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World of Change: Amazon Deforestation


This is a series of NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images taken over a 10 year period, 2000-2010, showing the extent of deforestation in the State of Rondonia in western Brazil over that period of time.

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ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts

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 interactive can be used in any lesson dealing with the Amazon in Brazil, using satellite images to detect deforestation.
  • Suggestion of how to use visualizations: show the images to students (without the explanations) and ask them what they see and what they think is shown before reading the text and explanations. Have students use the scale bar to figure out the area shown in the image.
  • Discuss the interconnections between different spheres. Use the image to discuss the carbon cycle.

About the Science

  • Images and accompanying text illustrate deforestation in the State of Rondonia in western Brazil.
  • Collection of the data via MODIS and Terra Satellites is discussed.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This webpage provides a clear examination of Amazonian deforestation. The imagery/content is accurately conveyed and the dates chosen (2000 - 2012) are relevant for current readers. Scaling the deforestation extent to the size of a US state is appropriate for an American audience and helps contextualize the information.

About the Pedagogy

  • The Nasa Earth Observatory article that accompanies this series of images fills in context for understanding the relationship of deforestation to climate change.
  • Images are very dramatic and easy to understand; text accompanies the series.
  • Google Earth KMZ file helps visualize the area shown in the images.
  • Comparison of size is given in the background article.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good technical quality.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS3.C:Human Impacts on Earth Systems

MS-ESS3.D:Global Climate Change

Cross Cutting Concepts: 4

Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C1.3: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.1:Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

MS-C7:Stability and Change

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

HS-ESS3.C:Human Impacts on Earth Systems

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Patterns, Cause and effect, Stability and Change

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2:Cause and effect

HS-C7.3:Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.

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