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Introduction to the Earth System  

This post was edited by Jacob Cohen on Jun, 2017
This lesson uses ImageJ to observe images of Earth from space in order to visualize Earth as a system, and also uses the analysis technique of thresholding in order to determine the area of Earth's surface covered by water compared to the area of Earth's surface covered by land.

The Earth images can be found at:

The August Earth image can be found at:

I have included a file with this post. It is the handout given to students in class. If you cannot access any of this, you can find it all on my teacher webpage:


lab_activityintroduction_to_ea.doc (Microsoft Word 1.3MB Sep19 07)


Share edittextuser=1381 post_id=1725 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=513

Hi MaryAnn,

Nice job with this lesson! However, the handout you've included makes it more along the lines of what we are expecting at our October meeting. It is a full investigation. Which technique would you like a colleague to try out? Is it OK if they just try out the thresholding part? Or is it more useful to practice setting a scale and making measurements?

We are really just trying to share short "mini-lessons" (that could be part of a larger investigation).



Share edittextuser=31 post_id=1726 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=513

Thanks Carla.

I guess the more useful would be to practice setting a scale and making masurements, especially when there is no scale on the image!


Share edittextuser=1381 post_id=1729 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=513

I've visited your web site and saw the lesson you have prepared; may I say- I learned something from it. I am your student. Thanks.


Share edittextuser=1366 post_id=1741 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=513

It is me again, I have seen the comments you posted on Sue's outlet, I am wondering if you could kindly direct me to this tool, "trend line tool' that is. Thanks.


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Hello Hassan,

After you have created a scatter plot in Excel, you can go to Chart > Add Trendline...

This tool automatically fits a line in the form of y = mx + b to your scatter plot. You could then use this formula to make predictions about a variable, when given the other variable.


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Mary Ann

Nicely done. The question regarding why the Earth is a dynamic system is a great lead in to our planet and all of its geological activities.



Share edittextuser=1384 post_id=1752 initial_post_id=0 thread_id=513

Mary Ann I am humbled I have saced your lesson an d would like to give it a try. In my dreams I would be able to create a Lab a complete. I will let you know if I am able to follow through and do this with my students. Thanks.


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