Impacts of Topography on Sea Level Change

This lesson is comprised of three activities (three class periods). Students use web-based animations to explore the impacts of ice melt and changes to sea level. Students are introduced to topographic maps by doing a hands-on activity to model the contours of an island. Students examine the relationship between topography and sea level change by mapping changing shorelines using a topographic map.

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Lise Whitfield
Bill McMillon
Judy Scotchmoor
Phil Stoffer
DLESE (Digital Library for Earth System Education)
Activity takes three 50-minute class periods. Additional materials are needed for one part of the activity.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The link to the topographic map is filled with ads; bypass these by clicking (again) on "topofinder" tab. You should not need to register for "" to gain access to topographic maps.

List of needed materials is very California-centric (e.g. grocery store names).

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