Courses of Study: Science

Number of Standards matching query: 17
Earth and Human Activity
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 4
Learning Activities: 2
Lesson Plans: 2
Unit Plans: 0
1 ) Investigate and analyze the use of nonrenewable energy sources (e.g., fossil fuels, nuclear, natural gas) and renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal) and propose solutions for their impact on the environment.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Identify renewable energy sources and nonrenewable energy sources.
  • Analyze the uses of nonrenewable and renewable energy sources, and investigate any impacts these uses have on the environment.
  • Use evidence to engage in argument of the pros and cons of using various renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
  • Propose mitigation of any environmental impact(s) resulting from the use of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • renewable resource
  • nonrenewable resource
  • consumption rate
  • sustainability
  • environmental policy
  • conservation (Law of Conservation of Energy)
  • 3 R's = reduce, reuse, recycle
  • fossil fuels
  • pollution
  • energy efficiency
  • resource extraction and harnessing
  • alternative energy
  • waste
  • mining
  • reclamation
  • remediation
  • mitigation
  • biomass
  • hydroelectric
  • geothermal
  • nuclear energy
  • natural gas
  • wind turbine
  • solar power
  • hybrid
  • hydrogen fuel cell
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Examples of renewable energy sources and nonrenewable energy sources, and the uses of each.
  • The origin of different types of nonrenewable energy sources.
  • How various types of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources are harvested, how harvesting may impact the surrounding environment, and how to reduce any negative impacts of harvesting these resources.
  • How various types of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources are used, how using them may impact the environment, and how to reduce any negative impacts of using these resources.
  • The sustainability of human societies and environmental biodiversity require responsible management of natural resources, including renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify various types of energy resources.
  • Explain how various nonrenewable and renewable resources are used to provide energy.
  • Analyze geographical data to ascertain resource availability and sustainability.
  • Evaluate environmental strategies that promote energy resource sustainability.
  • Design and/or refine a solution to mitigate negative impacts of using nonrenewable and renewable energy sources, or evaluate available design solutions based on scientific principles, empirical evidence, and logical arguments.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • All forms of energy production and resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical benefits as well as costs and risks.
  • Scientific knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems, not what should happen. What should happen involves ethics, values, and human decisions about the use of existing knowledge.
  • Environmental feedback, whether negative or positive, can stabilize or destabilize a system.
  • It is important to consider a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to take into account social, cultural, and environmental impacts when developing and/or evaluating solutions.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include: Tree Carbon Sequestration
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 5
Learning Activities: 2
Lesson Plans: 3
Unit Plans: 0
2 ) Use models to illustrate and communicate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration as carbon cycles through the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Illustrate how photosynthesis and cellular respiration contribute to the cycling of carbon through the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere.
  • Communicate the importance of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • source/sink
  • biotic and abiotic reservoirs
  • biosphere
  • atmosphere
  • hydrosphere
  • geosphere
  • photosynthesis
  • cellular respiration
  • glucose
  • carbon
  • atmospheric CO2
  • greenhouse gas
  • methane
  • decomposition
  • fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas)
  • combustion
  • diffusion
  • phytoplankton
  • products
  • reactants
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The reactants and products of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and know the relative nature of these two chemical processes.
  • Examples of carbon sources and carbon sinks.
  • Photosynthesis converts light energy to stored chemical energy by converting carbon dioxide and water into sugars (glucose) plus released oxygen.
  • Sugars formed by photosynthesis are disassembled into chemical elements that recombine in different ways to form different products that are essential for all living things.
  • The process of cellular respiration is a chemical process in which bonds of food molecules (sugars) and oxygen molecules are broken and energy is released along with the byproducts of carbon dioxide and water.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use a model to illustrate the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
  • Identify the components of a model that illustrate carbon cycling through the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • Represent carbon cycling from one sphere to another, specifically indicating where it involves the processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The main way that solar energy is captured and stored ion Earth is through photosynthesis.
  • Carbon is an essential element that takes on various chemical forms as it cycles within and among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • Cellular respiration works with photosynthesis to cycle energy through the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Traveling Carbon Passport; Tree Carbon Sequestration; Global Carbon
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 4
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 4
Unit Plans: 0
3 ) Use mathematics and graphic models to compare factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Use mathematical and/or graphical representations to compare factors affecting populations in an ecosystem.
  • Use mathematical and/or graphical representations to compare factors affecting biodiversity in ecosystems.
