Find a
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Understanding the Biosphere from the Top Down DLESE Reviewed Collection
The purpose of this project is to present the holistic study of the biosphere using remote sensing technology. The intention is to have students perceive the biosphere as containing interlinked environments and organisms, an ability which would later aid students when they are introduced to concepts like trophic levels and energy flow within an ecosystem and in the biosphere. It is also expected that students learn the elements of the physics involved in remote sensing, the ideas of measuring things from a distance, and the difference between two and three-dimensional representation. The site contains a 22-lesson package written by grade school teachers with the advice and help of Ames Research Center (ARC) personnel in Earth Sciences. The lessons were written by teachers for teachers, so many contain instructions about advance preparation and planning that must be done before the students are given the tasks to perform. The lessons are not a specific set of instructions, but rather are guidelines to be used and modified as needed by each teacher to fit into unique classrooms. While each lesson may be used separately and generally stands alone, students without a remote sensing understanding should start with one or more of the lessons devoted to the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). Then students should do the lesson devoted to 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional perception. A lesson on maps and topography should follow and then students should study the concept of scale. A number of lessons deal with aspects of remote sensing. The last module deals with landscape change.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Physical object
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental science
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Physics
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restrictions Information is unknown.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-000-825
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: J. W. Skiles
NASA Ames Research Center, Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch

Publisher: NASA's Ames Research Center, Earth Science Division