue that privatization, rather than state-control, produces the most equitable, environmentally friendly, and economically sound system for managing both the distribution and consumption of water.. Water rights which are transferable from one individual to another are the fundamental building blocks of such a system.. Rather than government controlling access to water, in a private system individuals buy, sell, and trade water rights, just as we do with property rights today.. However, critics charge that private water markets will undersupply consumers and lead to unequal distribution, skewing towards those with more means.. Yet, in practice, this seems not to be the case.. Interestingly enough, privatization benefits are actually most visible in developing countries..  ...   freshwater resources and ecosystems; identifies critical issues and problems; measures progress towards achieving the sustainable use of water resources; and documents lessons learned.. Office of Water.. The EPA's Office of Water has an extensive website containing information on water science, ground and drinking water, wastewater management, and wetlands, oceans, and watersheds.. Guidebook to Global Water Issues.. This online book stems from ITT Industries' effort to bring awareness to global water issues.. The pages reflect the views of a wide range of environmental journalists, scientists, water experts and economists, each with their own perspective on the issues.. Differing opinions are offered, although none are endorsed.. Water Policy and Strategy.. This document summarizes the United Nation Environment Programme's policy on water-related issues.. The Clean Water Act.. This is the major law regulating water quality in the United States, estab lishing a framework for regulating discharges of water pollutants.. Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act.. This 1977 Act and its amendments provide for a continuing appraisal of U.. soil, water and related resources, including fish and wildlife habitats, and a soil and water conservation program to assist landowners and land users in furthering soil and water conservation.. Water Science for Schools.. The U.. Geological Survey presents a collection of educational resources on the properties of water.. Basic essays explain common water measurements, the distribution of water, its importance for life, and fun facts like "Why is the ocean salty?" and "How wet is your state?" The site includes quizzes and activities.. Water on the Web.. This website from the University of Minnesota is targeted toward high school teachers and students.. Through the use of data from their Remote Underwater Sampling Stations, the site encourages experimentation to understand and solve environmental problems.. Water, Water Everywhere?.. This unique lesson plan provided by the Discovery Channel teaches students about the global water crisis that is facing the world today.. Is the Environment in Deep Water?.. In this New York Times Learning Network lesson by Alison Zimbalist, students examine various fresh water and marine ecosystems, researching the aquatic life they support, threats from nature and humans, and preservation efforts, then creates a model of their ecosystem.. [Grades 6-12].. The UN named 2003 the.. Year of Fresh Water.. On the official.. website.. , find.. teaching resources.. along with information about fresh water use, ecosystems, droughts, and floods..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Ecosystems
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Ecosystems.. The ecosystem concept has its roots in theoretical concepts regarding the organization and dynamics of natural systems.. The word itself is of relatively recent origin; it was initially suggested by a scientist in 1935 as a more abstract replacement for the community concept.. In its present usage, however, an ecosystem is generally defined as a community of organisms living in a particular environment and the physical elements in that environment with which they interact.. Just as there is an immense diversity of individual species on the planet, so is there a rich diversity of ecosystems ? from the icy arctic zones to tropical forests lush with plants and animals.. They occur on many different scales, with smaller systems embedded within larger systems.. An ecosystem can be as small as a fallen log or as large as the ocean, depending on the scale that the researcher is examining.. But where does one particular ecosystem end and another begin? While the borders of some may be clear, such as a pond; others may be less easy to define, such as marshland that leads into a waterway.. In order to better understand the ecological makeup of the Earth, scientists have proposed many different ways of categorizing terrestrial and marine ecosystems.. Most classification systems are defined by the type of plant and animal life living in an area in relation to global climate patterns.. The most common system divides the world into.. biomes.. based on the dominant plant life that occurs within a certain climate.. Other ways of defining ecosystems use more specific classifications incorporating characteristics such as rainfall patterns, type of soil, and particular species.. Eco-regions.. , for example, are nested within biomes and are  ...   and scientists continue to refine both their method of assessment as well as the definition of a ?healthy? ecosystem.. Scientific Facts on Ecosystem Change.. In 2005, the.. