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Global Change in Grasslands, USDA-ARS

USDA-ARS and Fireside Productions

This video features the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment Experiment near Cheyenne WY, where scientists expose mixed-grass prairie to higher temperatures and CO2 concentrations to study impacts on the prairie for late in this century.

Video length 7:54 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This video can be used in a variety of types of lessons: geography, climate change, environmental science, anthropology.
  • For middle school students, it might be a bit long and dry - educator need to unpack the science. Suggest using concept mapping to help students understand the science content.

About the Science

  • The experiment simulates projected climate changes to see how the grasslands will respond. Research scientists from the US Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, and University of Wyoming are featured, collecting grass samples and explaining how they will test each species for present conditions and predicted future conditions. Scientists discuss positive and negative impacts of the C02-enriched environment, and potential implications for livestock and invasive species.
  • Comments from expert scientist: It is a well described research project and easy for all ages to understand.

About the Pedagogy

  • Video illustrates very clearly how scientists manipulate plots of grassland (modifying temperature and C02 levels) so they can measure impacts of changes predicted for the future, on different species of plant life. Good explanations by the scientists about how they conduct their research.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video image and sound excellent.

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