  • Compare the effects of limiting factors on biodiversity and populations in ecosystems.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • interpolation
  • extrapolation
  • anthropogenic
  • limiting factors
  • biodiversity index
  • species richness
  • species evenness
  • population
  • graphic models
  • population pyramid
  • doubling time
  • growth rate
  • slope
  • exponential growth
  • population curve
  • logistic growth model
  • linear growth model
  • constant growth
  • density-dependent limiting factors
  • density-independent limiting factors
  • carrying capacity
  • Biodiversity Treaty
  • demographic transition
  • correlation
  • endangered species
  • extinction
  • survivorship
  • sustainability
  • population properties
  • density and dispersion
  • reproductive potential
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The carrying capacity of an ecosystem results from such factors as availability of living and nonliving resources and from such challenges as predation, competition, and disease.
  • Anthropogenic changes in the environment, including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change, can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.
  • Examples of mathematical representations include finding the average, determining trends, and using graphical comparisons of multiple sets of data.
  • The difference between density-dependent and density-independent limiting factors, examples of each, and how each affects populations and biodiversity within an ecosystem.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Differentiate between constant and exponential growth.
  • Use graphs to compare multiple sets of data.
  • Determine trends in data sets.
  • Use a variety of graphs and charts, including: (e.g., scatterplots, tables, line graphs, bar graphs, histograms) to evaluate the impact of factors on populations and biodiversity.
  • Utilize interpolation, extrapolation and statistical analyses to determine relationships between biodiversity and population numbers.
  • Make inferences and justify conclusions from sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies. (ALCOS Mathematics S-IC)
  • Choose a scale and the origins in graphs (ALCOS Mathematics ALGI. 4.2) in order to accurately compare graphical data.
  • Determine an appropriate graphic model to display relationships comparing populations by biodiversity.
  • Describe how factors affecting ecosystems at one scale can cause observable changes in ecosystems at a different scale.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The number of populations in a given area reflects the biodiversity of that area.
  • Ecosystems can exist in the same location on a variety of scales, and these populations can interact in ways that may, or may not, significantly alter the ecosystems.
  • Using the concept of orders of magnitude, a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Exponential Population Growth
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 3
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 3
Unit Plans: 0
4 ) Engage in argument from evidence to evaluate how biological or physical changes within ecosystems (e.g., ecological succession, seasonal flooding, volcanic eruptions) affect the number and types of organisms, and that changing conditions may result in a new or altered ecosystem.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • From the given explanation, identify the claims to be evaluated, the evidence to be evaluated, and the reasoning to be evaluated.
  • Evaluate, based on evidence, how biological changes within ecosystems affect the number and types of organisms.
  • Evaluate, based on evidence, how physical changes within ecosystems affect the number and types of organisms.
  • Engage in argument from evidence to assess how changing conditions may result in a new or altered ecosystem.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • ecological succession
  • seasonal flooding
  • volcanic eruptions
  • ecosystem
  • biological changes
  • physical changes
  • keystone species
  • pioneer species
  • habitat alteration
  • density-dependent limiting factors
  • density-independent limiting factors
  • primary succession
  • secondary succession
  • remediation/bioremediation
  • symbiosis
  • abiotic factors
  • biotic factors
  • food chain
  • food web
  • energy pyramid
  • energy flow
  • bioaccumulation
  • ecological system
  • ecosystem services
  • deforestation
  • organism
  • species
  • population
  • community
  • ecosystem
  • biome
  • biosphere
  • desertification
  • overharvesting
  • overgrazing
  • pathogen
  • climax community
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The components of a scientific argument including the claim, alternative claim, evidence, justification, and the challenge to the alternative claim.
  • Factors that affect biodiversity.
  • The relationships between species and the physical environment in an ecosystem.
  • Examples of biological changes (e.g., ecological succession, disease) and physical changes (e.g., volcanic activity, desertification) that affect the number and types of organisms, and that may result in a new or altered ecosystem.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Use additional relevant evidence to assess the validity and reliability of the given evidence and its ability to support the proposed argument.
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the given claim in accurately explaining a particular response of the ecosystem to a changing condition, based on an understanding of factors that affect biodiversity and the relationships between species and the physical environment.
  • Assess the logic of the reasoning, including the relationship between degree of change and stability in ecosystems, and the utility of the reasoning in supporting the explanation.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions.
  • When modest biological or physical disturbances occur in an ecosystem, it returns more or less to its original status (i.e., it is resilient).
  • Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of an ecosystem in terms of resources and habitat availability, and can even result in a new ecosystem.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Predator-Prey Populations; Bluegill Limiting Factors; Limiting Factors; Bio-Assessment; Changes in an Ecosystem
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 0
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 0
Unit Plans: 0
5 ) Engage in argument from evidence to compare how individual versus group behavior (e.g., flocking; cooperative behaviors such as hunting, migrating, and swarming) may affect a species' chance to survive and reproduce over time.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • From the given explanation, identify the claims to be evaluated, the evidence to be evaluated, and the reasoning to be evaluated.
  • Evaluate, based on evidence, how individual behavior affects a species' chances of survival and reproduction over time.
  • Evaluate, based on evidence, how group behavior affects a species' chances of survival and reproduction over time.
  • Compare, using evidence, the affects of individual behavior and group behavior on a species' potential to survive and reproduce over time.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • natural selection
  • genetics
  • proximity
  • recognition mechanism
  • stability
  • dynamic grouping
  • social isolation
  • equal status
  • hierarchy
  • communication
  • social drive
  • flocking
  • hunting
  • migrating
  • swarming
  • herding
  • schooling
  • evolution
  • coevolution
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning must be used to defend and critique claims and explanations.
  • The difference between group and individual behavior.
  • Examples and descriptions of social interactions and group behavior, including but not limited to: flocking, schooling, herding, and cooperative behaviors like hunting, migrating, and swarming.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Evaluate scientific and/or technical information from multiple reliable sources to determine how individual behavior and group behavior affect a species' chance to survive and reproduce.
  • Assess the validity, reliability, strengths, and weaknesses of the evidence.
  • Identify evidence for causal relationships between specific group behaviors (e.g., schooling, herding, migrating, swarming, flocking) and individual survival and reproduction rates.
  • Evaluate the evidence for the degree to which it supports a causal claim that group behavior can have a survival advantage for some species, including how the evidence allows for distinguishing between causal and correlational relationships as well as how it supports cause and effect relationships between various kinds of group behavior and individual survival rates.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
  • Group behavior can increase the chances for an individual and a species to survive and reproduce.
  • Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the changes of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives.
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 6
Learning Activities: 1
Lesson Plans: 5
Unit Plans: 0
6 ) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to describe how human activity may affect biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms, including threatened and endangered species.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Obtain and evaluate information about how human activity may affect biodiversity, including threatened and/or endangered species.
  • Obtain and evaluate information about how human activity may affect genetic variation of organisms (for multiple species).
  • Use at least two different formats (e.g., orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically) to communicate scientific information regarding the effect of human activity on biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • speciation
  • extinction
  • genetic variation
  • anthropogenic
  • overpopulation
  • overexploitation
  • habitat destruction/habitat alteration
  • pollution
  • invasive species
  • climate change
  • threatened species
  • endangered species
  • habitat fragmentation
  • desertification
  • deforestation
  • urbanization
  • manufacturing
  • globalization
  • ecological indicators
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species (speciation) and decreased by the loss of species (extinction).
  • Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity.
  • Anthropogenic (caused by humans) changes in the environment can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.
  • Examples of human activities that may adversely affect biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms include but are not limited to: overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, and introduction of invasive species.
  • Knowledge of the various formats to communicate scientific information (e.g., oral, graphical, textual, and mathematical).
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Evaluate scientific and/or technical information from multiple credible sources about the effects of various human activities on biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms.
  • Synthesize evidence to describe how human activities, like overpopulation, urbanization, pollution, etc. affect biodiversity and genetic variation of organisms.
  • Communicate informative/explanatory conclusions through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Changes in the physical environment can be created by naturally occurring events or may be human induced. Regardless of the cause, these changes may have contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new and distinct species and the decline, and the possible extinction, of some species.
  • Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species and decreased by the loss of species.
  • Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change.
  • Sustaining biodiversity so that the functioning of an ecosystem can be maintained is essential to supporting and enhancing life on Earth. Sustaining biodiversity also aids humanity by preserving landscapes of recreational or inspirational value.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Bio-Assessment
*Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others (ALCOS Appendix A, p. 65)
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 0
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 0
Unit Plans: 0
7 ) Analyze and interpret data to investigate how a single change on Earth's surface may cause changes to other Earth systems (e.g., loss of ground vegetation causing an increase in water runoff and soil erosion).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Organize and analyze data that represent measurements of changes in the hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, or geosphere in response to a change in Earth's surface.
  • Analyze and interpret data to identify any effects a single change on Earth's surface may cause to other Earth systems (e.g., how damming a river increases groundwater recharge, decreases sediment transport, and increases coastal erosion or how losing ground vegetation causes an increase in water runoff and soil erosion).
