Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapters


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Exploring Air Quality in Aura NO2 Data
DATA: NASA Aura nitrogen dioxide data. TOOL: Google Earth. SUMMARY: Learn about photochemical smog. Explore the relationships among human population density, nitrogen dioxide concentrations, and geography.

Exploring Characteristics of Wetlands
DATA: Worldwide Wetlands Inventory. TOOL: Ramsar International Wetlands Data Gateway. SUMMARY: Learn about wetlands around the world. Perform a series of searches to identify wetland areas that need protection.

How Cities Affect Their Local Climate
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

Mapping Local Data in a GIS
DATA: Student-collected GPS data and site characterizations TOOLS: MyWorld GIS, spreadsheet program - Follow a study of Urban Heat Islands as an example of map-based science research projects.

Measuring Distance and Area in Satellite Images
DATA: MODIS Imagery. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Examine images of the Aral Sea from 1973 through 2003. Use image analysis software to measure changes in the width and area of the freshwater lake over time.

Shrinking Forest - Growing Problem
DATA: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Process and measure time-series SAR images to analyze the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Produce a color composite image showing the oldest to most recently deforested areas.

Visualizing Carbon Pathways
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

Whither Arctic Sea Ice?
DATA: Sea Ice Images TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet application SUMMARY: Animate 30 years of sea ice images and measure the ice extent each year to produce a graph. Compare the ice extents to air temperatures.

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