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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

 

 

The Hunting Dogs of Papua New Guinea

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This video from Nature describes the history and uses of the dogs of Papua New Guinea. Men from the Akepangi tribe set out to hunt at dawn. They believe the dogs they take with them have supernatural abilities to track down prey. The dogs are called the singing dogs because they howl but do not bark. In the hunt, the dogs find an opossum in the canopy (upper layer of vegetation). The dogs are more valuable to the hunters than their bows and arrows. The tribe believes the dogs tell them where the evil spirits lie in the jungle.

Virtual Field Trip Video: Coastal Peru | Nature Works Everywhere

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Join fisheries scientist Matias Caillaux from The Nature Conservancy to explore the Humboldt Current Ecosystem off the coast of Peru while learning about the area’s amazing diversity and productivity. While Peru is most frequently recognized for its rainforests, mountains, and ancient Inca civilizations, it is also home to one of the most productive ocean ecosystems. 

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

Managing Salmon to Support Healthy Forests: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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This video addresses the impact of unsustainable fishing practices and how salmon fishing risks harming much more than just aquatic ecosystems. Salmon runs are an important factor in cycling many nutrients from the ocean to the forest and beyond. Over-fishing salmon can reduce the forest's capacity for growth and regeneration. 

Find a lesson plan here to accompany this video.