550 Earth Science

“The significance and joy in my science comes in those occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself, “So that’s how God did it.” My goal is to understand a little corner of God’s plan.” ~Henry Fritz Schaefer

The biggest Earth Science is known as Physical Geography. This kind of geography is not about countries and cultures. Physical geography is all about the Earth. It uses many ideas from other sciences including chemistry, biology, physics, climatology, astronomy, and more. For an excellent introduction to physical geography and earth science basics, see:

GEOGRAPHY4KIDS.COM is a free website that teaches the basics of physical geography and earth science to all ages. It has sections on the earth’s structure, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, climates, energy, and biogeochemical cycles. Activities and quizzes are included.

Elementary School

Geography for Kids – An online geography textbook written for kids.

Geography Movies – A selection of free Geography movies for kids on assorted topics: Weather, Biomes, etc. In order to successfully complete each online video, your student must watch it, and then answer the quiz questions with 80% or higher accuracy.

Geology for Kids – An online geology textbook written for kids.

Geology Movies – A selection of free Geology movies for kids. In order to successfully complete each online video, your student must watch it, and then answer the quiz questions with 80% or higher accuracy.

Middle School

6th Grade Earth Science – Geology, Hydrology, Meteorology, Astronomy. The content available on the Georgia Department of Education’s Shared Resources Website is available for anyone to view. Courses are divided into modules and are aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards.

A collection of earth science links based on state standards for middle school students:

The Earth

Earth Projects


Geology Projects

JASON Science (geology, ecology, meteorology, energy, forces and motion) – The JASON Project has always embraced technology to promote education through exploration, and they recognize that games are a powerful way to do this. JASON’s exciting computer games place students in real-life situations in which they use actual scientific data to learn complex ideas and relationships. JASON online games and digital labs are available for free in the JASON Mission Center, along with accompanying curriculum units. In JASON’s Operation: Resilient Planet game, students get to use an ROV to visit the Gulf of Mexico and the ocean surrounding the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, where they can see some of the most unique underwater ecosystems on the planet. The game focuses on four endangered species and the importance of biodiversity. In Landform Detectives, the JASON Project’s geology game, students travel around the globe to unlock the secrets of Earth’s strangest and most inspiring landforms. In JASON’s Master Mines game, students visit mining sites worldwide to gather mineral specimens, and then bring them back to the lab for analysis. You can perform tests to determine hardness, cleavage, density, color, and more. Once you’ve tested the minerals, you’ll be able to identify them! JASON’s other award-winning games include: Coaster Creator, Storm Tracker, and Nautilus Commander.

High School

Physical Geography Online Textbook – Physical Geography is a sub-discipline of two much larger fields of study – Geography and Earth Sciences. The main purpose of Physical Geography is to explain the spatial characteristics of the various natural phenomena associated with the Earth’s hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. PhysicalGeography.net contains six main components: Fundamentals of Physical Geography (Online eBook), Understanding Physical Geography (Online eBook), Learning Visualizations, Glossary of Terms, Internet Weblinks, and Search Site. Nested within the pages of this online textbook are links to study guide pages and additional reading pages for each chapter. The Fundamentals of Physical Geography online textbook contains over three hundred pages of information and more than four hundred 2-D illustrations, photographs, and animated graphics organized into ten chapters. Understanding Physical Geography will contain significantly more information and will be written for a 1st year university audience. Completion date for this project is the middle of 2012. Several draft chapters are now available for downloading.

Creation Science Online Textbook –In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, by Walt Brown. (Click on the image to order the 8th edition hardcover text at Amazon.) In both the printed book and the online edition, evidence that revolutionizes our understanding of origins is carefully explained. Part I discusses, in quick overview, 131 categories of evidence from biology, astronomy, earth science, and the physical sciences. Part II describes the hydroplate theory, developed during 35 years of study and research by Walt Brown. This theory explains a catastrophic event in Earth’s history and solves a host of recognized problems. Some chapters in Part II deal with: the origin of the Grand Canyon, evidence that shows comets, asteroids, and meteroids came from Earth, the sudden freezing and burial of the frozen mammoths, if there was a global flood, where the water came from and where it went, and how mountain ranges, volcanoes, submarine canyons, ocean trenches, and coal and oil deposits were formed. Thirty-seven other frequently asked questions fill a fascinating Part III of Brown’s book. (The author of this book used to be an evolutionist, but after years of study he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation. A West Point graduate, he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.) Note: Both the hardcover and online editions are richly illustrated in full color. The hardcover is a sturdy textbook. The free online edition is interactive and hyperlinked; just use the links at the left to navigate through the outline of the entire book. A fascinating science text for teens and adults! Read this book online at: http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook

