University of Vermont

Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC)

SWAC Core Concepts and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Below is a table of the SWAC core concepts and the Next Generation Science standards that each core concept addresses. There is also a list of potential applications for both the core concept and the science standard. If you wish to view the full standard, each collection of standards is linked to the NGSS standard's page.

If you would like to see the below table information in a pdf document, or the corresponding Crosscutting Concepts, you can download it here.

Standards
SWAC Core Concept NGSS Standards Addressed Potential Application
Anthropogenic influences on the earth-atmosphere-ocean system

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Eutrophication of water bodies by agricultural processes
    • False Color Composite using NIR band
  • Acid Rain harming vegetation
    • NIR band
  • Recolonization of Abandoned farms in Pripryat, Chernobyl, Ukraine
  • Flooding and damming of rivers (interpretation)

Weather

  • Acid Rain
  • Cloud seeding
  • Air Pollution/Release and spreading
    • Case Study Japan

Climate

  • Link anthropogenic emissions data to changes in Global Climate Change Proxies
    • Ice Cores
    • Tree Rings
    • Boreholes
      • Swiss Alps Example
    • Coral Health
    • Pollen
The atmosphere is made up of vertical layers, each of which are important to life here on Earth

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • "Haze" and atmospheric implications in Satellite and Aerial Imagery
  • Ozone Measurements from Satellites
  • Failure of NASA Glory Program
  • Aerosol Measurements from Space-borne and Terrestrial Sensors
  • Oblique photos from Space Shuttle showing Earth's curvature with Atmosphere

Weather

  • "Good" vs. "Bad" Ozone
  • Cloud Type Identification
  • Atmospheric Pressure Changes
  • Inversion layers( pictures from Air Pollution Illustrate)
  • Lapse rates and parcel rising
  • Discussion of Weather Balloons and the data from SWAC launches
  • CricketSWAC

Climate

  • Changes in "Ozone Hole"￾ over time
  • Ice core record of Atmospheric Content over past 420,00 years (Vostok Core)
  • Climate Change Proxies
  • Permafrost Melt and Implications of Methane Releases
  • Differentiation of Greenhouse Gases

Climate controls: elevation, topography (landscape), precipitation, proximity to water, latitude, ocean currents, and vegetation

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School

Satellites

  • Shuttle Radar Topology Mission (SRTM) digital elevation models
  • Interpret Imagery
    • Wet vs. Dry side of mountain - vegetation lush or not?
    • Snow
      • Aspect
      • Elevation
      • Shading
    • Vegetation Differences
      • Conifer vs. deciduous
      • Dry vs. lush
  • Desert areas in context of Latitude and Insolation

Weather

  • Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone and wind convergence
  • Circulation Cells as Explained by Insolation
  • Weather Characteristics of different geographies
  • Lake Effect Snow
  • Cloud Seeding
  • Aerosol Formation
  • Acid Rain Formation
  • Global Ocean Circulation
    • Northern California Beaches Cold, England Warm

Climate

  • Koeppen Climate Map
  • Bergeron Air Mass Map

Radiant energy (EMR) is converted to other forms and transferred to other parts of the earth-atmosphere-ocean system

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Interpretation of Satellite Imagery in context of EMR
  • Parallel interpretation of meteo sat content with terrestrial datasets
  • Time series animations of Satellite data to study atmospheric system
  • Discuss EMR in context of Satellite bands/bandwidth

Weather

  • Heat Islands
  • UV Radiation Frisbee exercise
  • Understanding pressure systems in context of Convective Cells

Climate

  • Thermohaline Circulation and the ramifications of belt changes
  • Convective Cells on Earth (see animations)
  • Positive Feedback loops in global climate change
  • Albedo

Forces in the earth-land-ocean system, pressure differences, gravity, Coriolis Effect

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Gravity Map of Earth
  • Solar Radiation Map
  • Heat Islands/Sinks from Satellite Data
  • Ocean circulation based on surface temp derived from Satellites

Weather

  • Discussion of Circulation cells (Hadley, Ferrel, Polar, etc.)
  • Coriolis effect and cyclonic system development
  • Parcel Rising model and Heat Islands
  • Implications of warm bodies of water (i.e. Gulf of Mexico and severe weather in the U.S.)

