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Exploring Built and Natural Landscapes, Land Cover, and Environmental Justice using Web-based Mapping Tools

The Science Teacher—July/August 2024 (Volume 91, Issue 4)

By Carol Colaninno, Adriana Martinez, Charlie Blake, Candice Johnson

Local landscapes examined via Google Earth provide a natural arena on which students can analyze how humans modify and interact with their environment. These lessons guide students through an exploration of the natural and built environments both near and far so students begin to understand how each of these environments compare and the role they play in our everyday lives. With this knowledge, students progress from natural and built environments to the concept of land cover classification, a system of dividing out land cover into categories that describe its use and impact. The students then move toward examining the natural and built environment and each land cover classification in terms of environmental justice themes with the specific example of soil pollution. In each of these lessons, students are encouraged to examine a variety of categories and scales that their surrounding environment can be divided into to determine how we interact with the world and the results of those interactions.

Environmental Science Equity Inquiry Social Justice STEM Technology

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