Skip to main content

1.3 How Science Studies Earth Systems

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of 1.3: How Science Studies Earth Systems. Use the navigation below to find the materials.

Section Materials


Visions of Earth, by AGI
A four-DVD set on interactions in Earth systems.

The Nature of Science, by American Association for the Advancement of Science
Learn about the nature of science, scientific inquiry, and how scientists share certain basic beliefs and attitudes about what they do and how they view their work.

The Nature of Science, by Alan Richmond
Read an article that describes science as based on objective observation, the formulation of hypotheses that fit data and predict other possibilities, repeatable experiments that can fail as well as succeed, and analysis and review of information by the scientific community.

Teaching the Nature of Science, by Larry Flammer
Find a description of what science is, what science is not, and the nature of modern science and scientific knowledge.

NSTA Position Paper: The Nature of Science, by NSTA
See the National Science Teachers Association's declaration on the nature of science.

Nature of Science, by Joe Schwartz, Ph.D. and Stephen Barrett, M.D. Quackwatch, Inc
Read an article on the nature of science and science as a way of knowing. Ideas are provided for evaluating information as scientific information.

This site provides one of the cleanest, quick loading interfaces for access to GIS datasets including terrain, land use and land cover (LULC), and Digital Line Graphs (DLG). Terrain data includes USGS 7.5-min DEM and 1-Degree Native Format for United States and GTOPO30 Format Worldwide. Coverages are available both in the lat-long and UTM formats, making conversion between these popular formats unnecessary.

Geospatial Data Gateway, by USDA
This is one of the oldest spatial data portals on the Internet for base data to analyze within a GIS environment. It still is one of the best. It allows you to select the projection (geographic, UTM, state plane) before you download data. Themes include Digital Orthophotoquads, soils, precipitation, temperature, topographic maps, map indexes, hydrologic units, and common land units. One can search for available data by geographic area such as county or state, use our point and click map tool to find your area of interest; using a gazetteer, or by entering latitude and longitude coordinates. One can also search for data by theme, such as digital ortho imagery, digital elevation models (DEMs), or soils. Then, view a thumbnail or sample of the data you've chosen to know if you want a copy of the data. If you do, you can either download the data directly onto your machine, pick it up free via the FTP site after you receive an email telling you where it is, or buy it on a CD.

Back To Top


Visions of Earth, by AGI
82 High-definition animations showing a variety of Earth and space system processes.

Observe some products of a Geographic Information System (GIS) by Exploring Earth
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer mapping program. The software allows users to display data on maps instead of presenting it in a data table. By combining layers of data, GIS technology allows users to display very specific types of information on maps at many scales.

Back To Top

Back Arrow Investigation 1.2 | Chapter 2 Next Arrow