natural resources

Montana Mosaic: Superfund Cleanup in Montana

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In many ways the story of the Anaconda Copper Mining Company, through the first seven decades of the 20th century, best illustrates trends in the Montana economy. The Anaconda Company dominated the state’s metals industry and influenced other business sectors. The Company’s ultimate demise tells a larger tale about the shift in Montana’s economic base. Designation as a Superfund Cleanup Site shook citizens who were constitutionally guaranteed a “clean and healthful” environment. 

Renewable Energy: Clean Tech Solutions | Exploring Energy

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Renewable energy sources count on the fact that there will always be water, wind, waves, and sunshine to gather energy. Learn what kinds of renewable energy technologies are out there and how we can store the energy they produce.

This video is part of a larger unit in the California Academy of Sciences' Flipside Science series: Exploring Energy: Designing a Brighter Future

Strange Energy: Uncovering Uranium's secrets | Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail

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Learn about the discovery of Radium, in this clip from Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail. Professor Henry Becquerel in 1896 experiemented with uranium's fluorescence and found that it left marks on his photographic film. His student Marie Curie studied this energy further and found that it is a completely new element named Radium which released more energy than uranium. Watch how Marie Curie called this radioactivity and her husband helped discovered a practical application for Radium of treating disease.

What's In the Water

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In recent news reports, it has been said that various traces of pharmaceuticals have been recovered in the Chesapeake Bay and other Maryland water ways, including even some tap water. These traces are called PPCPs and according to research have been showing up in Maryland water for over a decade. Currently, testing and research is being done to find out at what risk PPCPs are putting on wildlife and humans.

Hydrocarbon Power! | Crash Course Chemistry

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In which Hank introduces us to the world of Organic Chemistry and, more specifically, the power of hydrocarbon. He talks about the classifications of organic compounds, the structures & properties of alkanes, isomers, and naming an alkane by observing its structure.

Career Spotlight: Water Quality Specialist

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How do things we build impact our environment? Melanie Harrison is a water quality specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Services. Her job is to conserve and protect fish species that are threatened or endangered. Melanie addresses different stressors on the environment and their impact on species, like how it affects their spawning time and locations. She also evaluates projects in the Central Valley that impact species in their critical habitat.

Analyzing its Geometry and Energy Efficiency | Treasures of New York: "Hearst Tower"

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Students solve a real-world mathematical problem involving the area of a triangle and learn about how energy conservation is applied to architectural design using video from Treasures of New York: Hearst Tower. Utilizing text-dependent discussion questions and classroom activities called “teaching tips,” students have an opportunity to take a deep dive into mathematics, STEM content and the arts.

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.

Acid Mine Drainage Remediation

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In this video, an environmental technologist visits an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky to talk about how a remediation system (a series of settling ponds and treatment cells) is neutralizing the acid drainage from the mine and preventing damage to a creek downstream. He shows the path of the acid drainage as it flows down a hillside from the mine into a settling basin and on to treatment cells where limestone is used to raise the water's pH. At a higher pH, iron and other minerals drop out of solution, which means that these harmful precipitates stay in the settling basins rather than flowing into the creek.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

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

Ethanol Biofuel

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Discover ethanol, a cleaner-burning fuel alternative to gasoline, and the efforts to produce it more efficiently in this video segment adapted from NOVA. Today, most ethanol in the United States is made from corn kernels. But converting corn into ethanol requires lots of energy as well as corn, which might otherwise be used to feed people and livestock. The video features research efforts to use less valuable plant matter, called cellulosic biomass, and microorganisms that may be able to accomplish the conversion from plant matter to fuel in a single step.

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