Social Studies

Science (X) - Social Studies (X) - Geography (X)

Global Warming Threatens Shishmaref

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Learn about how global warming and changing sea ice conditions affect the Alaska Native village of Shishmaref, in this video segment adapted from Spanner Films. Hear firsthand accounts about how climate change has altered the condition, extent, and freeze-up of sea ice. Understand how the local subsistence way of life relies on the presence of sea ice. Learn about how houses were relocated after a strong storm in 1997 and how erosion continues to threaten the village.

How The Ohio River Was Formed

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This video segment, adapted from Where the River Bends, a KET documentary, shows how climate change and glacier movement during the Ice Ages caused the now-vanished Teays River to move to the south and become the Deep Stage Ohio River. Listen to a local historian describe how the advance and retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier about 100,000 years ago caused the path of the Deep Stage Ohio River to change, creating the course of the modern Ohio River that impacted the growth and development of the region.

101: The Geographic Environment of Georgia | Georgia Stories

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Ever wonder why the land in Georgia looks the way it does? This video explores the ancient history of Georgia. Students will learn about the dinosaurs that used to roam the largest state east of the Mississippi River. They will follow along with a group spelunking in a Georgia cave. Students will also learn about the history, inhabitants, and folktales of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Cattle in Kenya | EARTH A New Wild

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Livestock in the African savannah may often seem intrusive to the native wildlife, but in fact cattle create a much more sustainable ecosystem. Maasai farmers from Kenya have long been aware of this symbiotic relationship between cattle and the grassland, which has only been able to persist in territory that has not been converted into National Parks. Use this video to demonstrate symbiosis, the positive impact of grazing livestock, and a larger understand of African ecology.

America's Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure | Our Least Appreciated and Most Threatened Biome

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In spite of being described as a “jewel, a national treasure,” America’s Northern Plains grasslands are being threatened by increasing pressures of agriculture. The area’s subtle beauty and ecological diversity and significance have not prevented large tracts of prairie from being cultivated for crops necessary to feed the nation. The key is finding the delicate balance between protecting what remains of original grasslands to preserve the ecological benefits they provide for wildlife, as well as clean air and water, and growing the crops that produce food for people all around the world.

Yukon Kings | Global Oneness Project

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Students watch a short film, Yukon Kings by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, about the challenges facing Ray Waska, a Yupi’k fisherman, and his community as the fish stocks of Alaska’s Yukon Delta diminish.  

In this lesson, students learn about how the cultural traditions of Native Alaskans are linked with local ecosystems. Students debate the need to respect and protect tradition vs. accepting change. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.

 

How Did Human Civilization Spread? | Habitat Earth

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Historic population and cropland data illustrate the relationship between the spread of human civilization and agriculture on Earth between 10,000 BCE and 2,000 CE.

Explore more compelling data visualizations from the California Academy of Sciences.

How Does a Canyon Become Grand? | It's Okay to Be Smart

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How do you make a Grand Canyon? I was in Arizona recently for Phoenix Comic-Con, and had the amazing pleasure of seeing one of Earth's greatest natural wonders… the Grand Canyon. More than a mile deep, and several miles across, it just defies belief. But I couldn't help but think, the Colorado River down at the bottom isn't that big. How did it cut a canyon so massive? How old is the Grand Canyon?

Mother Nature in Charge | Buyouts for Friends

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Ramsey County Commissioner Joe Belford signs papers daily to buyout flooded properties that his lifelong friends have owned. It is an emotionally trying position for him.

Mother Nature in Charge | The Roundabout Way

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Dr. Greg Gagnon, an associate professor of Indian Studies at the University of North Dakota, wonders who will suffer the most when a solution is finally settled on to relieve the flooding situation. No solution will please everybody, and “somebody’s ox will have to be gored.”

The Kaktovik Butcher a Whale | The Great Polar Bear Feast

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The polar bear is a special animal for the locals, and polar bears are considered to be relatives. The Kaktovik honor the bears by giving the remains of the whale to them and they watch the bears enjoy their meal from a safe distance. Around the time of the whale catch, polar bears gather one mile away from the town. They are solitary for most of the year, but gather together for the feast the Kaktovik provide.

Kaktovik is a village at the edge of the world and their traditions are essential for them. Citizens of Kaktovik are convinced that when they catch a whale there is a spiritual connection that links them to the whale.

Weather and Climate Change

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The topics of weather and climate change were studied by several members of the team. Megan Sunderman Noojin, a UAB graduate student, discusses her research on climate change and its effects on Fijian life. The shells brought back by the team date from A.D. 1300 to present day. Undergraduate Ashley S. Wilson discusses the damage and recovery from the hurricane that devastated Fiji in March 2010, just a few months before the UAB expedition. The storm was a Category 4 and battered Fiji for four days, destroying more than 50 homes, damaging crops, and ruining the fresh water supply.

Chasing Tornadoes

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From an outsider's perspective, storm chasing might appear to involve hours and hours of boredom, accentuated by a few moments of unimaginable excitement—or terror—depending on one's love or fear of tornadoes. But to tornado researchers, the effort and expense they expend in search of a single tornado-producing storm reflect the importance of these events in terms of their impact on lives and property. This video segment adapted from NOVA follows some of the scientists who study these violent storms and highlights what they've learned about the storms and what they still want to know about the conditions that cause them.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Climate Wisconsin | Extreme Heat

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This multimedia video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board features Elijah Furquan, a spoken word artist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who describes the effects of extreme heat on his urban community.

When Did the First Americans Arrive?

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Who were the first Americans, when did they arrive, and from where did they come? With limited evidence, scientists have long proposed a hypothesis that linked the migration route and the timing of the migration these ancient people to the end of the last ice age. However, new evidence suggests that this widely accepted hypothesis needs revision. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes how archaeologists are using this new evidence to develop a better understanding of the founding of the Americas.

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