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Earth and Environment

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Image: VISIBLE EARTH

Visible Earth

For the best view of Earth outside of a window seat on an orbiting spacecraft, this NASA site is the place to go. A stunning collection of photographs, animations and visualizations reveals our ever-changing planet's landmasses, oceans and atmosphere. It also documents human impact¿dramatic images capture city lights, forest fires and population density, to name a few. A detailed description accompanies each image, and a well-organized directory enables easy searching.

Environmental News Network

Whether it's arctic drilling or deforestation, humans are devouring Earth's resources. This site covers the latest developments in environmental news, from the Bush administration's latest policy-making to status reports on endangered species. Interactive features include forums, polls, quizzes and opportunities make secure donations online to nonprofit environmental organizations.

Dive and Discover

This Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Web site covers their deep-sea exploration. Here you can join scientists as they journey to the ocean bottom to map the seafloor, study underwater volcanoes and search for previously unknown lifeforms in the hostile hydrothermal vent environment. When an expedition is in progress, visitors can get daily updates and correspond with the scientists. The site also offers excellent background information on vent biology, plate tectonics and other topics in geology.

Windows to the Universe

If you¿re curious about the world we live in and the universe beyond, this site, hosted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, is a great place to start exploring. Topics ranging from geology to space weather are covered at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Other sections cover space missions, famous earth scientists and astronomers from the past through the present day, and the myths that various cultures developed to explain the world around them. An abundance of images and terrific links completes the package.

PlanetDiary

Though meant to accompany publisher Prentice-Hall¿s textbooks, this site stands on its own. Here the events that affect Earth and its inhabitants¿tornadoes, oil spills and disease outbreaks, among others¿are recorded and updated each week. A simple world map dotted with icons shows the locations of noteworthy occurences; clicking on an icon takes readers to a brief news piece describing that particular event. The site also provides superb links for further reading.


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