The Habitable PlanetHabitable Planet home page

Using This Site

Introduction // Web Site // Order of Units // Content Descriptions


The series consists of 13 units. Each unit includes a thirty-minute video and an online textbook chapter. Additionally, there are 5 interactive lab activities that bring together concepts from several units into one focused activity. A Professional Development Guide that provides all the information needed to use the course materials in a class or workshop session is also available in a downloadable PDF document. Information on obtaining graduate credit for taking the course is available at:

Web Site

The Web site is a home base to begin your study, a place to organize the different components of the course, and a place to locate additional information for each unit. Animations from the videos, photographs, and graphics used in the online textbook, transcripts of the video interviews with scientists, and a comprehensive glossary can all be found on the Web site.

Order of Units

Users may decide to study all 13 units, or they may be interested in a single subject. Each unit is complete in its focus, but one unit may refer to ideas and techniques presented in other units. For a comprehensive look at the many ideas presented in The Habitable Planet, following the order, from one to thirteen, is suggested.

Content Descriptions

  1. Videos
    Each video features interviews with 2 scientists who are carrying out important research in environmental science.
  2. Textbook Chapters
    Unit textbook chapters provide core content reading that extends and deepens concepts introduced in the video case studies.
  3. Scientists
    Biographies of scientists, photographs, and additional interview transcripts are provided.
  4. Visuals
    Animations used in the videos, and photographs and graphics from the online textbook are available as thumbnails as well as small and large-sized images.
  5. Interactive Activities
    These 5 activities span several units but tie together their concepts.
  6. Professional Development Course Guide
    For each unit there is a Guide containing information on how to use the materials to run a teacher professional development workshop. The Guide is written by environmental science educators and teachers and includes suggested pre and post video viewing discussion questions, lists of commonly held misconceptions about that unitís subject, and course activities that fit the hourly requirements of most graduate level distance learning programs. In addition, there are suggested supplementary activities that teachers may use in their classrooms.
  7. Glossary
    Definitions of terms used throughout the online text are provided.

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