natural resources

High-Sulfur Coal and Acidic Water

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In this video, after briefly discussing the geologic era in which Kentucky's high-sulfur coal formed, a geologist demonstrates how high-sulfur coal causes acid mine drainage. When high-sulfur coal is added to distilled water, the sulfate salts on its surface dissolve into the water and cause the water to become much more acidic. The geologist also explains that the pH scale is a logarithmic scale, which means that the acidity of a liquid increases exponentially as its pH measurement decreases.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

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

Wild Ways | Connectivity Conservation from Yellowstone to Yukon

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Find out more about an ambitious plan to create a wildlife corridor connecting North American national parks, in this video from NOVA: Wild Ways. Researcher Mike Proctor is on the front lines working to determine which places outside parks are important to protect for the passage of bears. The idea is called connectivity conservation, and the aspirational Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative seeks to connect core areas over a 2,000-mile stretch to allow passage for large mammals. This also means protection for a majority of other species. Partners in the project work with landowners and managers of public lands to ensure wildlife’s safe movement. This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

Think Before You Eat | Our Hungry Planet

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What's the environmental impact of that cheeseburger you just ate? Empower yourself to make choices that are healthy for you and the planet.

This video is part of a larger unit in the California Academy of Sciences' Flipside Science series: Our Hungry Planet: Food for a Growing Population

 

Kinetics and Nuclear Chemistry | Chemistry: Unit 12

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This half-hour video explores the rates of reactions in kinetics and nuclear chemistry and how using catalysts can lead to cheaper, more effective, and more sustainable drug production processes. From an instantaneous explosion to the slow rusting of iron, the rates at which different chemical reactions proceed can vary tremendously depending on several factors, including temperature and concentration. Sometimes, like with the rotting of food, chemists want to slow down reaction rates. But often, the goal is to speed them up—and one way to do this is to use a catalyst. We will also discover how the rates of some reactions, like nuclear decay, are unchangeable, and how scientists take advantage of this, using PET scans to reveal the presence of disease.

Snapshot of U.S. Energy Use

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There are times when our role as energy consumers is clear. For instance, when we fillour cars' fuel tanks, the amount of money we spend makes it obvious how much gas we areusing. But what we seldom think about is the energy we consume by simply living our lives ina developed society. In this video segment adapted from NOVA/FRONTLINE, experts estimate the amount of energy that is burned during daily activities, and how much CO2 those activities contribute to the atmosphere. This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Solar City: The Future of Nanosolar | QUEST

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Nanotechnology is the science of building materials and devices from single atoms and molecules. In this video from QUEST produced by KQED, students explore how a company, hoping to leave today's silicon solar cells behind, is creating paper-thin solar panels harnessing nanotechnology, a product that couldrevolutionize solar power.

Inside Energy | Fueling Our Feast: How Fossil Fuels Become Our Food

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Our modern food production system is based on turning fossil fuels into food. It is an incredibly inefficient system, with about 10 units of fossil energy converting to about 1 unit of food energy. It is also unsustainable as populations across the world continue to grow.  In this fun video, Inside Energy's Dan Boyce explains how fossil fuels are, in fact, our food.

Nuclear Reaction: Meltdown

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The tremendous energy content and radioactivity of the fuels used in nuclear power plants pose potentially devastating consequences to surrounding communities and environments in the event of a reactor meltdown. This video segment adapted from FRONTLINE describes the series of events that led to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, the worst accident of its kind in history.

Going Green Part 2 | Degrees that Work

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"Green jobs" can be a cryptic term, but the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides meaning and context to it with the Green Jobs Report. The study identifies five promising green industry sectors employing people throughout the state and nation. This episode of Degrees That Work explores two of the sectors: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Exciting career possibilities in those fields are revealed by national experts and through the experiences of building science and sustainable design majors completing a green project. A trip to Washington, D.C. is included to visit the first LEED platinum-certified office building in the nation's capital.

Why Only 9 Countries Have Nuclear Weapons | Above the Noise

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North Korea has been making headlines recently, mostly due to its nuclear weapons. In early January, the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted of his ability to reach the U.S. with nuclear-armed missiles. Then in March -- in an apparent 180 -- he told South Korean officials that he would be willing to negotiate with the U.S. to completely denuclearize. What are the rules that govern who has nukes and who doesn’t? And why do some countries maintain huge nuclear arsenals, while many other countries don’t have any nukes? Joe Hanson of It's OK to Be Smart joins host Myles Bess to investigate.

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