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Chapter Challenge

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm, Chapter 7: Chapter Challenge.


Uses and Consumption Rates of Natural Resources

State Electricity Profiles, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Lists state electricity profiles for all 50 states. 

Mineral Commodity Summaries, USGS
Click on the year to learn about the supply and demand of mineral resources, including those for specific states.

Locate Your Local Water Utility, American Water Works Association
Select your state from the scroll down list. You will be taken to a new page. Click on your county or municipality to open the local water quality report. You may have to do some searching to find the actual report.

Local Drinking Water Information, EPA
Click on your state to be taken to a new page that gives an overview of your state's drinking water and links to additional information. To view your water quality report, click on the "water quality report" link to view a list of reports that are available online.

Estimated Use of Water in the United States, County-Level Data for 2005, USGS
Print out the data dictionary first, as it explains the codes used for each data category. Next, locate your state and click on the County Data File link. This will load water use data in tab delimited "spreadsheet" format. These files can be directly imported into spreadsheet computer programs, such as Excel.  

Difference between Renewable and Nonrenewable Natural Resources

Energy Resources, U.S. Energy Information Administration
Describes renewable and nonrenewable energy resources.

Formation, Discovery, and Production of Natural Resources

How is Coal Formed?, Kentucky Geological Survey
Explains the processes associated with the formation of coal.

Methods of Mining, Kentucky Geological Survey
Describes underground and surface mining methods.

Petroleum, Penn State University
Reviews how hydrocarbon deposits (including oil and gas) form.

Natural Gas, Natural Gas Information and Educational Resources
Reviews how natural gas deposits form and also how geologists search for and discover these deposits.

Squeezing Oil out of Rocks, U.S. Department of Energy
Examines how oil is recovered from the Earth.

The Plus Side of Volcanoes - Mineral Resources, USGS
Reviews the formation of metallic mineral deposits during volcanic activity.

Potential for New Nickel-Copper Sulfide Deposits in the Lake Superior Region, USGS
Reviews how Ni-Cu deposits are formed, why they are important, and how scientists are evaluating the potential usefulness of the deposits in the Lake Superior Region.

From the Ground Up: Mining/Mineral Resource Development, Arizona Mining Association
Examines minerals, how they are mined and processed, and the mining industry.

Mining Methods, Kansas Geological Survey
Examines mining methods, including surface and underground./p>

Natural Processes of Groundwater and Surface water Interaction: The Hydrologic Cycle and Interactions of Ground Water and Surface Water, USGS
Reviews the basics of the water cycle, with a focus on the movement of water between and within ground and surface water reservoirs. Includes several full color illustrations.  

About Groundwater, International Association of Hydrogeologists
Provides an explanation of hydrogeology as a science. Links at the bottom of the page provide information and images to review groundwater as a resource, pollution threats to groundwater, and steps that can be taken to protect groundwater supplies.

Water on Tap: What You Need to Know, EPA
Provides information on a variety of topics related to drinking water, including the quality of drinking water in the U.S., where water comes from, how much drinking water is used in the typical home, the future of water resources in the U.S., and steps that can be taken to protect the nation's drinking water.

Natural Resources Production and Consumption and Effects on the Environment

Acid Rain, EPA
Looks at the causes, effects, and efforts to reduce acid rain.

Understanding the Global Carbon Cycle, Woods Hole Research Center
Reviews the basics of the global carbon cycle and how fossil fuels are linked to the cycle.

Climate Change, EPA
Explains climate change, which has been linked to emissions of greenhouse gases (including CO2).

Effects of Oil on Wildlife and Habitat, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Examines some of the ways that oil spills affect wildlife and their habitats.

Effects of Oil Pollution on Marine Wildlife, EPA
Considers the environmental impacts of spilled oil on coastal habitats.

Mining Impacts, Earthworks
Summary of the environmental impacts of mining.

Acid Mine Drainage, Virginia Tech
Examines the causes and effects of acid mine drainage as well as methods for treating acid mine drainage.

Effects of Human Activities on the Interaction of Groundwater and Surface Water, USGS
Reviews the effects agricultural development, urban and industrial development, drainage of the land surface, modifications to river valleys, and modifications to the atmosphere have on groundwater and surface water, including pollution and disturbance of flow paths. Site includes several color images. Includes links to case studies on the effects of irrigation, nitrate contamination, pesticide application, the increase of water levels in surface reservoirs, vegetation removal, and acid rain on water reservoirs.

Ground Water Studies, USGS
Contains a review of the threats to our nation's water supply and the steps the USGS is taking to minimize the effects of natural hazards and environmental damage caused by human activities on groundwater supplies.

Drinking Water Contaminants, EPA
Provides a table that outlines the EPA's standards for safe drinking water, defining levels of contaminants and listing possible sources of these contaminants.

Solutions to Help Avoid Potential Shortages of Natural Resources

Energy Savers Booklet - Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home, U.S. Department of Energy
Provides tips for saving energy and money at home and on the road.  Includes information on energy-saving, efficient technologies and tips for using clean, renewable energy to power a home.

Residential Energy Savers, Snohomish County PUD
Explores energy-saving ideas for conserving energy at home.

40 Simple Ways to Save Energy, Washington Military Department - Emergency Management Division
Suggests measures for conserving energy and reducing electrical bills.

Solar Basics, U.S. Department of Energy
Reviews the technologies and ways in which solar energy can be converted into electricity.

Solar Heating and You, U.S. Department of Energy
Explains how solar heating works, including descriptions of different types of solar collectors. Also discusses why solar energy is an important resource. Includes directions for making a solar air heater and a glossary of relevant terms.

How do Photovoltaics Work?, NASA
Explains how photovoltaic technology has evolved, how it works, and where the technologies are typically applied.

Wind Basics, U.S. Department of Energy
Looks at how electricity is generated from wind.

How to Conserve Water and Use It Effectively, EPA
Discusses a number of water conservation practices for residential, industrial/commercial, and agricultural users. Addresses conservation issues and costs associated with dealing with these issues.

Citizen's Guide to Groundwater Protection, EPA
Provides information and suggestions for ways that the community can become involved in the protection of groundwater sources.

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