Initial Publication Date: December 12, 2005

Name of Resource: Climate Time Machine Activity- Pollen
Climate Change Theme: Climate Variability
Sponsoring Organization: Maine Detp. of Education/UCAR/EPA
Intended use: Learning Activity
Intended audience: Learners
URL:, also
Average Review Ratings (Poor to Excellent, 1-5 scale): 5 stars

Description: In this exercise, students use fossil pollen (represented by paper dots) to reconstruct climate in Washington and/or Colorado since the last glacial period. Students can compare their results with published results of scientists. Both sites contain similar versions of this activity. (CM)

Summary of Reviews

Reviewer: Carrie Morrill 5 stars
Comments: Each of the two sites has added to the original EPA exercise in useful ways. The UCAR site has data from a second lake, in Colorado. The Maine site has a neat way of getting students to plot their data in a more quantitative way, useful data sheets and handouts (available at site homepage) and a tie-in to CO2 variations.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 63kB Jun21 05)

Reviewer: Ellen DeBacker 5 stars
Comments: This activity has students investigate ancient climates by using fossil pollen in a simulation. There is a choice of looking at data for Washington or Colorado. I prefer the layout of the UCAR site as it is much easier to use and access all the additional data.
Read entire review: link text (Acrobat (PDF) 44kB Jun21 05)