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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 14 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States


PDF, YouTube Video

EnviroAtlas Webquest

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  • In this activity, students will complete a step-by-step worksheet that will show them how to use the EnviroAtlas. 
  • The EnviroAtlas is an interactive map of the United States that provides data on a variety of environmental topics, such as carbon storage, pollutants, and energy potential. 
Teaching Tips


  • The lesson plan and student handout provide a step-by-step guide on using the interactive maps.
  • The activity is hands-on and will keep the students engaged.
  • Data provided in the Webquest tool includes demographics, ecological boundaries, pollution sources and impacts, ecosystem services and biodiversity, and time series layers.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should spend some time going through the steps on the worksheet before using it with students.
  • Students will need computers, Internet access, and printouts of the handouts.
  • Teachers may want to pair students who need assistance with students who are facile with technology.


  • Advanced students could form a hypothesis about the correlation between two layers and then use the EnviroAtlas to see if the data supports the hypothesis.
  • Students could use the EnviroAtlas to research information about the local community and present the information using a slideshow, a podcast, or a video. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this Google Earth timelapse that shows the effects of human activity on forests, this interactive map of the United States's energy infrastructure and resources, and this interactive world map that shows areas vulnerable to coastal flooding and sea level rise.
Scientist Notes
This is a Webquest activity that enables students to explore map features and analyze maps from selected data layers and attributes. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
      • D2.Geo.2.3-5 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.3.9-12 Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
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