Social Studies

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MN Original | Painter Dan Bruggeman

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Learn about how painter Dan Bruggeman is interested in the places between urban and suburban; landscapes which are uniquely American. His paintings portray vignettes where humans have altered the natural environment for entertainment purposes.

As a senior lecturer of studio art at at Carleton College, Dan Bruggeman’s work bridges together concepts of art, science and history.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

Adopting Sustainable Food Practices

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This video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College looks at how the traditional subsistence practices of indigenous people were once sustainable, unlike today's lifestyles. Most foods are now produced and transported using methods that can damage the environment and contribute to climate change.

Virtual Field Trip Video: China's Great Forests | Nature Works Everywhere

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Join our expert scientist Yue Wang, a conservation planning officer for The Nature Conservancy, on a virtual field trip across the world to two stunning provinces in China—Sichuan and Yunnan—where we will explore majestic forests, towering mountains, and other iconic landscapes. While examining the role these vital natural areas play in the carbon cycle and climate change, as well as the benefits of reforestation, we will learn about the magnificent creatures who call these habitats home: giant pandas, golden snub-nosed monkeys, and the elusive and odd-looking takin. 

Find a teacher's guide here to accompany this field trip.

Virtual Field Trip Video: Africa | Nature Works Everywhere

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Experience a virtual field trip to Africa to learn how locals are working together to restore forestlands, protect wildlife, and promote ecotourism, hosted by PBS LearningMedia, The Nature Conservancy, and field scientist Charles Oluchina. This event was originally recorded on Thursday, February 5, 2015.

Find a teacher's guide here to accompany this field trip.

Harvesting Herring Eggs | EARTH A New Wild

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Using a method that goes back generations, fishermen in Alaska use an entirely natural method to harvest eggs from spawning herring. Use this resource to teach about sustainable farming and customs indigenous to Alaska and Canada.

Why Does Climate Change Matter?

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In this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College, hear young Native Americans talk about climate change. Listen as they respond to the question, "Why does climate change matter?" They share their opinions about the importance of climate; their thoughts on how climate change is affecting weather, oceans, and ice; and their fears about the impacts for future generations.

The Coastal Zone: Santee Delta (00:03:47)

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The Student Host takes a boat ride with a geologist from the South Carolina Coastal Council. They travel from a landing where U.S. Highway 17 crosses the Norlh Santee River, through the delta to the Atlantic Ocean.

Earth System: Drought and Air Quality

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Droughts claim more victims each year than any other natural disaster. Depending on where it occurs and how long it persists, the cost of a drought can run into the billions of dollars. Droughts cause more than economic hardship, however. As this video segment adapted from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center demonstrates, droughts have a complex web of impacts that also affect us socially and environmentally.

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

Navajo Elders' Observations on Climate Change

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In this video segment adapted from Navajo Technical College, two Navajo Elders speak about climate change and the differences in the environment that they have observed. They have noticed changes in the rainy season, including more violent storms, and changes in the characteristics of both wind and snow. They describe the disappearance of some plants during their lifetime and express concern about how changes in climate are negatively affecting people and animals.

Observing Changes in Snowfall

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In this video segment adapted from the College of Menominee Nation, Menominee language instructor John Teller describes the implications of climate change on the Menominee Indian Tribe, whose reservation is located in northeast Wisconsin. Teller has observed changing conditions, including snowfall that arrives later in the year. He describes how the snow and cold weather are connected both to the customs and the well-being of the Menominee Nation. Because of this, he says, the tribe must do something to protect the Earth.

Virtual Field Trip Video: Wild Biomes | Nature Works Everywhere

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On this virtual field trip, you’ll travel to the lush, rain-soaked splendor of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula and explore the urban watershed of Seattle. Then you’ll head to Arizona’s dry, desert landscape and take a tour down the Verde River, one source of water that nourishes this parched land. Join The Nature Conservancy's water scientist Kari Vigerstol to find out how geography, people, and water interact in two of America’s “wildly” unique biomes. The field trip is geared toward grades 3-8 in the areas of science and geography. Download the teacher's guide for post-viewing discussion questions and related activities. The content of this virtual field trip is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Geography Standards.

Nature's First Defenders: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Indigenous people—nature’s first defenders—play a vital role in sustaining our planet. This video, along with the accompanying Nature's First Defenders teacher's guide and lessons, enables students to understand that role and to explore the many perspectives and issues involved in conservation, including how we relate to nature, how culture influences our points of view, what tools we have to be engaged in the conversation, and how we might address and reconcile differences.

 

Okefenokee Swamp | Live Exploration

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Explore one of the last frontiers of true Georgia wilderness with GPB Education's live exploration of the Okefenokee Swamp. Hear from swamp experts, witness the power of the mighty alligator, and test your swamp knowledge!

The Value of Grasslands: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Grasslands have grown to be a massively undervalued ecosystem, but a recent surge of ecotourism in grassland systems have given the land new value. In this video, explore the balance between ecotourism and environmental stability, and learn about how people all over the world are living together with grasslands. 

The following lesson plans support this video:

 

 

Witnessing Environmental Changes

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This video segment examines the issue of climate change from the perspective of Native Americans. Elders describe the changes they have observed in their surroundings, especially those related to water, and the effects they are having on their way of life. Dr. Daniel Wildcat explains that because Native people are so deeply connected to the land, non-Native people should consult with Native people about what we are experiencing. The video segment was adapted from a student video produced at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

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