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.

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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)
Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea
A “virtual field trip” down the estuaries of the Cape Fear River from zero salinity to the ocean, with discussion of how local ecology changes along the way.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Grassy bald with spruce and rhododendron
In Roan Mountain Highlands, page 10
Figure 8 shows the grassy bald at the crest of the Roan with spruce-fir forest and rhododendron. Figure 8 also signals a change in this fieldtrip's focus from geology to ecology. The grassy bald mystery deepens with views like the one shown here. The bald...
By Jennifer Godwin-Wyer and Dirk Frankenberg.
YMCA Camp Thunderbird
Provides environmental education programs to North and South Carolina K-12 students in bird study, fish dissection, orienteering and forest ecology.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Ecology Center at Herring Ridge
This new environmental education center for 4th- 12th grade students has hands-on programs which promote a life-long interest in science and stewardship to the Earth.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Eastern 4-H Environmental Education Center
Located a few miles outside Columbia, North Carolina, the center provides programming dealing with ecology, ecosystems, and animals and their habitats to area school groups.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
YMCA Camp Hanes
Offers hands-on classes in environmental education which "encourages cooperation, teamwork, and understanding of ones own abilities and potential."
Format: article/field trip opportunity
Mix and match ecology: Human impact
This high-school biology lesson uses a group activity to teach students about the impact of human actions on natural resources.
Format: lesson plan (grade 9–12 Science)
By MaryBeth Knight Greene.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Contains information about various cultural, natural, and recreational resources located along this beautiful and historical roadway.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
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.
Sediment salt marshes
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 6
Figure 4 shows salt marshes growing inside the mouth of Bogue Inlet on sediment that has settled out of flooding tides. Areas of open water separate these marshes, but there is clearly more marsh than open water this close to the inlet. How these plants got...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
A Time for Science Nature and Learning Center
The activities and programs of this nature and science center are tailored to groups learning about ecology, conservation, environmental stewardship, STEM subjects.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
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.
Extensive salt marsh
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 7
Figure 5 is a view looking towards the mainland from the high dunes on Bear Island. It shows the extensive salt marsh that has developed on intertidal sands and mud west of Bogue Inlet. These are the marshes you could see in the right-hand background of figure...
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.
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.
Balinese farmer herds ducks into rice fields at dawn
Balinese farmer herds ducks into rice fields at dawn
A Balinese farmer herds a large flock of ducks into maturing rice fields at dawn. Two thatched roof buildings are visible in the background. Ducks are an important aspect in the ecology of Bali's wet-rice agriculture. Ducks are herded into fields well prior...
Format: image/photograph
Tidal freshwater section of the White Oak (2)
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 14
Figure 12 shows another part of the tidal freshwater section of the White Oak. Here you can see not only red cedars growing close to the river but also a few pines and maples. The presence of the latter species tells us that the water almost never gets salty...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Salt marsh invasion
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 12
Whereas figure 9 seemed to show trees invading a marsh, figure 10 shows salt marsh invading a forest. The Juncos marsh shown here has grown up under the trees of a forest community known as the Estuarine Fringe Loblolly Pine Forest....
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.