Using NOAA NCDC Pollen Database to study vegetation history
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Aug 1, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
This lab serves as an introduction to the pollen database available from NOAA National Climate Data Center World Data Center for Paleoclimatology (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pollen.html (more info) ). The lab allows students to browse the contents of the SiteSeer pollen data base, which contains site information and summary pollen diagrams. SiteSeer allows searching by Site Name or Contact Person. It also allows limited filtering of the data by Age, Range, Location, and Pollen taxon. SiteSeer is a teaching tool to explain how to use and interpret pollen data. With this familiarity, students can obtain up-to-date information on pollen sites and actual pollen data from the NCDC WDC web page, using the Data Search tool and Web Mapper.
This lab exercise focuses on sites in the North American Pollen Data Base (NAPD), showing the many ways one might obtain this information. Working through a set of questions helps students understand the impressive pollen database available to study the vegetation history of North America.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 19kB Jul31 06)
- Instructors Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 26kB Aug1 06)