Earth Revealed – A video instructional series on geology for college and high school classrooms and adult learners; 26 half-hour video programs and coordinated books (shown at left). This series shows the physical processes and human activities that shape our planet. From earthquakes and volcanoes to the creation of sea-floor crusts and shifting river courses, Earth Revealed offers stunning visuals that explain plate tectonics and other geologic concepts and principles. Follow geologists in the field as they explore the primal forces of the Earth. This series can also be used as a resource for teacher professional development. Produced by Intelecom. 1992.

Planet Earth – A video instructional series on Earth science and astronomy for high school and college classrooms and adult learners; 7 one-hour video programs and coordinated books (shown at left). This series presents visually spectacular tours of the seven continents as it makes connections between our solar system and Earth’s oceans, climate, and mineral and energy sources. It unifies Earth science, astronomy, and comparative planetology into an integrated discipline that relies on common scientific methods. A flexible instructional resource, Planet Earth provides course material for both non-science students and science majors. Produced by WQED/Pittsburgh in association with the National Academy of Sciences. 1986.

The Great Magnet, the Earth – A site for teaching Geomagnetism in an Earth Sciences class, by Dr. David P. Stern, Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics, Goddard Space Flight Center. Covering the Earth’s magnetism in a high school course on Earth sciences addresses two important problems of the science curriculum. On one hand, the customary sequence allocates to physics just one year (and that as an elective!), not nearly enough to sample all areas of physics. In particular, the coverage of electromagnetism, deferred to the end of that course, often ends up short. On the other hand, while physics in high school suffers from lack of time, Earth science could use more substance. It involves rather little math and only limited experimentation, and so all too often ends up mainly as rote memorization. A better strategy may be to qualitatively describe the physical and historical foundations of Earth sciences. The Earth’s magnetism and the historical evolution of its study are one such thread. The material for such a course, in clear plain language, is available for free on the world-wide web, at a site named “The Great Magnet, the Earth.” Like two earlier educational web sites by the same author, this one, too, stresses the history of science. History is a framework logically relating different parts of the subject to each other, and it also adds human interest and stories of discovery.

Earth Science Links by Subject

General Earth Science

A Modern Framework for Earth Sciences in a Christian Context, by Arthur V. Chadwick, Ph.D.

Geology Labs On-Line – Web-based activities which enhance the learning and teaching of earth science from middle school through college classrooms. With these activities, students complete a sequence of tasks that require observation, measurement, and data analysis. Upon successful completion, they receive a personalized certificate. These activities are available without cost on this website.

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies – Click on “Education,” then “Educator & Student Resources” to access educational resources for the classroom, covering topics that investigate global climate and the environment, which are geared toward students of varying grade levels.

TeachEarth.com – Resources for teaching and learning about earth system science – how our air, land, water and life are an interconnected system. Find quick links to web-based resources and activities, organized by subject and grade.

U.S. Geological Survey – Click on “Education” for resources and lessons in Biology, Geography, Geology, Water, and much more… organized according to Grades K-6, Grades 7-12, and Undergraduate College.


National Caves Association – Lots of facts, links, and pictures about caves and cave science.

World’s Longest Caves
Virtual Cave


SRP Hydromet System
Climate of Phoenix
Arizona Climate Summaries
Western U.S. Climate Historical Summaries
Arizona Real-Time Surface Water Data
Climographs of U.S. Cities
North America Climographs
USA TODAY Climates of World Cities

NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guides

Water Center Home Page
Drought: A Paleo Perspective — Home Page

Coastal Landforms

Coastal Landforms and Processes

Coastal Systems

Coastal Features

Coastal Erosion

Shoreline Protection

Earth Materials

What are Igneous, Sedimentary, & Metamorphic Rocks?

