Welcome to SRI Environmental Science Instructional Solutions (SESIS)
SESIS is a set of resources for studying local environments in the face of projected climate change and other sustainment challenges. Teachers of middle school, high school, and community college students in at least six states are already using SESIS resources in their classrooms. Each resource focuses on local/regional data yet each can also be useful for looking at global trends. Most of the data are geographical; hence there is much use of geospatial information technology applications such as Google Earth.
There are four resources to which you can link from here. Each is the product of research and development led by Dr. Daniel R. Zalles at SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning. SRI is formerly Stanford Research Institute. Collaborators have included NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Education Development Center (EDC) and the University of Washington. The company Haynie Research and Evaluation has conducted evaluations.
Funded by NASA, DICCE provides user-friendly access to a wide array of Earth system data from the NASA data portal Giovanni (i.e., the Goddard Interactive Online Visualization and Analysis Infrastructure), plus related curriculum materials. You get free access to the data and learning supports that explain what the data are about, plus free access to curriculum "projects" authored by researchers, students, and teachers about the data. Various projects include learning activities, presentations about the data, and assessments. Contact SRI if you are interested in authorship privileges for constructing your own projects and associated professional development for classroom use. DICCE is still in development, so the resources may be updated from time to time. (Return to top of page)
Studying Topography, Orographic Rainfall, and Ecosystems with Geospatial Information Technology (STORE)
Funded by the National Science Foundation, STORE provides data and instructional resources on meteorological and ecological impacts of climate change in California and New York State. When you visit STORE, you get data files about recent temperatures, precipitation, and land cover plus climate change projections for 2050 and 2099. The data are map-based and can be opened in two-freely available software applications: Google Earth and ARC GIS Explorer Desktop. There are also adaptable lessons that make use of the data. Contact SRI if you are interested in having parallel sets of data built for you about your local area, and associated professional development for classroom use. STORE is still in development, so the resources may be updated from time to time. (Return to top of page)
Funded by the National Science Foundation, DIGERS provides adaptable high school and undergraduate curricular exemplars about environmental restoration in the Puget Sound area of the State of Washington. The emphasis is on river geomorphology and its systemic relationship to (1) biodiversity and (2) the legacy of human interaction with the environment. There is also a strong emphasis on bridging related Native American traditional ecological knowledge and Western science. You get free access to the curricula, plus templates for customizing the curricula to your own local landscapes and ecosystems. Contact SRI you are interested in help with that customization. (Return to top of page)
Funded by the National Science Foundation, DIGS provides a five day high school unit about climate change in Phoenix Arizona and a two-day performance assessment about climate change in Chicago Illinois. Both engage students in looking at real data about these local areas to differentiate between possible greenhouse gas and urban heat island impacts. You get free access to teacher and student pages that make these resources available. Contact SRI you are interested in help with developing similar units and assessments about other local areas. (Return to top of page)
Dr Daniel R. Zalles (Principal Investigator)
Center for Technology and Learning
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA