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Grades 9-12

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jesup Revisited

In the past century, how much has life changed in the North Pacific? Explore this question with photographs on display in eight regional museums in the Russian far east.

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The Ethnobotany Reserve Project

Traditional healers are among those hurt by logging and development of the rain forest. In Central America, they've joined forces with farmers and scientists to preserve Belize's plant diversity.

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How to Calculate a Biodiversity Index

One is the riskiest number... A more diverse plant population has a better chance of adapting to changes in the environment. Learn how to quantify the biodiversity of any area.

Charlotte-Hoover

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Aquarium: An Ecosystem in Miniature

In a 29-gallon fish tank, this ninth-grader from Virginia created a tropical freshwater ecosystem—and then watched how fish that could never meet in nature interacted. A 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay.

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