Resources for Teachers

Grade 9-12: Biology and Ecosystems

General Biology|| General Ecosystems|| Amphibians

General Biology

USGS Kids- Ativities
Activities, games, coloring pages, projects, and stories that teach younger children about animals, climate change, bee population declines, wild birds, and more. 

Birds of North America Taxonomic List- Background Information
A table listing birds of North America that is sorted taxonomically (by order, family, and genus).

Invasive and Endangered Species Podcast- Background Information
This 8-minute podcast provides a nice introduction to the concepts of invasive and endangered species.

Wildlife and Contaminants- Lessons
A series of lessons targeted to high school students that introduces the topic of ecotoxicology and guides students through the scientific process of gathering raw data and drawing conclusions about the impact of contaminants on wildlife.   

Become a Phenology Observer- Activity
The National Phenology Network (sponsored by the USGS) is looking for volunteers to help monitor plant and animal species found across the United States. Learn how to monitor plant and animal phenology and sign up to contribute new observations to the national phenology database. Make this a classroom project!

Whooping Cranes- Background Information
The USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center has been breeding whooping cranes for release to the wild since 1967. This site has extensive information and Frequently Asked Questions about whooping cranes plus videos and a list of recent articles. Be sure to click on the site map to see fascinating photos and information about raising individual chicks. An additional 16-minute video discusses health, exercise, diet, and training of these birds that were once on the brink of extinction.

Desert Tortoise Film: The Heat is On- Video
Explore the world of the Mojave desert tortoise in a 30-minute film. Learn about desert tortoises, their habitat needs, and what you can do to help them.

Tracking Pacific Walrus: Expedition to the Shrinking Chukchi Sea Ice- Video
This twelve minute video follows walruses in their summer sea ice habitat and shows how USGS biologists use satellite radio tags to track their movements and behavior.

General Ecosystem

Lessons on the Lake: An Educator's Guide to the Pontchartrain Basin- Lessons
Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain Basin is home to 1.5 million people and an estuary ecosystem with enormous biodiversity. Activities in the educator's guide help students in grades 5-12 gain an understanding and appreciation of the Basin and teaches them the skills to identify environmental concerns, make changes, and solve problems.

Land and People- Activity
Students look at interactions between people and the environment in three regions of the United States: Cape Cod, Los Angeles, and the Everglades. Targeted to grades 7-12.

Interactive San Francisco Bay Data- Activity
Look at plots of data collected from the water of San Francisco Bay, then generate your own plots using real data. How does a change in light penetration compare to water temperature? Does a change in salinity correspond with a change in chlorophyll?


North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP)- Background Information
NAAMP is a collaborative effort that uses volunteers to monitor populations of vocal amphibians. Participants who meet minimum standards are assigned roadside routes where data is collected after dark. This program is currently only active in states in the central and eastern U.S.

USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)- Background Information
As amphibian populations decline, reports of malformed frogs, toads, and salamanders are increasing. Learn about amphibians as environmental bellwethers and Congressionally-mandated USGS efforts in support of amphibian research and conservation. Links to taxonomy lists, copyright-free photos, and a national amphibian atlas.