Mineral Baby

Mineral Photographs

Moon Rock

Igneous Rocks

More igneous rocks

Metamorphic Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

Lecture on colorful geology of the southern Colorado Plateau in 3D (you can view this without 3D glasses, but it’s even better if you have them)

One Geology Portal: Geological Map Data for the Earth


Learn About Earthquakes

GEOLOGIC HAZARDS TEAM (Earthquakes/Geomagnetic/Landslides)

USGS Earthquake Hazards Program – California-Nevada Fault Map for Los Angeles.

Faulting and Folding

Folding and Faulting in Earth’s Crust.

Deformation of Rocks


USGS Lecture on the next big Bay Area Earthquake

Namibia’s Ugab River

Geomorphic Time

Geologic Time

Rocks of Ages

Glacial Geomorphology

About the Ice Age

Cold Environments


Repeat Glacial Photography

Glaciers and Glacial Landforms

Illustrated Alpine Glacial Landforms

Glacial Songs

Ground Zero Glacial Landforms

Molnia Lecture on Alaska’s Declining Glaciers

How Glaciers Work (a simulation game!)

Grand Canyon

Spill-Over Theory – was the Grand Canyon carved out by an emptying lake?


Hydrologic Cycle


Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater Animation

USGS Lecture on Groundwater

Great Artesian Basin

World Water Panorama Map

Overland Flow

Erosion Basics


Magmas, Igneous Rocks, Volcanoes, and Plutons


What is Karst


Virtual cave

Mass Wasting

Mass Wasting

Mass Movement

Dave’s Landslide Blog

Landslides and Why They Occur


Roadside Stabilization

When Rocks Fall – US Geological Survey Lecture

Introduction to Rivers

Meandering Rivers – NPR Science Friday Video of the Week

Streams and Drainage Systems

Fluvial Landforms

Meteorology (Weather)

Dan’s Wild, Wild Weather Page – An interactive educational site for kids, parents, and teachers from meteorologist Dan Satterfield.

Hurricane Hunters – The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, has been flying into tropical storms and hurricanes since 1944.

Lightning – The Shocking Story, from National Geographic.

Make a Barometer – Do you know what the air pressure is today? You can find out for yourself by measuring the air pressure on a barometer. Free activity from the Miami Museum of Science.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA educational resources on oceans and coasts, climate, weather and atmosphere, marine life, fresh water, and special topics.

National Weather Service – Climate information, weather safety, forecasts for the U.S. and various international locations, along with coverage of storm development, plus weather education and outreach.

The Perfect Storm (PDF) – A compilation of six magazines from Cobblestone Publishing exploring the same theme at the same time – the world of weather! This 157-page e-book contains the complete March 2012 issues of COBBLESTONE (American history for ages 9 and up), ODYSSEY (science for ages 9 and up), CALLIOPE (world history for ages 9 and up), FACES (world cultures for ages 9 and up), DIG (archaeology for ages 9 and up), and APPLESEEDS (history and culture for ages 7 to 10) – all gathered into one digital edition. “We wanted to combine editorial forces and show kids how weather shapes history, culture, science, and technology,” says Lou Waryncia, editorial director. The covers can even be put together to form a mosaic poster depicting nature’s extreme weather fury – drought, flood, lightning, blizzard, hurricane, and tornadoes. Click here to go to the digital download page, or click here to download the PDF directly.

Snow Crystals – An online guide to snowflakes, snow crystals, and other ice phenomena created by Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Caltech. This site is all about snow crystals and snowflakes — what they are, where they come from, and just how these remarkably complex and beautiful structures are created, quite literally, out of thin air.

The Tornado Project – There are many sites with tornado data, so we are giving the subject a little different twist, with tornado myths, tornado oddities, personal tornado experiences, tornado chasing, tornado safety, and tornadoes in the past as well as more recent tornadoes.

USA Today.com Weather – This site offers weather information for U.S. and foreign locations. Click on Weather/Climate Science for informational articles on basic concepts in meteorology and climatology.

The Weather Channel – Check out the top weather news stories and information on weather.

The Weather Dude – Welcome to the weather education site especially for students, parents, kids and teachers from national TV meteorologist Nick Walker. This site features musical meteorology pages! Nick uses his vocal, instrumental and songwriting talents to drive home his meteorological message.