  • Identify and describe relationships in the datasets, including the relationships between the changes in one system and changes in another (or within the same) system.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • soil erosion
  • hydrosphere
  • geosphere
  • cryosphere
  • atmosphere
  • biosphere
  • deposition
  • conduction
  • convection
  • reflection
  • absorption
  • feedback (positive or negative)
  • tectonic plates
  • catastrophic events (natural and human-caused) — volcano, mudflow, earthquake, Tsunami, flooding, drought, forest fire, oil spills, coral bleaching
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The components and basic interactions of Earth's systems.
  • The foundation for Earth's global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy's reradiation into space.
  • There are various factors that alter the Earth's surface, including but not limited to: conduction, convection, reflection, absorption, erosion, deposition, and greenhouse gases.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models in order to make reliable scientific claims about how a single change on Earth's surface may cause changes to other Earth systems.
  • Analyze data to describe a mechanism for the feedbacks between two of Earth's systems and whether the feedback is positive or negative, increasing (destabilizing) or decreasing (stabilizing) the original changes.
  • Compare and contrast various types of data sets to examine consistency of measurements and observations, and acknowledge how variation or uncertainty in the data (e.g., limitations, accuracy, any bias in the data resulting from choice of sample, scale, instrumentation, etc.) may affect the interpretation of the data.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • A single change to the Earth's surface can cause changes to other Earth systems as a result of the dynamic and interacting nature of these systems.
  • Earth's systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original change.
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 1
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 1
Unit Plans: 0
8 ) Engage in an evidence-based argument to explain how over time Earth's systems affect the biosphere and the biosphere affects Earth's systems (e.g., microbial life increasing the formation of soil; corals creating reefs that alter patterns of erosion and deposition along coastlines).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and Change
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Develop a claim, based on data and evidence, to explain the simultaneous coevolution of Earth's systems and life on Earth (e.g., how microbial life on land increases the formation of soil which in turn allows for the proliferation of land plants; how corals reating reefs alters patterns of erosion and deposition along coastlines and provides habitats for diverse life forms).
  • Use at least two examples to construct oral and written logical arguments that identify causal links and feedback mechanisms between changes in the biosphere and change in Earth's other systems.
  • Identify and describe evidence supporting the argument, including scientific explanations about the composition of Earth's atmosphere shortly after its formation, current atmospheric composition, evidence for the emergence of photosynthetic organisms, evidence for the effect of the presence of free oxygen on evolution and processes in other Earth systems, in the context of the selected argument.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • weathering
  • deposition
  • leaching
  • desertification
  • photosynthesis
  • chemosynthesis
  • closed system
  • open system
  • eutrophication
  • evapotranspiration
  • biogeochemical cycles — carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, oxygen, hydrologic
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The components of a scientific argument including the claim, alternative claim, evidence, justification, and the challenge to the alternative claim.
  • The dynamic causes, effects, and feedbacks between the biosphere and Earth's other systems, through which geoscience factors influence the evolution of life which in turn continuously alter Earth's surface.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Evaluate the claims, evidence, and/or reasoning behind currently accepted explanations to determine how, over time, Earth's systems affect the biosphere and the biosphere affects Earth's systems.
  • Evaluate the evidence, and include a statement in the claim or argument, regarding how variation or uncertainty in the data may affect the usefulness of the data as a source of evidence.
  • Assess the ability of the data to be used to determine causal or correlational effects between changes in the biosphere and changes in Earth's other systems.
  • Generalize from multiple sources of evidence an oral or written argument explaining how Earth's systems affect the biosphere and the biosphere affects Earth's systems.
  • Identify causal links and feedback mechanisms between changes in the biosphere and changes in Earth's other systems.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.
  • The dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual coevolution of Earth's surface and the life that exists on it.
  • Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Global Carbon
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 0
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 0
Unit Plans: 0
9 ) Develop and use models to trace the flow of water, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Develop a model to identify and describe the flow of water, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
  • Use the model to illustrate the relationships among the components of the water, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles, including how matter flows through the different spheres and how chemical elements are recombined to form different products.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • nitrogen cycle — nitrates, nitrites, nitrification, denitrification, ammonia, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, nitrogen fixation, ammonification
  • carbon cycle — photosynthesis, respiration, combustion, sedimentation, erosion, hydrologic cycle, evaporation, transpiration, evapotranspiration, precipitation, condensation, sublimation, percolation
  • phosphorus cycle — phosphates, decomposition
  • diffusion
  • acid precipitation
  • mental model
  • conceptual model
  • functional model
  • analogy
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The pathways by which nitrogen, phosphorus, and water move through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
  • Students know:
    • How to use mathematical computations to solve for the motion of an object.
    • How to analyze both linear and nonlinear graphs of motion.
    • Laboratory safety procedures.
    • Appropriate units of measure.
    • Basic trigonometric functions of sine, cosine and tangent.
    • How to determine area under a curve on a graph.
    Students know:
    • How to use mathematical computations to solve for the motion of an object.
    • How to analyze both linear and nonlinear graphs of motion.
    • Laboratory safety procedures.
    • Appropriate units of measure.
    • Basic trigonometric functions of sine, cosine and tangent.
    • How to determine area under a curve on a graph.
    ich nitrogen, phosphorus, and water move through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Model biogeochemical cycles that include the cycling of water, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere (including humans).
  • Use simulations to obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about biogeochemical cycles.
  • Use simulations to analyze and interpret data related to how matters moves through biogeochemical cycles.
  • Synthesize, develop, and use models to show relationships between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s).
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • As matter flows through the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, chemical elements are recombined in different ways to form different products.
  • The total amount of matter in closed systems is conserved.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Traveling Nitrogen Passport; Traveling Phosphorus Passport
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 2
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 2
Unit Plans: 0
10 ) Design solutions for protection of natural water resources (e.g., bioassessment, methods of water treatment and conservation) considering properties, uses, and pollutants (e.g., eutrophication, industrial effluents, agricultural runoffs, point and nonpoint pollution resources).*

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Design, evaluate, and/or refine a solution for the protection of natural water resources considering properties, uses, and pollutants based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • bioassessment
  • water conservation
  • water treatment
  • eutrophication
  • industrial effluents
  • agricultural runoff
  • point pollution
  • nonpoint pollution
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • EPA Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • hydrological cycle
  • watershed
  • free and total chlorine
  • total hardness
  • pH
  • total alkalinity
  • nitrate
  • nitrite
  • contaminant
  • aquifer
  • surface water
  • groundwater
  • permeability
  • recharge zone
  • potable
  • pathogens
  • water management
  • dam
  • reservoir
  • heavy metals
  • wastewater
  • desalination
  • water table
  • industrial waste
  • sludge
  • phytoremediation
  • mechanical treatment - precipitators, scrubbers, trickling filters, flocculation
  • sedimentation
  • suspended solids
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The types and uses of natural water resources.
  • Structure of a watershed and its functions through time.
  • Strategies for water management and conservation.
  • Sources of freshwater and ocean water pollution.
  • Legislation that addresses the protection of natural water resources.
  • Methods of water treatment.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify sources of point and nonpoint contamination.
  • Identify natural water resources and factors that affect them.
  • Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information on the properties, uses, and pollutants of natural water resources.
  • Analyze and interpret data to evaluate water resources and EPA standard limits.
  • Make a quantitative or qualitative claim regarding the relationship between a natural water resource and a factor that negatively impacts its use/function.
  • Investigate and assess the health of natural water resources.
  • Design or refine a solution to protect natural water resources, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and trade-off considerations.
  • Identify costs, safety, aesthetics, reliability, cultural and environmental impacts of proposed solution.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
  • Scientists and engineers can develop technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
  • When evaluating solutions, cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics must be taken into consideration, as well as any social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Solutions for Clean Water
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 1
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 1
Unit Plans: 0
11 ) Engage in argument from evidence to defend how coastal, marine, and freshwater sources (e.g., estuaries, marshes, tidal pools, wetlands, beaches, inlets, rivers, lakes, oceans, coral reefs) support biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Obtain scientific information to generate an argument for the preservation of coastal, marine, and freshwater sources based on their foundational support of biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.
  • Consider cost, safety, aesthetics, reliability, cultural, and environmental impacts in generating the argument.
  • Use appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique currently accepted claims and explanations.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • estuary
  • marsh
  • tidal pool
  • wetlands
  • beaches
  • inlet
  • river
  • lake
  • ocean
  • coral reef
  • biodiversity
  • economic stability
  • coastal
  • marine
  • freshwater
  • fisheries
  • oil
  • natural gas
  • offshore industries
  • transportation
  • tourism
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Classification of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Components and functions of wetlands, marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, estuaries, and coral reefs.
  • Management strategies of aquatic sources.
  • Knowledge of abiotic and biotic factors and their interactions in aquatic biomes.
  • Economic stability is sustained by a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, offshore drilling, fishing industry, tourism, transportation.
  • Environmental benefits of aquatic sources include critical habitats, breeding sites, and migratory paths for a wide variety of species.
