Here is a list of resources on sea-level rise to support formal and informal educators. Please contact us if you know of additional resources we should add.
Curricula, Lesson Plans and Educator Modules
Lesson Plan: Sea Level Rise and King Tides, a University of Southern California Sea Grant lesson plan, helps teachers integrate King Tides photography into the study of rising sea levels and climate change impacts. While developed for California audiences, much of the information is readily transferable to educators in the Gulf of Maine region.
Lesson Plan: Impacts of Topography on Sea Level Change, available through CLEAN, uses topographic maps and web-based animations to explore impacts of melting ice and increases in sea level. The lesson includes sufficient activities for three class periods, and is geared towards students in grades 7-12.
Lesson Plan: Sea Level—On the Rise is an hour-long lesson developed by US EPA to help students understand thermal expansion and the global dynamics of melting ice. It can be paired with the US EPA’s 12-minute “climate change expedition” video activity, http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/expeditions/sea-level/index.html, which explains how climate change causes sea-level rise and how that rise jeopardizes low-lying areas.
Lesson Plan: Thermal Expansion of Water, offered by the US Department of Energy, provides an experiment (appropriate for grades 6 and up) to demonstrate the concept of water’s thermal expansion when heated (analogous to the thermal expansion of oceans in response to global warming).
Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) offers guidance to help educators find ways to teach the principle that “climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.”
Educator Module: Coastal Consequences of Sea Level Rise is a multi-media learning module for teachers co-produced by NASA and PBS.
Climate Literacy, an overview of essential principles about climate science produced by the US Global Change Research Program, offers teachers helpful background for in-class activities on climate change and sea-level rise.
The National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s “Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum” includes some climate extensions, and its Activity 3 (“Water Going Up, Water Going Down”) focuses on sea- level rise.
Sea Level Rise Viewers
- NOAA’s Digital Coast Sea-Level Rise Viewer: http://coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/slr
- Surging Seas: http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/
- NASA Sea level viewer: http://climate.nasa.gov/interactives/sea_level_viewer
- NASA has a 4.5-minute video on melting ice and rising seas appropriate for grades 6-12: http://pmm.nasa.gov/education/videos/melting-ice-rising-seas
- NBC Learn has a 6-minute video on sea-level rise sponsored by the National Science Foundation: http://cleanet.org/resources/42953.html
- Yale Climate Forum offers a 6-minute video, Expecting the Unexpected, about the dangers of abrupt climate change, including the potential for a dramatic rise in sea level: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmIkppjplqU
- PBS produced an 11-minute video, Climate Change at the Doorstep, portraying the nuisance flooding that occurs at king tides (featuring footage from Norfolk, Virginia): http://video.pbs.org/video/1818412519/
- NASA has a 10-slide visual Sea Change Quiz: appropriate for middle- or high-school students, http://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/18/
- CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network), http://cleanet.org/clean/teaching_materials/index.html, offers a clearinghouse of educational resources, with grade level and regional focus clearly indicated and teaching tips provided. The site can be searched by topic, with more than 60 listings related to sea level.
- Union of Concerned Scientists, Encroaching Tides report (2014), http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/impacts/effects-of-tidal-flooding-and-sea-level-rise-east-coast-gulf-of-mexico#.VdzcGZfjzcs
- National Geographic’s “Rising Seas” article (September 2013), http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/folger-text
- UNEP has produced a graphic on causes of sea-level rise that can supplement lesson plans: http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/causes-of-sea-level-rise-from-climate-change_d0cf#
- National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, an NSF-funded project, targets informal educators at zoos and aquariums but can be useful for formal educators as well: http://climateinterpreter.org/resource?category%5B%5D=53&topic=64
More Resources on Sea-Level Rise
- USGS Hurricane-Induced Coastal Erosion Hazards
- NOAA’s Sea-Level Trends
- Sensitivity of the Coastlines of Atlantic Canada to Sea-Level Rise
Citizen Science Opportunity for Schools
- Anecdata, a citizen science portal, provides a map where schools can post and tag king tides images, creating a bank of geo-located images that community members can readily access.