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April 26, 2024

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

Overview and Instructions

This assignment consists of 3 parts. The first part involves checking out a video featuring the desert biome and answering some questions based on that video. Next, you’ll be you’ll be tasked with reviewing a biome map on the ArcGIS/ESRI website and answering some questions based on what you observe there. Lastly, you’ll be navigating to Google Earth and answering some questions about the Leuser Ecosystem. The goal of this assignment is for you to gain a greater understanding of some of the elements that help define our planet’s biosphere.

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

Part 1.

Watch this video entitled “The Desert Biome” and produced by Geodiode Series, and answer the following questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSx1wP18hRE&t=6sLinks to an external site.

How are deserts defined (in strict terms), according to the producers of this video?

Very often, we find that the soil in deserts is what? What is the name of the plants that have become tolerant to these soil conditions, and what does their name mean when translated from Greek.

What is the largest and arguably most famous desert in the world? What is a key characteristic mentioned about this particular desert?

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

What is the high-altitude desert of California home to? What is the name of this species and how old is “Methuselah”?

What is something new you learned from the information in this video, or what is something you found particularly interesting from it and why? How has it influenced your views of plate tectonics?

Part 2.

Next on our biome odyssey, navigate to the ArcGIS ESRI map of biomes at this linkLinks to an external site. and answer the following questions.

Screenshot of biomes around the world; Source – ESRI

Link – http://esriurl.com/fourgeoinquiry1

Once you’ve accessed the map on the ESRI link provided above, follow these steps to help answer the following questions.

6a. Click on the “Content” tab near the top, left side of the page. Then, click the Ecosystems/Biomes Elementary layer name to see the legend. The legend is found by clicking on the little icon that looks like a grocery list on the far left, just below the Ecosystems/Biomes Elementary layer. Compare the colors in the legend to the colors on the map. Hint: Layer visibility can be turned on or off by selecting the check box next to the layer name. Zoom in on the continental United States. What ecosystems or biomes are found in the United States?

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

6b. Now, click the checkbox for “country outlines” in the legend and the zoom in (+) and zoom out (-) features in the top left corner of the map to help you find exactly where Russia is on the world map. Once there, follow the same process to identify three different types of biomes found within Russia. You will find red-pinned markers over two of these biomes in Russia. Click on those red pins and provide the description that is found for each of these biomes once you open the pop-up box.

  1. Now, click the Home (icon) button (upper-left of the map) to zoom out to the entire map. Identify the color in Africa that represents a Desert and click on one of those areas of Africa. Note: Do not click a pushpin this time. What happens to the map when you click on the desert? Select the Major Latitude/Longitude Lines layer check box. Around the world, describe where else deserts found on the map, incorporating the lines of latitude to help guide your description.
  2. Next, click on the Tropical Rain Forest and Tundra pushpins. How does the picture of the Tropical Rain Forests compare to the picture of the Tundra? What do you think contributes to the differences between the ecosystems?

Part 3. For this last segment, you are going to be navigating over to Google Earth to check out this feature on the Leuser EcosystemLinks to an external site.. Once you arrive on the opening page for the Leuser Ecosytem, click on the “Start Exploring” box to proceed.

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

Photo of the Leuser Ecosystem; Source – Paul Hilton

  1. As Google Earth zooms in on where in the world this ecosystem is found, you’ll see a video frame (top right) and a narrative appear on the right side of your screen. Use these sections to help answer the following questions:
  2. What country is home to the Leuser Ecosystem, and what island is it on? What type of biome is it?
  3. Now, check out the short 2 minute video on the top right of your screen by clicking on it. In the video, what animals are identified as being residents of this ecosystem?
  4. Now, exit the video by clicking on the left arrow at the top left corner of your screen. This will bring you back to the main Google Earth map featuring this area of the world. Head over to the table of contents area (in the bottom left area of the screen) and scroll through the different sections of this feature to answer the following questions.

GEOG 1301 Physical Geography

  1. Identify at least three reasons why the Leuser Ecoystem is important.
  2. How many plant species are found in the Leuser Ecosystem, and how many mammal and bird species are found here?
  3. What are some of the major threats currently to the Leuser Ecosystem and who does it impact?
  4. This feature profiles a few or the people and organizations that are working on protecting/defending the Leuser Ecosystem. Identify one example (organization or person) you see of trying to protect this fragile environment, and discuss some of the specific things to try to help matters out. Make sure to also check out the short videos accompanying the narratives for additional context/background.
  5. Last but not least, what is something new you learned from checking out this case study of the Leuser Ecosystem? Did you affect/transform the way you view the rainforest environment? Why or why not?