  • Many humans rely on coastal, marine, and freshwater sources for food, recreation, and jobs.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Argue from evidence to defend how coastal, marine, and freshwater sources support biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.
  • Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support how aquatic resources support biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Coastal, freshwater, and marine sources support biodiversity, economic stability, and human recreation.
  • The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
  • Change and rates of change to systems can be quantified over short or long periods of time, and some system changes are irreversible.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Aquatic Ecosystems
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 0
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 0
Unit Plans: 0
12 ) Analyze and interpret data and climate models to predict how global or regional climate change can affect Earth's systems (e.g., precipitation and temperature and their associated impacts on sea level, glacial ice volumes, and atmosphere and ocean composition).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze and interpret data (e.g., graphs) from global climate models (e.g., computational simulations) and regional climate observations to predict how any changes may affect the physical parameters or chemical composition of the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and/or biosphere.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • global climate change
  • abiotic reservoirs
  • biotic reservoirs
  • photosynthesis
  • cellular respiration
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Industrial Revolution
  • carbon sequestration
  • non-fossil fuel energy sources
  • carbon footprint
  • sea level variations
  • temperature
  • precipitation
  • chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) = refrigerants, aerosols, foams, propellants, solvents
  • methane
  • nitrous oxide
  • water vapor
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • IPCC
  • The Paris Agreement
  • UNFCCC
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Gases that absorb and radiate heat in the atmosphere are greenhouse gases.
  • Increasing greenhouse gases increases global temperature that may result in climate change.
  • Climate change can produce potentially serious environmental problems that affect Earth's systems.
  • Global awareness and policies have been established in response to the potential threats caused by global climate change.
  • Examples of evidence for climate change (such as precipitation and temperature) and their associated impacts (e.g., affects on sea level, glacial ice volumes, and atmospheric and oceanic composition).
  • The outcomes predicted by climate models depend on the amounts of greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the hydrosphere and biosphere.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Compare and contrast greenhouse gas production in developed and developing countries.
  • Analyze the data and identify and describe relationships within the datasets, including changes over time on multiple scales and relationships between quantities in the given data.
  • Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims about global climate change.
  • Analyze the data to describe a selected aspect of present or past climate and the associated physical parameters (e.g., temperature, precipitation, sea level) or chemical composition.
  • Analyze the data to predict the future effect of a selected aspect of climate change on the physical parameters (e.g., temperature, precipitation, sea level) or chemical composition (e.g., ocean pH) of the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, or cryosphere.
  • Describe whether the predicted effect on the system is reversible or irreversible.
  • Identify sources of uncertainty in the prediction of the effect in the future of a selected aspect of climate change.
  • Identify limitations of the models that provided the data and ranges used to make the predictions.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to changing climate conditions.
  • Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence, and scientific arguments are strengthened by multiple lines of evidence supporting a single explanation.
  • The magnitudes of human impact are greater than they have ever been, and so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts .
  • Change and rates of change to systems can be quantified over short or long periods of time, and some system changes are irreversible.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Global Carbon; Global Climate Change: Human Impact
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 0
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 0
Unit Plans: 0
13 ) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information based on evidence to explain how key natural resources (e.g., water sources, fertile soils, concentrations of minerals and fossil fuels), natural hazards, and climate changes influence human activity (e.g., mass migrations).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Obtain and evaluate valid and reliable information based on evidence that explains how human activity is influenced by key natural resources, natural hazards, and climate.
  • Use multiple formats to communicate scientific ideas of specific cause and effect relationships between environmental factors and features of human societies, including population size and migration patterns.
  • Communicate how technology in modern civilization has mitigated some of the effects of natural hazards, climate, and the availability of natural resources on human activity.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • natural hazards - earthquake, volcano, tsunami, soil erosion, hurricane, drought, flood
  • natural resources - fresh water, fertile soil, minerals, fossil fuels
  • climate change
  • acid precipitation
  • acid shock
  • biodegradable material
  • greenhouse gases
  • demographic change
  • desalinization
  • ecological footprint
  • fuel cell
  • hydroelectric energy
  • land use planning
  • leachate
  • limiting resource
  • migration
  • natural selection
  • nuclear energy
  • solar heating
  • petroleum
  • sustainability
  • urbanization
  • urban sprawl
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Examples of natural resources, natural hazards, and climate changes.
  • Over time, historical technological advances have been made in response to limited natural resources, increasing natural hazards, and climate change.
  • Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
  • Natural hazards have shaped the course of human history and have altered the sizes and distributions of human populations.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Gather, read, and evaluate scientific and/or technical information from multiple authoritative sources, assessing the evidence and usefulness of each source.
