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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Allen Creek
In Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea, page 7
Moving south and to the opposite bank of the river, we come across Allen Creek. This side of the river is much less accessible, and wide expanses of marsh and swamp remain. Note the distinct tree line indicating a rather homogeneous change in elevation. In...
By Steve Keith.
Bald Head Island
We have arrived at last to the Atlantic Ocean. On the left side of the inlet is Bald Head Island and on the right is Fort Caswell on the eastern tip of Oak Island. In the foreground is Soutport. The inlet is about one mile across. Notice that the boat traffic...
By Steve Keith.
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
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)
Bogue Inlet
In A blackwater river from sea to source: The White Oak River transect, page 4
Figure 2 is a photograph of Bear Island on the south side of Bogue Inlet taken from Bogue Bank, the land that appeared in the distance in figure 1. The dark object in the water is a sand bar formed by sediment that dropped from suspension as flooding tides...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
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)
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.
Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education
This Center has an extensive list of programs for preschool age students through college with a focus on life science and technology.
Format: article/field trip opportunity
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.
Conjunction of the Cape Fear River and the Northeast Cape Fear River
In Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea, page 4
The town of Wilmington is located at the junction of the Northeast Cape Fear and Cape Fear rivers. In this photo the Cape Fear River is entering from the bottom. The water in the Cape Fear River is just turning salty as it reaches Wilmington, the zero salinity...
By Steve Keith.
Dutchman's Creek
Turning to the western shore, we have one more stop to make before we reach the sea. This photo shows Dutchman's Creek and a series of smaller tidal creeks. Just behind the serpentine creeks is a canal cutting clear across the photo. This canal originates...
By Steve Keith.
Eco-tourism in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Written to accompany a sixth-grade science lesson, this article describes the ecology of North Carolina's Outer Banks and discusses the effects of tourism on the region's delicate ecosystems.
Format: article
By April Galloway and Christine Scott.
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.
Federal Point Basin
In Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea, page 10
A few miles south of Snow's Cut, past Fort Fisher and the ferry to Southport, we come to the Federal Point Basin. The basin is part of the Zeke's Island Estuarine Reserve and is a research area for scientists at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher....
By Steve Keith.
First peoples
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 2.1
Beringia was a wide land bridge between Alaska and Siberia that was periodically exposed during the last Great Ice Age. According to a widely-held theory, the first people to live in North America were Asians who followed animal herds across Beringia. The Paleoindians living in North Carolina by 9000 BCE were descendents of these first North Americans. Nobody knows how long it took before the first Paleoindians reached North Carolina, but the few artifacts they left create an image of their past.
Format: article
Five ducks by an irrigation canal are called home for the night
Five ducks by an irrigation canal are called home for the night
Five ducks by an irrigation canal look up as they are called home for the night. As sunset approaches (always by 6 p.m. in places near the equator), Balinese herd their livestock out of their grazing fields towards a barn near home. Here, a blurred figure...
Format: image/photograph
Grandfather Mountain: Commerce and tourism in the Appalachian environment
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.11
For more than fifty years, Hugh Morton and Grandfather Mountain were all but synonymous. Grandfather has existed as a peak in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains for millions of years, and Morton was more than simply the mountain’s owner; he was also...
Format: essay
By Drew A. Swanson.
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.
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.