Thursday, June 28, 2007

EO- Earth Observatory Natural Hazards

Check out this website:

I remember looking at it very briefly before, but today, after seeing it in the Librarians Internet Index weekly RSS feed, I spent a few minutes playing around on the site and was quite impressed with the satellite imagery, and other pictures it has.

As I've been reading through the Michigan Social Studies and Science GLCEs I've noticed that students are asked to be able to read maps and to interpret graphs and charts. There are many opportunities to practice those skills on this website.
This site focuses on some the natural disasters occurring around the world. The recent floods in Texas are listed, as well as some other disasters that we don't often read about in the newspapers or see on the news, such as the locusts in Africa.

Australia has experienced a severe drought. In May they received enough rain to alleviate some of the problem as evidenced by this image from the EO website:

Would your students be able to interpret these pictures to draw that conclusion? In addition to the imagery, NASA provides an explanation, like this one for the Australian drought picture above:

The impact of both drought and rain is demonstrated by this pair of vegetation index images. The data used to make the images were captured by the SPOT vegetation satellite in April 2007 (bottom) and May 2007 (top). The vegetation index is a record of plant growth during the month-long period. Areas that are brown reveal where plants were more sparse or growing more slowly than average. Green areas indicate that plants are growing larger or more quickly than average, in this case, in response to rainfall. It is evident that drought was widespread and extreme in April, particularly in crop regions in the southeast and southwest. In May, the drought is less extreme, but ongoing. The populated southeast in particular saw improved conditions, which is evident in the transition from brown to green. The drought still held sway in the northeast (Queensland) and Western Australia.

Good stuff! Check it out!

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