Internet Resources
Compiled by Rob Snyder, Holly Hargraves, and the Earth Central Staff

Mapping Solid Earth  
Curriculum Resources (Standards)
Data and Images Additonal  Learning Standards


The following are resources relating to Earth Central Institute Topics.  Please note that every effort has been made to keep these references up to date, but sites and URL's change unexpectedly.  If  there's a broken link, please wait and try it later.  If it is still broken later, email Holly at holly @   (spaces added to prevent netbots from spamming me)


The Earth Science Information Office at UMass-Amherst provides a wide variety of mapping resources.

Calculate Earth's Circumference:  This NASA web site provides descriptions of methods used to calculate Earth's circumference as well as Columbus' supposed miscalculation.

An Equatorial Orbit or a Polar Orbit does not produce a sign wave on a Mercator Map.  The Polar Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) web site is:

The United States Geological Survey:  By selecting "Education" and then selecting "Educational Resources for Grades 7-12" you can navigate to a wide variety of information about topographic maps as well as other Earth Central Institute Topics.

Geographic Information Systems Agencies

ESRI web sites include:

A site to download free software:

A site where you can earn a free copy of ArcView GIS through the Community Atlas Grant Program,

NASA's laser mapping system called EAARL (Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar) onboard an airplane. EAARL uses a laser to "see" and measure distance to a surface:

NASA's web site that describes how NASA uses GIS to enable environmentally sound mission success is:

Solid Earth

An example is data collected by the IMAGE satellite.

USGS web sites that describe Earth's magnetic field include:

NASA's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory

NASA and USGS Magnetic Database "Rocks" the World.

A NASA website that includes information about the mapping of Mars' magnetosphere.

NASA website that compares rocks on Earth with rocks from the Moon or Mars.

The United States Geological Survey provides earthquake data at:

Plate Tectonics: The following are examples of the result of a search at NASA's main page using "plate tectonics" as keywords.

An Animation of the Breakup of Pangaea

An Animation Illustrating a Spreading Center

An Overview of The Geologic Time Span of Plate Tectonics

Maps of seismic activity can be obtained by conducting a search at::

Seismic activity on a given day can be obtained from the USGS at:

The Atmosphere

The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instruments uses Version 8 of the TOMS processing algorithm. To navigate the site, you may select a topic from the menu at the left on the web page. You may select by Product (ozone, aerosol, reflectivity, or erythemal UV) or by Spacecraft (Nimbus-7: 1978-1993, Meteor-3: 1992-1994, or Earth Probe: 1996-present).

Ozone Activity from Missy Holzer

Here are the 2 websites for the ozone activity:
Step 9
Step 11
Also, here is a link for real-time and hands-on unit on air quality
(including ozone levels) called Air Pollution: What's the Solution?
My students really enjoyed doing it, and loved the aspect of finding
data for where they live.

The S'COOL Program: Schools that participate in NASA's S'COOL program provide students with an opportunity to provide "ground truth" measurements to help verify those of the CERES (Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System) instruments.   The satellite is attempting to detect clouds against a highly variable background.  Students make cloud observations during a satellite overpass time and then submit data to NASA which then uses the data to calibrate the satellite's data.

Bromthymol blue indicator can be used to detect the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A search at using the keywords "bromthymol blue" gains access information about the detection of carbon dioxide. An example is:

Air Pressure:  This NASA web site provides a description of what air pressure is and how it is measured.

How can schools get involved in Local Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?  Hundreds of communities in the U.S. and in other countries participate in the program the Cities for Protection Campaign sponsored by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

The question "Will Climate Change Lead to More Boreal Fires?" is discussed at the following NASA web site.

The SunWise Program is an environmental and health education program that aims to teach the public how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun through the use of classroom-based, school-based, and community-based components.

The Forest Watch program at the University of New Hampshire:  Forest Watch has been an innovative and highly successful education outreach program for the study of white pine health in New England. Researchers at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) initiated this program to involve primary and secondary students in the collection and processing of data relating to air pollution damage in forest stands.

A worst case scenario of an abrupt climate change is described in this document.