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.. ? the largest assessment of the Earth's ecosystems to date ? was conducted by a team of over 1,000 scientists who concluded that in the past 50 years humans have altered the Earth's ecosystems more than any other time in our history.. GreenFacts digests the report?s major findings, including uncertainties in calculating and predicting ecosystem change over time.. World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystems.. The World Resources Institute focused on five critical ecosystems shaped by the interaction of the physical environment, biological conditions and human intervention.. A.. Time.. magazine article and Bill Moyer?s.. Earth on Edge.. program broadcast on PBS ? both of which are based on the report ? are also accessible from this site.. Data Maps.. NatureServe.. This non-profit association houses detailed information about ecosystems and species on their NatureServe Explorer site, a searchable database with data on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities in North America.. For the Classroom.. National Geographic Habitats: Home Sweet Home.. This National Geographic site for kids focuses on Earth?s habitats: cities and suburbs, deserts and tundra, forests, fresh water, oceans and coasts, and prairies.. It includes a photo gallery, games and activities, video clips, maps and lesson plans.. Micro-Ecosystems.. This Access Excellence project by Nora Doerder has students create a sustainable, self-contained ecosystem in a ten-gallon aquarium.. [Grades 9-12].. Studying a Piece of an Ecosystem.. Teacher Dorothea Sinclair created this Access Excellence project in which students identify the components of an ecosystem and learn how biotic and abiotic factors interact.. This page was last updated on July 9, 2008..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Energy
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Energy.. The development of modern civilization has been dependent on both the.. availability and the advancement of energy.. We have witnessed a progression from animal and steam power, to the internal combustion engine and electricity generation and to the harnessing of alternative sources of energy.. Because of our reliance on energy sources, it is also important to understand the effects of energy use on the environment.. All aspects of energy ? the way it is produced, distributed, and consumed ? can affect local, regional, and global environments through land use and degradation, air pollution, the acidification of water and soils, and through global climate change via greenhouse gas emissions.. The majority of our energy stems from fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas; yet, the burning of these fuels is a large source of carbon dioxide emissions which contributes to the greenhouse effect.. Coal is dominant in the production of electricity, while oil is the world's primary transportation fuel.. Natural gas use, most commonly for heating, is growing quickly; however, while cleaner and less carbon intensive than coal and oil, natural gas also emits significant amounts of carbon dioxide.. While fossil fuels will remain our largest source of energy for the foreseeable future, they are ultimately finite resources.. With concern over domestic supply and reliance on foreign supplies, increasing costs and environmental impacts, there is an increasing push to utilize alternative fuel sources.. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and could be an important factor in our energy future since it can both carry and store energy.. As such, hydrogen can be used in a wide variety of applications, from portable devices and stationary sources to transportation vehicles through the use of fuel cells, with the only byproducts being water and heat.. Yet, while it can be manufactured from renewable energy sources, the majority of hydrogen is produced by processing fossil fuels which emit pollutants in the process.. A significant challenge in the availability of hydrogen energy is the large amount of energy ? fossil, nuclear, hydro ? that will be needed to generate the hydrogen.. Nuclear energy provides nearly a fifth of the world's electricity without harmful by-products.. Yet, concern over safe storage and disposal of radioactive waste, along with the potential for accidents, radiation contamination and exposure continues.. This concern,  ...   necessary to produce alternative and/or renewable sources of energy that are readily available, affordable, and less harmful to the environment than conventional fossil fuels.. While our dependence on energy is not likely to decrease, it will be important to foster new innovations in energy technologies with a larger focus on energy efficiency and conservation.. Energy Information Administration (EIA): What is energy?.. The EIA, part of the U.. Department of Energy, defines energy, its uses, as well as the various types of energy sources.. World Energy Council (WEC): Survey of Energy Resources 2007.. WEC supplies an annual Survey of Energy Resources done by their Global Energy Information Service.. International Energy Agency.. This Paris-based organization provides charts and statistics on energy production and consumption patterns by country, region, source, and economic sector.. Their Country Analysis Briefs consist of basic, but clearly presented, comparative statistics concerning energy use.. Laws Treaties.. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.. The newest energy legislation is expected to reduce oil dependency, increase CAFE (fuel economy) standards, implement a Renewable Fuels Standard, and improve America?s energy efficiency.. Energy Policy Act of 2005.. EPAct 2005 included measures to increase energy independence in the U.. by increasing domestic production of oil, natural gas, and coal; strengthening the nation's electricity grids; and addressing climate change.. Clean Air Act of 1990.. The Clean Air Act of 1990 was put in place to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, smog, and acid rain in the.. United States.. It also introduced the possibility of emissions trading.. Current Legislation.. The Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE) provides a list of issue briefs and legislation currently facing the industry.. For the Classroom.. Energy Information Administration (EIA): Activities.. The EIA provides a variety of energy games, activities, and experiments for elementary, middle, and high school students.. Energy Commission: Energy Quest.. Much of this site is directed at the elementary level, containing useful information on energy and electricity.. The site also lists energy education pages, energy-related science projects, and an extensive glossary of energy terms.. The Great Energy Debate.. This National Geographic lesson has high school students explore the controversial issues surrounding the energy debate in the.. References.. Clean Energy.. , Union of Concerned Scientists.. How Nuclear Power Works.. from HowStuffWorks.. com.. Hybrid Electric Vehicles.. , U.. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.. Hydrogen Economy.. from Wikipedia..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Food
