University of Maine
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California Climate and Vegetation Change Classroom Task part of Neotoma:Teaching Activities
This NGSS-aligned classroom task focuses on California's Mediterranean climate, and shifts in its floral diversity during the Holocene that reflect past climate change. Students first examine modern climate data from four disparate areas in the state and create climatographs. Using the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, students then look at past records in each of these four regions to assess pollen data as a proxy for climate change over time, and completeness of the record. Plant taxa in the fossil record are compared to modern plant tolerances and distribution available at CalFlora, and students then determine which plants are most sensitive to change by region, and preserve well as fossil pollen.