Climate

  • Ocean Circulation from Gulf of Mexico keeps UK warm
  • Volcanic Injection Global Cooling
  • Positive feedback loops in Global Climate Change
  • Ice core record of Atmospheric Content over the past 420,000 years (Vostok Core)

Hydrological cycle or water cycle - there is no new water on the planet

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Glacial Mass Monitoring and Energy Budget
    • Time series of Satellite, Aerial, Ground imagery
    • Use of Interferometry in change detection
    • Use of photogrammetry in change detection
  • Permafrost formation and Melt - Earth surface changes
    • Siberia exercise
    • Swiss Alps Example
  • Ocean Surface Temperatures reveal addition of melted fresh water in Arctic "capping"￾ warmer salt water arriving along Eastern coast of North America
  • Hydrological Change Detection (Satellite Image Interpretation)
    • More or Fewer Lakes?
    • Vegetation healthier or more stressed?

Weather

  • Lake Effect Snow
  • Water Resources in Arid Regions
  • Snow Ablation and Sublimation in Vermont
  • Precipitation timing (heavy rains periodically or spread out?)

Climate

  • Positive Feedback Loops in the Arctic
  • Implications of warm bodies of water on severe weather
    • Supercell and Tornado development in the United States in context of warmer Gulf of Mexico

Electromagnetic Energy (EMR) from the Sun drives atmospheric processes on Earth

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Radiation/Insolation Maps of Earth from Space
  • Theory of Image Sensors
    • Capturing different wavelengths of energy
  • Satellite Time Series of Cloud Development (Visible/IR)
  • Various sensors capture data in different ranges/spectrums
  • Airport "Full Body Scan" sensing

Weather

  • Heat Islands
  • Cloud Development (parcel model)
  • Lapse Rates
  • UV Radiation Frisbee exercise
  • Understanding pressure systems in the context of Convection Cells

Climate

  • Thermohaline Circulation and ramifications of belt changes
  • Convective Cells on Earth (see animations)
  • Positive Feedback loops in global climate change
    • Arctic Sea Ice
    • Permafrost Melt

The unequal heating of water or air leads to a thermal gradient and energy transfer

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • Thermal Satellite Data showing heat retention in water bodies during fall/spring as compared to land surfaces
  • Gravity map of Earth
  • Solar Radiation Map
  • Heat Islands/Sinks from Satellite Data

Weather

  • Large/Small Scale Wind Patterns
  • Lake Effect Snow
  • Fog formation

Climate

  • Fresh/Salt water mixing from ice melt in the Arctic - implications for ocean circulation/climate change
  • Implications of warm bodies of water (i.e. Gulf of Mexico and Severe weather in the US)
  • Ice core record of Atmospheric Content over past 420,000 years (Vostok Core)

Weather differs from climate in terms of the time scale of interest, methods used for analysis, prediction vs. trends/patterns

Elementary School (K-5)

Middle School (6-8)

High School (9-12)

Satellites

  • GOES and POES Satellites and Purposes
  • Interpretation and Exploitation of various Satellite Products
    • IR Temp
    • Water Vapor
    • Visible
  • Do we have enough Satellite Data to make inferences about Climate?
  • Land Surface Interpretation
    • Landsat dates back to 1970s
    • Climate Changes as seen in Landsat
      • Vegetation differences
      • Hydrological and Cryospheric differences

Weather

  • Compare daily weather and historical data
  • Highlight extreme weather instances that are outside the climatic "norm" for an area

Climate

  • Climate Maps
    • Koeppen Climate Zone Map
    • Bergeron Air Mass Map


Additional linkages among the Common Core and NGSS Standards can be found here

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Last modified July 24 2015 11:33 AM