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Food.. Human civilization has its roots in the early domestication of plants and animals nearly 10,000 years ago.. Success in this endeavor led to drastic changes in how and where human beings lived; agriculture led humans from a nomadic existence to one based in permanent and semi-permanent settlements.. It even changed how humans interacted with one another and how they interacted with the Earth.. The unprecedented growth in global population that occurred in the 20th century was made possible by the remarkable advances in agriculture, public health, and technology.. The Green Revolution brought high-yield crops and advanced growing techniques to developing countries, improving nutrition and health in most parts of the world.. Continued growth, however, will likely require more land to plant and water for irrigation, increasing pressure on habitats and natural resources.. Advanced agricultural methods have made it possible to grow more food on fewer acres of land, permitting some land to be returned to forest and other natural states.. Yet, there are costs associated with high-yield methods, including a heavy reliance on pesticides and fertilizers.. Runoff from agricultural lands affects the water quality of lakes and rivers.. Erosion continues to be a serious environmental problem in the absence of preventative measures.. And, irrigation ? required in many parts of the world ? can be a significant drain on water supplies in arid areas and, if improperly managed, can lead to a buildup of salt deposits, which can severely degrade soil quality.. The most critical challenge is to find ways to increase food production while minimizing environmental degradation.. Considerable research in this and other countries has led to advanced methods to preserve soil and prevent  ...   the history of food and agriculture, as well as the diversity of farming methods around the world.. A special segment discusses how food supply, income, and cultural background all contribute to individual food choices.. Department of Agriculture (USDA).. The USDA hosts a comprehensive website about the status of agriculture in the U.. , including a one-page ?.. Condensed History of American Agriculture.. ? ideal for handouts.. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Agriculture 21.. This international agency site provides a variety of publications examining the science, economics, and politics of world agriculture.. Earthtrends: Agriculture and Food.. The World Resources Institute, a non-profit research organization, provides agricultural profiles for countries around the world, a searchable database of agricultural statistics, and articles about agricultural trends.. LAWS TREATIES.. 2007 Farm Bill.. The official USDA Farm Bill website contains a section on the various proposals, including legislative language, fact sheets, and viewpoints.. The 20th Century Transformation of U.. Agriculture and Farm Policy.. This USDA Economic Research Service Bulletin outlines the economic and policy changes that have taken place during the 20 th century.. International Fisheries Treaties Database.. There are a number of treaties that seek to regulate potential exploitation of the world's fisheries.. The Internet Guide to International Fisheries Law lists the major initiatives and their status.. Linking Food and the Environment.. This inquiry-based curriculum created by Teachers College of Columbia University provides biology education through investigations in the domain of food.. [Grades 4-8].. Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century.. Created by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) in conjunction with educators from around the country, this curriculum features six activities to help students realize the challenge of feeding growing populations.. [Grades 6-12]..

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  • Title: The Environmental Literacy Council - Environment & Society
    Descriptive info: The Environmental Literacy Council - Environment & Society.. Throughout history humans have both affected, and been affected by, the natural world.. While a good deal has been lost due to human actions, much of what is valued about the environment has been preserved and protected through human action.. While many uncertainties remain, there is a realization that environmental problems are becoming more and more complex, especially as issues arise on a more global level, such as that of atmospheric pollution or global warming.. Interactions between human society and the environment are constantly changing.. The environment, while highly valued by most, is used and altered by a wide variety of people with many different interests and values.. Difficulties remain on how best  ...   for continued economic prosperity.. The environment has become one of the most important issues of our time and will continue to be well into the future.. The challenge is to find approaches to environmental management that give people the quality of life they seek while protecting the environmental systems that are also the foundations of our well being.. In order to face these challenges, students today will need more than superficial knowledge or awareness of disconnected environmental issues.. A multidisciplinary approach to learning can build upon the strengths of a wide range of fields of study, providing a deeper understanding of the technological, political, and social options and strategies for both studying and managing the relationship between our society and the environment..

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