A series of activities designed to introduce students to the role of sediments and sedimentary rocks in the global carbon cycle and the use of stable carbon isotopes to reconstruct ancient sedimentary environments. Students will make some simple calculations, think about the implications of their results, and see an optional demonstration of the density separation of a sediment sample into a light, organic and a heavier mineral fraction.

In this interactive, regionally-relevant carbon cycle game, students are challenged to understand the role of carbon in global climate change. They imagine that they are carbon molecules and travel via different processes through carbon reservoirs on the Colorado Plateau (the Four Corners area of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah). This game can be adapted to other regions.

This activity from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory introduces students to the current scientific understanding of the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle. The activity leads them through several interactive tasks investigating recent trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Students analyze scientific data and use scientific reasoning to determine the causes responsible for these recent trends. By studying carbon cycle science in a visual and interactive manner, the activity provides students with a conceptual framework with which to address the challenges of a changing climate.

This short animated video provides a general overview of the role of carbon dioxide in supporting the Greenhouse Effect.

In this video from the Polaris Project Website, American and Siberian university students participating in the project describe their research on permafrost.

This short activity provides a way to improve understanding of a frequently-published diagram of global carbon pools and fluxes. Students create a scaled 3-D visual of carbon pools and net fluxes between pools.

This visualization illustrates the carbon cycle throughout the oceanic zones, beginning at the surface and traveling to the deep. The concept map-like connections encourage students to link the abiotic and biotic interactions within the oceanic food web.

This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the process they learn about plating techniques, serial dilutions, symbiotic relationships and enzyme specificity. Two methods are provided, one focusing on isolation of pure microbial strains, the other focusing on finding symbiotic communities of microbes.

A simplified representation of the terrestrial carbon cycle side by side with the ocean carbon cycle. Fluxes and reservoirs expressed in gigatons are included.

In this video, Peter Hall (a senior scientist in the field of bioenergy research at Crown Research Institute Scion) describes how different products (e.g. coal, wood) produce differing amounts of greenhouse gases.

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