New Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI) Unit: "Changes in Climate and Wildfires"
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Under the mentorship of Dr. Allegra LeGrande, Nicole Dulaney, CCRI Educator and science teacher at Bethpage High School, developed the CCRI Unit Plan for students in grades 9-12 entitled “Changes in Climate and Wildfires”, which has successfully passed NASA SMD Independent Product Review.
Throughout this unit; students in grades 9-12 will investigate how climate plays a role in increasing the risk of wildfires around the world. The unit is centered around the following anchor phenomenon: The amount and intensity of wildfires has been increasing. Although wildfires can be started by both human and natural causes, changes to a location’s climate can increase the likelihood of a wildfire. Dry and warm environmental conditions are favorable to the development of wildfires. Students will utilize NASA datasets to investigate how Arctic Amplification and teleconnections such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) lead to those environmental conditions. Students will also learn how global warming is leading to unequal changes in temperature around the world, specifically within the Arctic regions. Students will develop meaning of the term Arctic Amplification and learn how and why the Arctic is experiencing greater increases in temperature due to changes in surface albedo.
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