K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect
A “virtual field trip” up the White Oak River in southeastern North Carolina, with discussion of how local ecology changes along the way due to decreasing salinity.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Sawgrass fronts blackwater swamp forest (1)
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 15
Figure 13 is a view of a tidal freshwater section of the river where freshwater marsh dominated by sawgrass fronts a typical blackwater swamp forest. This is about 12 miles from the sea and does not get salt water very often at all. The log in the foreground...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
The White Oak River: Introduction
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 1
One of the interesting things to do during field study of natural areas is to follow an environmental gradient across the landscape. This is particularly rewarding if your gradient extends up a river, as the exploration takes on the aura of a classic “search...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Coastal plain blackwater bottomland hardwood forest community (1)
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 17
Figure 15 shows a coastal plain blackwater bottomland hardwood forest community about 100 yards back from the river. This community has a variety of small trees growing under the canopy trees of oak, maple, sweet gum, and pine. If you look closely at the forest...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Coastal plain blackwater bottomland hardwood forest community (2)
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 18
Figure 16 show a view of the White Oak where it is usually nothing but a creek-sized stream about 25 feet across and a few inches deep. As you can see, the floodwaters of Hurricane Floyd continue to keep it out of its banks almost two months later. The are...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
How does decreasing salinity affect blackwater rivers?
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 2
All rivers that reach the sea have ocean water at their seaward ends, and freshwater at their sources. A trip up a river takes you along a gradient of salt concentration from near 3.5 percent (the average salinity, or salt content, of seawater) to zero. There...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Coastal plain bottomland forest
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 8
Figure 6 illustrates a fine river to tour: the Northwest Cape Fear, as it appears in Pender County. The wetland type we see on the far bank is a coastal plain bottomland hardwood community. These communities develop on irregularly flooded habitats along rivers....
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Tidal freshwater marsh
In Wetlands of the coastal plains, page 9
Figure 8 shows a tidal freshwater marsh. The dominant plant here is sawgrass, the same species that occurs abundantly in the Everglades. Here it is growing along a blackwater river in front of a swamp forest. The area illustrated here is close enough to the...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Cape Fear estuaries: Introduction
In Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea, page 1
A quiet afternoon on the dock overlooking the Cape Fear estuary, fishing with friends. A gentle breeze clatters the marsh reeds and sends ripples floating across the water. A vision of stability and tranquility. Unfortunately, this vision is entirely misleading....
By Steve Keith.
Sawgrass fronts blackwater swamp forest (2)
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 16
Figure 14 is the bank of the White Oak opposite that shown in figure 13. The swamp forest community shown in the background of figure 13 is growing right to the edge of the water here. Note the large loblolly pines in the right foreground and some bald cypress...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Wetlands of the coastal plains
This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” explores the various wetlands of North Carolina's coastal plain and the plant communities found there.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Lumber River State Park
A rich diversity of plants and animals can be found along the Lumber River. Park rangers are available to provide programs for school groups.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
November 2 - November 5, 1753
In Diary of a journey of Moravians, page 7
Nov. 2. As these diary entries illustrate, covered wagon travel presented countless difficulties. We rose early, having slept little because the smoke troubled us all night. At day-break...
Format: diary/primary source
The pathfinders
In Intrigue of the Past, page 3.2
An essay covering the pathfinders of the Paleoindian Period. Learn about the trek across Beringia and the lifeways of these early American Indians.
Intrigue of the Past
Lesson plans and essays for teachers and students explore North Carolina's past before European contact. Designed for grades four through eight, the web edition of this book covers fundamental concepts, processes, and issues of archaeology, and describes the peoples and cultures of the Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian periods.
Format: book (multiple pages)