Resources for Teachers

Multimedia 6-8

Here you can find multimedia items that may be useful in classrooms 6-8.

Biology/Ecosystems|| Geography|| Geology|| Global Change|| Natural Hazards|| Oceans/Coasts|| Water|| Other

Biology/Ecosystems

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.

Geography

USGS Education Map Catalog- Maps
Browse samples of USGS maps that are popular with educators. Order paper copies through this site. Where available, links are provided to pdf versions that can be freely downloaded. (Navigate to this site on your own by going to the USGS Storeand clicking on "Education Products")   

Printable Outline Maps of States (plus reference maps and more!)- Maps
Download hundreds of reference maps for individual states and for all of the United States. These are specifically designed to print on 8.5"x11" paper for classroom use. Includes unlabeled outline maps of the U.S. Formerly available on the National Atlas website.

Topographic Map Resources for Teachers- Background Information and Maps
An overall summary of useful USGS resources for working with topographic maps: where to get them; how to interpret them; how to use them; explanations of coordinates, datums, and projections; and lessons for the classroom.

Free Digital USGS Topographic Map Quadrangles- Maps
Click on "Map Locator & Downloader" to download free USGS topographic map quadrangles in georeferenced PDF (GeoPDF) format. Paper copies (a cost product) can be ordered at the same location.

US Topo: The Next Generation Topographic Map- Maps
Do you teach about maps, or do you use them in the classroom? The USGS has a new map series called the US Topo. Modeled on the old topographic series, these maps are derived from digital data that allow the entire contiguous U.S. to be remapped every three years. Download free digital US Topo maps through the Map Locator. Download PDF files of traditional topographic maps at the same site.

Satellite Image Gallery- Photos
A special collection of satellite images that record beautiful sights, events of historic significance, and scenes that stir the imagination. Includes the 'Earth as Art' collection. All images can be downloaded for free as high-resolution JPEG files.

USGS Map Catalog: Culture and History- Maps
Click on "Education Products" then "Culture and History" to browse maps related to the exploration, history, and cultural resources of the United States. Most of these maps can be purchased in paper format. Map titles include:

  • Indian Land Areas Judicially Established
  • Indian Land Areas
  • Indian Lands in the United States
  • Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks
  • Lewis and Clark: A Legacy of Science
  • Routes of the Principal Explorers
  • 1857 Map of the USA
  • An Emerging Nation (first map of the United States, made in 1784)
  • Electing the President (political map for 2000)
  • Public Land Surveys Map (1776 through 1965)
  • Outline Map of the United States

Federal Lands and Indian Reservations - Printable Maps- Maps
Maps showing Federal lands and Indian Reservations for the entire U.S. or individual states. Maps print on 8.5"x11" paper.   

Satellite Image Gallery- Photos
A special collection of satellite images that record beautiful sights, events of historic significance, and scenes that stir the imagination. Includes the 'Earth as Art' collection. All images can be downloaded for free as high-resolution JPEG files.

Free USGS Satellite Images- Photos
Most USGS satellite images are now available for free download. Download an entire scene containing all bands and metadata in a single zipped file. Access the data through EarthExplorer or the more user-friendly GloVis Viewer.

EarthNow!- Photos
Currently only works in Internet Explorer. A mesmerizing, near-real time viewer that displays data received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the United States.

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change- Photos
Before-and-after satellite images of environmental change events. The image sets include detailed descriptions of what occurred, a list of references, and a question/answer.

Satellite Image of Your State- Photos
Download and print a spectacular free image of your state created by combining satellite imagery with the National Elevation Dataset.

EarthExplorer- Photos
Free downloads of digital USGS data including satellite imagery, digital aerial photos, and cartographic products. Some high-resolution scans of air photography must still be purchased. Locate products by name, coordinates, or define on a map.

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change- Photos
Earthshots is an e-book of before-and-after Landsat images (1972-present), showing recent environmental events and introducing the concept of remote sensing. Some changes are due to natural causes and some are due to human causes. Each set of images includes a detailed description, photographs and maps, a list of references, and a question/answer. Images are best used on-line. 

Tapestry of Time and Terrain- Map
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this map of the 48 conterminous states. It's a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. Download a free PDF or purchase a paper version through the USGS Store. Both versions include an 18-page pamphlet. This is one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS.

Geology of the Southern Appalachian Mountains- Map
Created for use in high school and college classrooms, this double-sided USGS map consists of a geologic map, photographs of geologic features, diagrams of plate movement, and more. The map is a companion to The Southern Appalachians, a Changing World and the brochure Birth of the Mountains.

Geology

3D Photographs of Geology in National Parks- Photos
Photographic tours of National Parks (primarily in the western U.S.) in both 3D and standard photographs.

This Dynamic Planet- Map
Plate tectonics are fully illustrated on this best-selling world map (a companion to "This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics") showing the locations of plate boundaries, volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters. Detailed ocean floor bathymetry and discussions of fundamental components are also featured. A paper version is available for purchase or the map can be downloaded free in PDF format.   

Major Tectonic Plates of the World- Map
A simple map of the major tectonic plates of the world (scroll to page 35). Another simple map is here.

Tapestry of Time and Terrain- Map
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this map of the 48 conterminous states. It's a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. Download a free PDF or purchase a paper version through the USGS Store. Both versions include an 18-page pamphlet. This is one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS.

