Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapters


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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.

Exploring Monsoon Precipitation and Streamflow in a Semi-Arid Watershed
DATA: Precipitation, streamflow, and topographic data TOOLS: Google Earth & My World GIS SUMMARY: Explore a semi-arid watershed in Arizona. Investigate the effect of summer thunderstorms on streamflow.

Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

Exploring Regional Differences in Climate Change
DATA: Climate Model Predictions TOOLS: EOS-Webster, Spreadsheet application SUMMARY: Produce and analyze graphs to compare climate predictions among U.S. states through the year 2100.

Exploring Seafloor Topography
DATA: Digital Elevation Model Data. TOOL: GeoMapApp. SUMMARY: Explore a timeline about how we have learned about the oceans. Construct a profile across the Atlantic Ocean and create 3-D visualizations of the seafloor.

Exploring and Animating GOES Images
DATA: GOES Weather Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Transform a time series of GOES images into an animation. Plot a storm track and determine storm speed.

Global Change in Local Places
DATA: SHALDRIL Core Data; NOAA Pollen data TOOL: GeoMapApp SUMMARY: Import Antarctic sediment core data files into GeoMapApp to create maps and graphs. Use data to infer past climate conditions based on current vegetation distributions.

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.

How Permanent is Permafrost?
DATA: NSIDC Permafrost Extent, NASA GISS Surface Temperature, Siberian Arctic Soil and Borehole Temperature TOOLS: Google Earth and Microsoft Excel SUMMARY: Explore the location of permafrost research sites in the Siberian Arctic with Google Earth. Then use Microsoft Excel to graph and analyze trends in borehole temperature data. Compare the borehole temperature record with global temperature trends and hypothesize the possible future of Arctic permafrost.

Investigating Climate Change Using Observed Temperature Data
DATA: Historic temperature data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). TOOL: Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Download, import, and graph temperature data. Compare different locations and investigate changes in annual average temperature over time.


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