Weather Images – This is a one-stop weather site provided free to the general public. This concise and user-friendly weather website conveniently pulls together the most valuable and frequently accessed weather data on the Internet. From here, you can get radar and satellite imagery, other weather maps, and cool weather cam views!


Rocky Mountain Erosion Surfaces

The Channeled Scablands


Marine Science – Parallel Alternative Strategies for Students (PASS) volumes written by Florida educators are free, ready-to-use resources in PDF format that may be reproduced or used as a workbook. The student volumes are presented in an easy-to-understand format for students seeking a standard diploma.

Ocean Planet – Based on a Smithsonian traveling exhibition from April 1995 to April 1996, this online companion contains all of the text and educational materials associated with Ocean Planet. NOTE: The content reflects the state of knowledge at the time of the exhibition, and has not been updated.

Oceanography – ONR – This site is packed with exciting ocean facts and information from the Office of Naval Research.

What is Oceanography?  – Oceanography is the science of understanding the oceans, how they work, how they came into existence, how they affect our daily lives, the creatures that live in them, and how they may be impacted by changes caused by human influences. Includes information about current and future research in the ocean sciences disciplines, for older students from the National Science Foundation.


Cold Environments

Periglacial Landscapes

Permafrost in the Arctic

Physical Geography

The National Address Server
USNO Master Clock Time
Discovery News
Great circle flight path display
Earth Introduction
Sun or Moon Rise/Set Table for One Year
WORLDTIME: interactive atlas, time info, etc
NASA Images, Animations
EarthWatch Communications, Inc.

Colorado Plateau and Lake Powell Web Page – Monsoon and Canyons

Operational Significant Event Imagery
Declassified CIA Satellite Photos
GORP – US National Park List

Periodic table of the elements

Tsunami videos and animation
Good Earth Graphics Photography

Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics

This Dynamic Earth

Fun Animations

Rocks and Minerals

Cape Cod Rocks – An internet e-museum for exploring gems, fossils, rocks and mineral specimens.

GeoMysteries – Join Rex the Dino Detective as he solves mysteries about rocks, fossils and minerals.

MineralTown – All kinds of information related to mineral collecting and minerals around the world. Educational contents can be found in the left sidebar. Includes information on how to classify a basic collection of minerals.

Rocks for Kids – This site is for kids of all ages who love rocks. Here you will find out stuff about rocks & minerals and where to go to find out more. If you already collect rocks then this is the place for you! Find out where you can get more rocks, look at some super pictures of rocks, learn how to identify the rocks you already have and discover neat things you can do with rocks. Don’t worry if you don’t have a rock collection. There is something here for everyone. Come in and browse around & take a look at what Rockhounds do for a hobby. If you are doing a school project on rocks & minerals, you will find things here that you can use. Click on the Table of Contents to get started.

Rocky Deserts





Salt Playas (Sabkhah)

Salt Lake Basin


Alluvial Fans, Pavements, Bajadas


Sandy Deserts

Sand Dunes of the Southwest

Eolian Processes and Landforms

Wind Transport of Sand and Dust

Ventifacts on Earth and Mars

Deserts and Wind


Introduction to Soils

Our Good Earth

Baseball and Clay

Lecture on connection to wine making in Napa Valley


Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards


Vesuvius Countdown

Sunset Crater, AZ

Volcano Map

Photoglossary of Volcanic Terms

The Electronic Volcano

USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Volcano and Earth Science Links

Volcanoes in Our Times: Photo Essay

U.S. Geological Survey Lecture on Volcanoes

Mount St. Helens Creation Information Center

http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/about/index.php – Learn about volcanoes, from the USGS.

Volcano World – The premier volcano site, Volcano World is a higher education, K-12, and public outreach project of the Oregon Space Grant Consortium administered through the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University.




Devil’s Marbles – an unusual rock formation

Tafoni – a fantastic rock weathering pattern

Photographic Atlas of Rock Breakdown

Gravestone Project

Bioweathering in Deserts

Wet Tropics

Tower Karst

Cockpit Country

Laterite Duricrust

Granite Tropical Landforms

Termite Mounds

More Termite Mounds

History of Tropical Geomorphology

Tropical Rivers

Fish in the Trees

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