Activity 3 -
Your Community and the
Last Glacial Maximum
Use the resources listed below to help you complete this activity.
To learn more about this topic, visit the following
Pollen and Spores
Groups: Spores and Pollen, USGS
By analyzing pollen from well-dated sediment cores collected at
critical sites, it is possible to obtain high-resolution records
of vegetation change with decadal-scale resolution and to document
community changes over the last few centuries and millennia.
of Palynology Educators, University of Arizona
Find a scientist who studies pollen near you! Check out links
to individual web sites organized by region.
Climate, and Paleoclimate, NOAA Paleoclimatology Program
What is paleoclimatology? How do we measure paleoclimate? What
can paleoclimatology tell us about climate change relevant to
society in the future? Find out the answers to these interesting
Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA
Learn about current research at the Goddard Institute for Space
Studies that centers upon the use of global climate models (GCMs)
to generate simulations of past climates.
The Response of Biomes to Climate Change
Global Warming: State Impacts, Environmental Protection Agency
Find out how climate change will affect your state forests and
ecosystems. Or learn about impacts in different regions:
Part B: Your Community Biome: Pleistocene to
To complete the investigation, each student group will need:
To view information about pollen distribution from the
Late Pleistocene to the present, visit the following web sites:
Maps of Vegetation Change, University of Oregon
The Quaternary Environments group at Brown in collaboration
with Professor Patrick Bartlein of the Department of Geography
at the University of Oregon have mapped the changing spatial
distributions of pollen percentage for over 50 taxa from 21,000
calendar years ago to present. Maps of biomes derived from the
pollen data and maps of multiple taxa were also include to show
how the vegetation changed. *Unfortunately, there is a gap in
the data available on this site that covers most of the western
America During the Last 150,000 Years, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory Vegetation in North America has been continually
changing over the last 150,000 years. This page provides brief
descriptions and maps that detail these changes in smaller units
*The graphics are a little fuzzy, but the text descriptions
are very useful.
To view information about distribution of animals from
the Late Pleistocene to the present, visit the following web sites:
An electronic database documenting late Quaternary distributions
of mammal species, Illinois State Museum
*The Faunmap site is currently under construction and the interactive
capabilities are not working (as of 7/30/02). In the meantime,
you can use a subset of the data to look at fauna
found in the Los Angeles area from 40,000 years-present.
To learn more about carbon-14 dating techniques, visit the following
Dating, Radiocarbon WebInfo
The information on this page answers the following questions:
How was radiocarbon dating developed? How does radiocarbon dating
work? What kind of things can you date using radiocarbon? How
did Libby test his method and find out if it worked correctly?
How much sample material do you need to date using radiocarbon?
How much does it cost to date using radiocarbon dating? What are
the oldest things that can be radiocarbon dated? What is the youngest
thing that can be radiocarbon dated? And more.
Dating, Georgia Perimeter College
This discussion includes the principles of radiometric dating
as well as explaining how Carbon-14 dating works.
To learn more about late Pleistocene extinctions,
visit the following web sites:
Pleistocene Extinctions, Illinois State Museum
This brief overview addresses whether human hunting or environmental
changes were to blame for the Late Pleistocene extinctions. Plus
it answers whether or not North American animals went extinct
at this particular time in geologic history.
Three Main Hypotheses, American Museum of Natural History
For two days in April 1997 three hundred scientists, journalists,
policy makers and people like yourself gathered at the American
Museum of Natural History to participate in the spring symposium
titled "Humans and Other Catastrophes."
Three main hypotheses surfaced as to the source of the extinctions
at the end of the Pleistocene: Overkill, Disease, and Climate.
Read about each theory and see which one you agree with.
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Last updated: May 11, 2010
project is supported, in part, by the National
Science Foundation and the AGI
Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily
those of the Foundation.