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Placing Urban Schools at the Forefront of the Revolution in Earth Science Education
NOTE: This is a large file, 5mb in size! Space-age technologies have revolutionized Earth science, but this revolution has yet to extend to Earth science education. This article points out that urban schools can be at the forefront of reform because cities offer a wealth of opportunities and resources for study. The authors present examples of urban investigations and educational tools, such as remotely-sensed imagery and interactive GIS maps showing cities and their physical and human infrastructure in impressive detail. By relying on publicly-available aerial and satellite perspectives of urban areas and tapping into ground and historical data and easily used visualization tools, students can understand their cities as dynamic, interconnected systems of human and environmental forces. Using the powerful views of astronaut and satellite imagery to study Los Angeles, for example, students can acquire skills of inquiry, analysis and problem solving as they learn how the city is shaped by its environment, climate and geography. Themes for urban Earth science studies include regional ecology, climate, water resources and transportation.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained.
DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-147
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE)

Contributor: Daniel Barstow
Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Contributor: Harvey Z. Yazijian
Center for Earth and Space Science Education