  • Analyze and interpret data regarding human activity over time, including how features of human societies have been affected by availability of natural resources and how human populations have depended on technological systems to acquire natural resources and modify physical settings.
  • Describe the reasoning for how the evidence allows for the distinction between causal and correlational relationships between environmental factors and human activity.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
  • Natural hazards, changes in climate, and the availability of natural resources have had and will continue to have an effect on the features of human society, including population sizes and migration patterns.
  • Technology has changed the cause and effect relationship between the development of human society and natural hazards, climate, and natural resources.
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 2
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 2
Unit Plans: 0
14 ) Analyze cost-benefit ratios of competing solutions for developing, conserving, managing, recycling, and reusing energy and mineral resources to minimize impacts in natural systems (e.g., determining best practices for agricultural soil use, mining for coal, and exploring for petroleum and natural gas sources).*

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Evaluate the competing solutions for the development, conservation, management, recycling, and reusing of energy and/or natural resources that minimize impacts on natural systems. Analysis should include the relative strengths of the given design solution, the reliability and validity of the evidence used to evaluate the design solutions, and the constraints within which each design was created, including costs, safety, reliability, and aesthetics evaluation.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • mineral resources — ore mineral, metal, non-metal, subsurface mining, surface mining, placer deposit, smelting, subsidence, reclamation
  • hydrothermal solutions
  • solar evaporation
  • sustainability
  • fossil fuels
  • electric generator
  • petroleum
  • natural gas
  • fracking
  • oil reserves
  • nuclear energy
  • nuclear fusion
  • renewable energy
  • nonrenewable energy
  • active solar heating
  • biomass fuel
  • geothermal energy
  • energy efficiency
  • energy conservation
  • ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)
  • fuel cell
  • hybrid
  • biodegradable
  • source reduction
  • compost
  • economics
  • gross national product
  • no till farming
  • land use planning
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • National and global patterns of energy consumption and production.
  • State and federal regulations for mining and reclamation of mined land, and the environmental consequences of mining.
  • Factors that influence the value of a fuel.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the following: fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and alternative energies.
  • The uses of mineral resources as well as how they are formed.
  • The components of a cost-benefit of ratio.
  • The basic economic principle of supply and demand.
  • When evaluating solutions, it is important to consider cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as cultural, social, and environmental impacts
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Evaluate the evidence for each design solutions, including societal needs for the energy or mineral resource, the cost of extracting or developing the energy reserve or mineral resource, the costs and benefits of the given design solutions, and the feasibility, costs, and benefits of recycling or reusing the mineral resource.
  • Use logical arguments, based on empirical evidence, evaluation of the design solutions, costs and benefits (both economical and environmental), and scientific ideas, to support one design over the other.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
  • Scientific knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems - not what should happen. The latter involves ethics, values, and human decisions about the use of knowledge.
  • Modern civilization depends on major technological systems. These systems are continuously modified to increase benefits while decreasing costs and risks.
  • New technologies can have significant impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated.
  • Analysis of cost-benefit ratios is an essential component to making decisions regarding the use of technology.
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 2
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 2
Unit Plans: 0
15 ) Construct an explanation based on evidence to determine the relationships among management of natural resources, human sustainability, and biodiversity (e.g., resources, waste management, per capita consumption, agricultural efficiency, urban planning).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Use valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources to explain the relationships among management of natural resources, human sustainability, and biodiversity.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • solid waste — biodegradable, landfill, leachate, municipal solid waste
  • agricultural efficiency — no till farming, compost, contour plowing
  • waste management — source reduction, recycling, compost
  • hazardous waste — deep well injection, surface impoundment
  • urban planning — urbanization, urban sprawl, infrastructure, heat island, land use planning, global information system (GIS)
  • resource extraction
  • per capita consumption
  • conservation
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • There is a dynamic relationship between natural resources and the biodiversity and human populations that depend on them.
  • Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify factors that affect the management of natural resources, including but not limited to cost of resource extraction, per capita consumption, and waste management.
  • Identify factors affecting human sustainability and biodiversity, including but not limited to agricultural efficiency, conservation, and urban planning.
  • Analyze evidence describing relationships among natural resources, human sustainability, and biodiversity.
  • Make a qualitative and/or quantitative claim regarding the relationships among management of natural resources, human sustainability, and biodiversity.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
  • Factors affecting one component of a system also have the potential to impact the other components of the system, thus it is critical to seek to understand the relationships among the components (i.e., management of natural resources, biodiversity, and human sustainability).