Geology of the Southern Appalachian Mountains- Map
Created for use in high school and college classrooms, this double-sided USGS map consists of a geologic map, photographs of geologic features, diagrams of plate movement, and more. The map is a companion to The Southern Appalachians, a Changing World and the brochure Birth of the Mountains.

Mineral Resources Online Spatial Data- Background Information and Maps
Easy access to maps and data related to geology and minerals. To find information about your county, click on "Geographic Area: United States", then select your state and county. For a simple geologic map of your state, click on the "Geological data" tab at top, then "Geologic maps of US States"

Minerals in our Environment- Poster
A color poster (approximate dimensions 36 x 60 inches) showing how we use minerals in our everyday life.

Mineral Resources: Out of the Ground...Into our Daily Lives- Poster
This poster shows the common usage of mineral resources in our homes, offices, and equipment we use daily.

The Living Rock: The Earth's Continental Crust - Video
This 1-hour film provides a global tour of geologic processes through the eyes of several USGS scientists.

Karst in the United States: A Digital Map Compilation and Database- Maps
Digital maps delineating areas of the U.S. having karst or the potential for development of karst. All 50 states contain rocks with potential for karst development.

Tapestry of Time and Terrain- Map
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this map of the 48 conterminous states. It's a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. Download a free PDF or purchase a paper version through the USGS Store. Both versions include an 18-page pamphlet. This is one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS.

The Geologic Time Spiral - A Path to the Past- Poster
The centerfold illustration from the popular USGS pamphlet "Geologic Time" is now available as a downloadable poster in both page-size and poster-size resolutions. This diagram is a wonderful representation of the age of the Earth from its creation, through the different geologic eras, and up to the present. Perfect for classroom walls!

Global Change

EarthNow!- Photos
Currently only works in Internet Explorer. A mesmerizing, near-real time viewer that displays data received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the United States.

Climate Connections: In a series of brief videos, USGS scientists answer questions from students and the public about climate change:

Also listen to a 17 minute podcast about the basics of Climate Change: What's the difference between climate and weather? What is the carbon cycle? What are the impacts of climate change?

Melting Glaciers: Before and After Photographs- Photos
The USGS Repeat Photography Project for Glacier National Park pairs historic images of glaciers with striking contemporary photos to give global warming a face and make climate change a relevant issue.

Natural Hazards

Earthquake Maps- Maps
Database of online maps and paper maps showing seismic hazards, earthquakes, and faults.     

National Seismic Hazard Maps- Maps
Regional maps of projected ground motion and shaking intensity, plus interactive tools for creating custom hazard maps and custom earthquake probability maps.

Earthquake Summary Posters- Posters
View and download posters that provide detailed information and a brief discussion about large earthquakes soon after they occur. Images include the epicentral area, plate tectonic environment, earthquake history, and generalized seismic hazard of the region. The posters serve as a one-stop-shop for information about large earthquakes that have occurred since 2002.

How to Read a Seismogram- Video
Ever wonder how to read the data on a USGS seismogram? Learn the basics in a 4-minute video tutorial. Practice with real-time seismogram displays, and check out this visualization of a shaking building compared to the siesmogram. [Note: the terms "seismogram", "heliplot", and "webicorder" are essentially interchangeable]

Earthquake Probability Map for San Francisco Bay Area and for all of California.- Maps
Maps showing the probability of significant earthquakes on each of the major faults.

Earthquakes In and Near the Northeastern United States, 1638-1998- Map
This thematic map documents earthquake activity in the northeastern United States from the time of the first settlers. A companion fact sheet is also available for download.

Map of Landslides in the Conterminous United States- Map
Download PDF files of maps showing the locations of debris flow (landslide) areas in the United States.

Geologic Hazards at Volcanoes- Poster
Download a pdf file of this 18"x27" poster showing a diagram of a cut-away volcano and the various hazards associated with volcanoes either during or between eruptions. The poster can also be ordered for free through the USGS Store ($5.00 handling fee). Product number 208285.

Eruptions in the Cascade Range During the Past 4,000 Years- Poster
Download a pdf file of this 20" x 24" poster showing a timeline of eruptions in the Cascade Range. The poster can also be ordered for free through the USGS Store ($5.00 handling fee). Product number 208284.

Yes! Yellowstone is a Volcano- Video
The USGS Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory answers basic questions about Yellowstone in three online videos, each lasting about seven minutes. The video shows an excerpt of our Caldera Demonstration Model, which can be reenacted in the classroom.

GeoMAC- Map
Use this interactive map to view the locations and boundaries of past and present wildfires.

Oceans/Coasts

Water

USGS Water Science School- Activities and Photos
The best starting point for a wealth of general information about water science. What is water? What are its properties and how are they measured? How is water used? How does the USGS measure streamflow and collect water samples? A glossary, picture gallery, and activity center are among the many additional features.

Water Education Posters- Posters
Download and print a series of nine posters with connecting cartoons that illustrate nine different water concepts: Coastal Hazards, Watersheds, Hazardous Waste, Wetlands, Water Use, Wastewater, Navigation, Groundwater, and Water Quality. Classroom activities targeted to middle school students are on the back sides of the posters:

Ground Water Atlas of the United States- Background Information and Maps
Learn about the ground-water resources of regional areas that collectively cover the U.S. and its territories. Text and maps are used to describe the climate, physiography, geology, land use, major aquifers, and ground-water withdrawals for each region.

Other

Astropedia- Maps and Photos
Browse maps and images of planets and moons.

Planetary Image Locator Tool (PILOT)- Photos
Easy access to NASA spacecraft images of moons and planets.