Categories
Earth Science

Glaciers: how they form, types of glaciers, and why glaciers are important

A glacier is a large, dense ice mass made from compacted snow that slowly moves under its own weight over a long period of time. Unlike seasonal snowpack, glacial ice does not fully melt in summer. Although glaciers move slowly, often just centimeters per day, they may cover great distances over many years. There are […]

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Activity ideas Ecology

10 Pollination Activities for Kids: pollinator lesson ideas to try in your classroom!

If you’re learning about pollination with your students or kids this school year, try out some of these fun pollination activity ideas in your classroom! 1. Insect Vision A flower that looks fairly plain to the human eye may look completely different through the eyes of an insect! Flower petals sometimes reflect UV and infrared […]

Categories
Earth Science Sustainability and Conservation

Snow Hydrology: why and how do scientists study snow?

What is snow hydrology? Snow hydrology is the study of snow’s role in the water cycle. Snow hydrologists study snowfall, melting, and everything that happens to snow in between! Many snow hydrologists are interested in the ways snow impacts our water resources. They may use data to make predictions about the water supply. Why is […]

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Activity ideas Amazing Wildlife

What is Biomimicry? Definition and examples of designs inspired by nature!

Biomimicry, also called biomimetics, is when people draw inspiration from nature to design items and solve problems. Plant, fungi, and animal species evolved features and behaviors over vast periods of time to overcome challenges they face in their habitats. Engineers may mimic these features and behaviors from nature to improve their own designs. Tree frog […]

Categories
Earth Science Ecology

Disturbance and succession: examples of ecological disturbances, and the role of wildfire in ecosystems!

In this post, you’ll learn about ecological disturbance and succession, starting with definitions and examples of disturbances. We will cover the differences between primary succession vs. secondary succession, as well as the steps of the ecological succession process. Finally, you’ll read about why disturbances like wildfire can be important and natural processes in ecosystems! What […]

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Activity ideas Ecology

What is Ecology? Learn why ecology is important + ecology activity ideas for kids

In this article, learn about ecosystems and ecology! Plus, you’ll learn the difference between biotic and abiotic. Also, read about why ecology is important and learn about what ecologists study! Click here to skip to the the list of Ecology Activity Ideas for Kids! Or, check out my food webs resources here! What is an […]

Categories
Activity ideas Earth Science

How to Measure Tree Height: a real-world application of trigonometry and step-by-step guide to make your own inclinometer!

I don’t know about you, but I think math is a lot more interesting when we can apply it to real-world situations! If you’re studying trigonometry, right triangles, or angles, tree height measurements are the perfect applied math activity! In this simple activity you can create your own inclinometer – a device for measuring angle […]

Categories
Ecology

Food Chains vs Food Webs: definitions, differences explained, and examples

In a rush? Click here to skip to printing the free educational Poster! Maybe you’ve studied a little ecology and come across the terms “food chain” and “food web.” Both help ecologists explain the ways that energy from food travels through an ecosystem. In this post, we will dive into the differences between food chains […]

Categories
Earth Science

The Water Cycle: How it works, a simple and detailed explanation with definitions, diagrams, and a visualization activity!

Author’s note: As a master’s student who works with water, this one is an exciting topic for me to write about! Water is a vital resource that needs careful management in the Mountain West region of the United States. Mountain region watersheds are expected to face climate change-related challenges due to decreasing winter snowpack, changing […]

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General

An Invitation

Welcome fellow nature lovers and outdoor adventurers. Welcome backyard naturalists, kitchen table scientists, life-long learners. Welcome fellow wonderers and wanderers. I’m glad to see you here. My name is Valerie and I’m a scientist, artist, and avid outdoors woman currently in Colorado, USA. My curiosity about the natural world started at a young age, exploring […]