Another Environmental Science Resource from Google Earth

Today on the Google Earth Blog I found an interesting file that illustrates the geothermal resources of the United States. Using the Geothermal Resources layer users can zoom in and click on each state to get detailed information about the geothermal resources of each state. Click here to access the Geothermal Resources file for Google Earth. If you don’t have the latest version of Google Earth installed you can grab it from the Google Earth homepage.

I also found on the Google Earth Blog links to great videos from about geothermal resources and harnessing the potential energy of geothermal resources. Watching a couple of these videos taught me somethings about geothermal resources that I didn’t know. One of the videos is embedded at the end of this blog entry. Theses videos are hosted on YouTube which means that for many teachers the videos aren’t accessible at school. My recommended solution to that problem is to install the open-source media player Miro. Miro makes it possible for users to download and locally save videos from YouTube. Then download the video at home or another place where YouTube is not filtered.

On the topic of geothermal energy, I also found a great interactive map about alternative energy resources in the United States. The map is available on the US Department of Energy’s website. Clicking on each state on the map will reveal information about each state’s alternative energy resources. Click here to see the interactive map. On the US Department of Energy’s website visitors can also find information about each state’s average fuel consumption.

Applications for Education
Using the Google Earth Geothermal Resources file and the US Department of Energy’s alternative energy map is a great way for students to determine which alternative resources are most viable for where they live. One project that students could take on is researching alternative energy and then giving a presentation about which alternative is best. A teacher could set up the project as a mock legislative committee meeting with some students playing the role of legislators as other students present. In doing this a science teacher could work with a social studies teacher to give students the opportunity to learn about science and civics.

Here is a short video from about geothermal resources.


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