Social Studies

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

Mahouts and Elephants | EARTH A New Wild

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The name Mahout is a traditional Hindi word used to refer to riders and tamers of elephants. In Sumatra, contemporary Mahouts work with trained elephants to protect farms and villages from wild elephants, which have been known to act aggressively towards humans that have been expanding into the local forest. Use this resource to educate students on the Sumatran culture and mutualistic relationships between humans and animals.

America's Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure | Impact of Loss of Native Prairie

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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.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint: The Role of Markets | Carbon Sequestration in Developed Economies

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In this clip, students will learn about reducing the carbon footprint of existing infrastructure.

Arctic Thaw | PBS Newshour

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Alert students to the environmental crisis in the Arctic with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from September 18, 2013.  Glaciers in the Arctic are now melting at a faster pace than they were only a few years ago, damaging wildlife habitats and opening up potentially dangerous new shipping lanes.

Mother Nature in Charge | Promises Made, Promises Broken

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A former resident of Devils Lake, Harriet Horner-Larson, has had to burn one lakefront home and leave another on higher ground due to the rising water. Her frustration concerning the lack of progress towards a solution is evident in her voice.

Mother Nature in Charge | Construction Boom

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Jeff Frith, manager of the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board, has seen some positives amidst all of the flooding. Construction to build up roads has brought jobs to the area and tourism has increased around the lake as the fishing has improved.

Mother Nature in Charge | Empathy Without Answers

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With farming in his heritage, Mr. Frith understands the frustration the farmers in his region are going through, but he has no answers to give them.

Mother Nature in Charge | Losing Faith

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By nature farmers are optimists, so Dan Webster tries to hang on to the hope that the situation will get better.

Mother Nature in Charge | Geography of Devils Lake Basin

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Dr. Allan Ashworth of the North Dakota State University Geology Department explains how glacial movements following the last ice age formed the Devils Lake Basin.

Mother Nature in Charge | Flooded Land

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Devils Lake area farmer, Dan Webster, has lost more than 5,000 acres due to the flood and had to burn his family original farmstead. He speaks about his family’s situation with raw emotion.

Climate Wisconsin | Birkebeiner

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Having skied every Birkie, a cross-country ski event, since it started in 1973, John shares his experience and how the race is being threatened by climate change. This multimedia video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board follows John Kotar through the 2010 American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race from Cable to Hayward, WI.

Climate Wisconsin | Great Lakes Shipping

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Learn how water level and shipping season affect the amount of cargo a ship can carry in this multimedia video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. Come aboard with Pilot Randy Hayes on the Isa, a Great Lakes cargo ship carrying steel to the Port of Milwaukee, and explore the impacts of climate change on Great Lakes shipping.

The Seasons Are Moving

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Explore some of the effects of changing seasonal cycles on the Menominee Indian Tribe, whose reservation is located in northeast Wisconsin, in this video segment adapted from the College of Menominee Nation. Tribal member Ben Grignon describes the impact on maple sugar–making activities. Menominee educator Dr. Verna Flower shares her observations of flowering plants blossoming earlier. And tribal member Melissa Cook, concerned with the pace of climate change, urges people take responsibility and work together to preserve the world.

Climate Wisconsin | Uncertainty in Climate Change Modeling

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Biologist John Lyons describes why trout are important indicators of stream health and climate change impacts in Wisconsin. This video, produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, also explores uncertainty in climate change modeling and the range of possibilities for temperature and precipitation that may result for different regions of Wisconsin.

NOVA: Becoming Human | Diatoms Measure Climate Change

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Learn how scientists used the fossils of one-celled aquatic organisms, called diatoms, to understand ancient climate conditions in eastern Africa, in this video from NOVA: Becoming Human. White layers of a rock formation consist of deep-water diatoms and darker layers consist of shallow-water diatoms; the scientists interpreted the alternating layers in the formation to mean that a massive lake appeared and disappeared many times in their study area. If this part of Africa indeed experienced wet and dry periods over time, this supports a new idea that suggests climatic variability may have shaped human evolution.

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

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