Grades 9-12

When Disaster Strikes

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

When Disaster Strikes

An earthquake prediction when she was young peaked the interest of this eighth-grader from Michigan. While the earthquake never occurred, her fascination continues to this day.

Mars: Past, Present, Future

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Mars: Past, Present, Future

In the early 1900s, some astronomers believed that the color contrasts on Mars' surface were great oceans. Today we know they are huge dust storms. Track how our knowledge of Mars has changed with this seventh-grader.

Brown-Eyed, Milk-Giving

Online Resource, Article

Brown-Eyed, Milk-Giving

Which regions of the world have seen the greatest rates of mammal extinction? Surprisingly, it's not the Amazon rain forest nor the clear-cut forests of the U.S. or Africa's Serengeti plain.

Zircon Chronology: Dating the Oldest Material on Earth

Article

Zircon Chronology: Dating the Oldest Material on Earth

The mineral zircon serves as a tiny time capsule, recording geologic events—it's especially useful because the oldest discovered grains (4.2 billion to 4.3 billion years old) are not much younger than the Earth itself.

James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology

Online Resource, Article

James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology

Until the late 18th century, most people believed the Earth was about 6,000 years old. Hutton changed this belief by proposing that geologic forces operate at the same rate today as in the past.

Inge Lehmann: Discoverer of the Earth's Inner Core

Online Resource, Article

Inge Lehmann: Discoverer of the Earth's Inner Core

Each one of the thousands of earthquakes that occur every year offers a brief glimpse of what's happening deep inside the Earth. Lehmann used seismic signals to change our knowledge of the Earth's core.

Forecasting Earthquakes Using Paleoseismology

Online Resource, Article

Forecasting Earthquakes Using Paleoseismology

Don't let the "paleo" in "paleoseismology" fool you. In the world of earthquakes, "ancient" translates to "before the 20th century"—before instruments were used to record earthquakes.

Looking For Life In Antarctica

Online Resource, Article

Looking For Life In Antarctica

If you want an idea of the conditions on Mars, journey to Antarctica. Take a close look at the work of an astrobiologist studying Antarctica's valleys, the "most Mars-like places on Earth."

Mapping Hot Springs on the Deep Ocean Floor

Online Resource, Article

Mapping Hot Springs on the Deep Ocean Floor

At the bottom of the ocean, how do scientists find their way around? This marine geologist's work includes helping to create accurate, high-resolution maps of the sea floor.

Mapping Mt. Rainier

Online Resource, Article

Mapping Mt. Rainier

Beneath the glacier-clad summit of Mt. Rainier lies an active volcano, which has more than once produced enough molten rock to bury an area the size of Tacoma and Seattle combined almost 10 feet under.

Retrieving a Stromatolite from the Sahara Desert

Online Resource, Article

Retrieving a Stromatolite from the Sahara Desert

Why did museum scientists travel to the Sahara to retrieve a boulder? This stromatolite was built by microbes, the only life that existed on Earth until about a billion years ago.

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