Sunday, March 2, 2008

Disappearing Wetlands: Before Katrina

Where can you learn about science, teach your students and help them develop curiosity?

The Jason Project is a wonderful resource with yearly themes to encourage the learning that comes through engaging a student's curiosity.
Historically, the Jason Project, started by Dr. Robert Ballard, has provided an enormous amount of free and low cost materials, projects and online activities that can be used with various topics in science, including the topic of soil erosion in the wetlands.

The rest of this posting is related to all teachers, but I wrote it in response to a CR2.0 members request for information and curriculum related to the connection to global warming and soil erosion, particularly in the wetlands.

While information on the direct effect of global warming to soil erosion may not be readily available, there is a proven direct relationship between man's destruction of the coastal wetlands throughout the Gulf Coast, especially in Louisiana, and the great damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Coincidentally, the Jason Project spent the year before Katrina working with scientists, students and teachers, documenting the horrible conditions that cause a yearly coastal erosion that would equal the size of state of Connecticut. I would recommend the materials available for that year's mission, Disappearing Wetlands.

I am making an assumption, so forgive me if it is not correct, that you probably don't have much time before you must begin your lessons. If that is the case, I would join the Jason Project website. It is free. From there you can access various links and materials.

Some of the Jason Project materials must be purchased, but the cost is very nominal. Many universities and school districts sponsor their yearly professional development, and they already have the materials for the Jason Project. YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING TO JOIN THE ONLINE PROJECT.

If I wanted some excellent resources for erosion in the wetlands and interactions among the various living and nonliving components of this vast ecosystem, I would borrow or purchase the Jason Project's Disappearing Wetlands student's workbook and a teacher's workbook.

First, I would search for these materials within your district, regional libraries and the university you attended. They may have these resources available for checkout, or they can purchase them for you.

You have selected an excellent topic, and I know you will be pleasantly surprised by the high caliber lessons, activities, literature connections and online activities that are available to your through the Jason Project. Good luck, and have fun teaching!

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