  • New technologies can have significant impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated.
  • Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 2
Learning Activities: 0
Lesson Plans: 2
Unit Plans: 0
16 ) Obtain and evaluate information from published results of scientific computational models to illustrate the relationships among Earth's systems and how these relationships may be impacted by human activity (e.g., effects of an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide on photosynthetic biomass, effect of ocean acidification on marine populations).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Evaluate and use information from scientific computational models to illustrate how human activity could affect the relationships between Earth's systems.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • greenhouse gases
  • climate change
  • computational models
  • emissions
  • dynamic
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • biomass
  • ocean acidification
  • hydrosphere
  • cryosphere
  • geosphere
  • atmosphere
  • biosphere
  • carbon footprint
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Examples of interactions that commonly occur between and among Earth's systems (e.g., the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and the production of photosynthetic biomass and ocean acidification).
  • Predicted future environment changes are based on computational models.
  • Examples of how human activity may affect Earth's systems.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify and describe the relevant components of each of the Earth systems represented in the given computational model, including system boundaries, initial conditions, inputs and outputs, and relationships that determine the interaction.
  • Use the computational model of Earth systems to illustrate and describe relationships between at least two of Earth's systems, including how the relevant components in each individual Earth system can drive changes in another, interacting Earth system.
  • Use evidence from the computational model to describe how human activity could affect the relationships between the Earth's system under consideration.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Although regional climate changes will be complex and varied, current models predict that average global temperatures will continue to rise.
  • The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.
  • Computer simulations and other studies are yielding discoveries about how the ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Global Carbon; Global Climate Change: Human impact
Science (2015)
Grade(s): 9 - 12
Environmental Science
All Resources: 9
Learning Activities: 8
Lesson Plans: 1
Unit Plans: 0
17 ) Obtain, evaluate, and communicate geological and biological information to determine the types of organisms that live in major biomes.

a. Analyze and interpret data collected through geographic research and field investigations (e.g., relief, topographic, and physiographic maps; rivers; forest types; watersheds) to describe the biodiversity by region for the state of Alabama (e.g., terrestrial, freshwater, marine, endangered, invasive).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific and Engineering Practices:
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Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Gather, read, and evaluate the biological and geological parameters of major biomes to determine the types of organisms that live in each.
  • Analyze and interpret data collected by geographic research and field investigations to convey biodiversity by region in the state of Alabama.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • biome
  • climate
  • latitude
  • longitude
  • altitude
  • flora
  • fauna
  • tundra
  • desert
  • tropical rain forest
  • temperate forests
  • deciduous forest
  • taiga
  • savannah
  • grasslands
  • chaparral
  • aquatic biomes — marine, freshwater, estuary, wetlands, marshes, swamps, coral reef
  • topography
  • endangered species
  • invasive species
  • threatened species
  • native species
  • relief map
  • topographic map
  • physiographic map
  • endangered species
  • invasive species
  • watershed
  • native species
  • keystone species
  • threatened species
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Biotic and abiotic factors of major biomes.
  • Classification of biomes based on biological and geological characteristics, including, but not limited to geographical location, climate, flora, and fauna.
  • Examples of native, invasive, and endangered species of Alabama.
  • The climate, geology, geography, evolutionary history, and habitats of Alabama.
  • Factors that influence Alabama's biodiversity.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify biological and geological characteristics of major biomes.
  • Compare, integrate, and evaluate sources of geological and biological information presented in different media or formats to determine the types of organisms that live in major biomes.
  • Analyze and interpret data from geographic research and field investigations (such as physiographic, topographic, and relief maps, forest types, rivers, and watersheds).
  • Use appropriate analyses of data collected from geographic research and field investigations to predict regional diversity in Alabama's terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats.
  • Evaluate data to describe the distribution of organisms by region for the state of Alabama.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Biomes are regions of the world with similar biological and geological characteristics.
  • A biome comprises a large geographical area and contains unique plant and animal groups that are adapted for survival in that physical environment.
  • Alabama is one of the richest regions in the nation in terms of biodiversity. It ranks fifth in the nation in number of species of plants and animals. Alabama's rich diversity is attributed to a combination of climate, geology, and a variety of aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
AMSTI Resources:
ASIM Activities include:
Biome Bags; Global Carbon
Other resources: *Southern Wonder: Alabama's Surprising Biodiversity by R. Scot Duncan *"America's Amazon" by Ben Raines and Lynn Rabren *Fishes of Alabama by Boschung and Mayden *"Encyclopedia of Alabama" at www.encyclopediaofalabama.org