The Boston Museum of Science's link to UNH's Measuring Vegetative Health web site:

The Hydrosphere

Global Hydrology and Climate Center: This site provides information about the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites.  Select "Where are sites with weather satellite imagery to access images and data archives.  Select "Where are the weather satellites located" to get information about weather satellites, including maps of their paths across the sky

Ocean Surface Topography from Space:  As an example, you can select "Education" and then select "Class Activities".

Build Animations using Earth Observatory data: Sea surface temperatures from March of 2000 to March 2005 are used to build false color animations (either a Mercator or global view).  One can subscribe to receive weekly notices of data and information that has been added to the web site.

The United States Geological Survey:  You can obtain data by selecting "Science in your State" at or go directly to that data source at:

Teaching of Physics and Math of Oceanography with Scientific Data (go to the curriculum option for examples)

How NASA uses technology to track hurricanes:

The web site for NASA's Global Hydrology Resource Center:


The STEM Ed Institute at UMass-Amherst developed The Guide to Teaching Renewable Energy and Global Warming with a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.  The guide provides reviews of curriculum resources.

How can NASA resources contribute to the concept of ecological sustainability? Visit NASA's Data and Information Services Center.  By selecting "Science Focus" The question "How is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth?" is posed.  By selecting "Education Links" at the bottom of that page you can navigate to many resources that can be used to address the sustainability question.

NASA's Earth Observatory's Power to the People program's URL is:

NASA's provides links to Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation web sites at:

An example of a NASA resource that describes the electromagnetic spectrum:

Energy from the Sun reaching the Earth drives almost every known physical and biological cycle in the Earth system. By making solar radiation calculations and examining radiation measurements, students can gain a better understanding of many physical cycles and concepts associated with the Earth system.

Data and Images

The purpose of NASA's Earth Observatory is to provide a freely-accessible publication on the Internet where the public can obtain new satellite imagery and scientific information about our home planet. The focus is on Earth's climate and environmental change.

The Carbon Cycle: The NASA Earth Observatory web site at can be used to initiate a study of the carbon cycle on Earth.  As an example, by selecting the Land "pathfinder" icons at the bottom of the Earth Observatory main page provides a list of references that includes a selection entitled "The Carbon Cycle".  Students can then proceed through a menu that includes NASA Missions to Study the Global Carbon Cycle and Climate.  Images from missions such as Landsat-7 are provided.  By returning to the Earth Observatory main page, students can select the "Missions" icon to obtain more detailed descriptions, data, and images from NASA missions. By clicking on the Visible Earth icon, students can obtain hundreds of images in many categories.

Remote Sensing: A search at using the keywords "remote sensing" gains access to hundreds of sources of information about remote sensing technology, One of the selections is ""NASA - What is Remote Sensing?" A brief overview of remote sensing is provided and the users are prompted to the following address for more information.  A menu of topics relating to remote sensing is provided. By selecting the "References" menu item users can choose the following menu items each of which continues the process of learning about NASA development and applications of remote sensing technology.

The Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF) provides earth science data and products to help everyone to better understand global environmental systems. In particular, the GLCF develops and distributes remotely sensed satellite data and products that explain land cover from the local to global scales.

The Goddard Earth Sciences (GES) Data and Information Services Center (DISC), home of the GES Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) offers Earth science data, information, and services to research scientists, applications scientists, applications users, and students.

NASA scientists and educational specialists have collaborated to produce Investigating the Climate System, a series of problem-based modules for middle and high school students that incorporate Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite data. The modules address national education standards in science, mathematics, English, language arts and geography.

The NASA web site that describes the use of remote sensing to map the geosphere:

NASA's web site that describes the use of infrared radiation to measure water vapor:

Curriculum Resources (State Standards)

 NASA's educational standards web site

Developing Educational Standards: This site provides links to national and state educational standards.  It has been on the Net since August 1995, first with the Putnam Valley School District and now with the Wappingers Central School District both in upstate New York. Their support has set a standard all its own. The contents of this site may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. All you have to do is ask and make proper attribution.

The National Science Teachers Association

The American Association for the Advancement of Science's Project 2061

The United States Department of Education

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