Earth Day | Interactive Learning Module

Welcome to the Compassion Crossing online interactive learning module for Earth Day! In this module, we will explore the different abiotic and biotic factors that make up our planet, and the role current biodiversity plays in maintaining planetary health.

Earth Day education is important because it teaches us about the importance of protecting and preserving our environment. This education can help us to better understand the effects of our actions on the environment and the importance of conserving resources. It can also help us to learn about the consequences of climate change and global warming and encourage us to take action to reduce our environmental impact. Earth Day education can also help us to understand the importance of recycling and the benefits of renewable energy sources. By learning more about our environment, we can become better stewards of the planet and work to create a sustainable future.

Section 1.0

Earth as a Revolving Solar Body

Earth, the biodiverse planet we call home is the third planet from the sun in our solar system (Image 1). The position of the planet in relation to the sun is in part responsible for the ability of life to persist.

The Earth is estimated to be around 4.5 billion years old, making it the oldest planet in our solar system. What makes Earth unique is that it is the only planet known to sustain life. This is due to its temperature range, the presence of water, and its atmosphere which makes the planet habitable.

Image 1. Planets of our solar system in order of closest to the sun, to furthest away.

As you might have noticed, certain planets can be visible in the night sky as bright lights to the human eye, depending on the time of year. This has to do with the orbital paths the planets are on. See Image 2 for a representation of the planets in relation to their orbital ring positions.

Humans historically used planetary ‘star’ observations during trade-route migrations. Other organisms are known to use star and planetary patterns, such as migratory species like geese. Whereas humans invented GPS to accommodate for travel, navigating by starlight gets harder to do for migrating species as light pollution accumulates from urban environments.

Image 2. Graphic of half-orbital cycles for the planetary bodies in our solar system. Solar bodies from leftmost to rightmost: Neptune, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury, the Sun.

Orbital cycles are not perfectly circular. In fact, as distance from the sun increases, orbital paths take on a more ovular shape. This greatly increases the traveling distance required for further out planets to complete a solar rotation. Differences in orbital cycles can be seen in greater detail in Video 1.

This diagram on the left shows half of an orbital cycle for each of the planets in our solar system. Where we are able to perceive a planet (either eye or telescope) to be when looking at star patterns depends on how long it takes a planet to make a complete trip around the sun.

The Earth rotates on its axis, which is an imaginary line that passes through the center of the Earth from the North Pole to the South Pole. It takes the Earth approximately 24 hours to complete one rotation, which is why we have a day and night cycle. The rotation also causes the sun to appear to rise in the east and set in the west.

The rotation of the Earth has several important effects on our planet. One of the most important results is the formation of day and night. When the part of the Earth we are standing on faces the sun, it is day. When it faces away from the sun, it is night. This cycle of light and darkness is important for many living things, including humans, plants, and animals, as it affects their sleep patterns, migration, and other behaviors.

Video 1. Orbital patterns of the planets in our solar system.

Review Checkpoint : Can you name the planets in order from closest to furthest distance from the sun when looking at the full solar system in orbit, such as in the video?

The rotation of the Earth also causes the Coriolis effect, which is the tendency for moving objects, including air and water, to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This effect has important consequences for weather patterns and ocean currents.

Scientists use a variety of tools to study the Earth’s rotation. One of the most important is the Foucault pendulum, which is a simple pendulum that appears to rotate as the Earth rotates underneath it. This phenomenon was first observed by the French physicist Leon Foucault in 1851 and is now used to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation in many science museums around the world.

Another tool used to study the Earth’s rotation is the Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS uses a network of satellites to determine the precise location of objects on Earth, and this information can be used to study the rotation of the Earth.

The rotation of the Earth is one of the most fundamental aspects of our planet’s behavior. It causes day and night, affects weather patterns and ocean currents, and has important consequences for many living things. Studying the Earth’s rotation is essential for understanding our planet and how it interacts with the rest of the solar system.

The Earth’s wobble effect is caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun, Moon and other objects in our solar system. This pull causes the Earth to tilt slightly on its axis as it orbits the Sun. This tilt causes a wobble in the Earth’s rotation, which can cause changes in temperature, ocean currents, and weather patterns. This wobble effect causes the Earth’s Northern and Southern hemispheres to experience different intensities of sunlight throughout the year, resulting in the four distinct seasons of summer, fall, winter and spring. The Northern Hemisphere experiences more sunlight and warmer temperatures during the summer months and less sunlight and cooler temperatures during the winter months. The Southern Hemisphere experiences the opposite pattern. As the Earth continues its wobble effect throughout the year, the seasons change accordingly. The wobble also affects the amount of daylight we receive in different parts of the world. For example, the North Pole has six months of daylight in the summer, and six months of darkness in the winter. As the Earth continues its wobble effect throughout the year, the seasons change accordingly.

Seasons are an important part of life on Earth and are essential for maintaining all forms of life. Different seasons provide various environmental conditions that are important for the growth of plants and animals. For example, during the fall, plants start to go dormant and prepare for the cold winter months. As the weather gets colder, animals start to migrate to warmer climates in order to survive the harsh winter. The warm weather of the spring brings new life as plants start to blossom and animals start to mate and reproduce. Finally, the hot summer months provide the perfect conditions for plants to grow and for animals to find food. All of these conditions are necessary for sustaining life on Earth and the changing of the seasons is what makes this possible.

Section 2.0

Let’s Explore Biotic and Abiotic Cycles

Planet Earth is distinguishable from other planets in our solar system not just in size and position, but by the incredible organic cycles self-contained in its atmospheric layers.

The atmosphere is the layer of gases that surrounds the Earth. It is divided into five main layers, including the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and exosphere. The troposphere is the closest layer to the Earth’s surface and is where most weather systems occur. It is also home to the majority of Earth’s living creatures, including us. The stratosphere is the second layer of the atmosphere and is where most commercial airliners fly. This layer is rich in ozone, which absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The atmosphere is essential for supporting life on Earth, as it protects us from harmful radiation and provides us with the air we breathe.

The atmosphere is intricately connected to biotic and abiotic cycles, which are the natural processes that recycle energy and matter through living organisms and the physical environment. These cycles are essential for maintaining the balance of life on Earth.

The methane cycle is an example of a biotic cycle. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is produced by certain types of bacteria during the decomposition of organic matter, such as plant material or animal waste. Methane can also be produced by human activities, such as livestock farming and landfills. Once methane is released into the atmosphere, it can be broken down by other chemicals, such as hydroxyl radicals, or it can be oxidized to form carbon dioxide and water.

Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect. Methane is one of the major greenhouse gases, along with carbon dioxide and water vapor. While methane is present in much smaller amounts than carbon dioxide, it is more effective at trapping heat. Methane is estimated to be 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its heat-trapping ability over a 100-year time horizon, and 84 times more potent over a 20-year time horizon.

Unfortunately, methane emissions have increased significantly over the past four decades in the United States (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Graph of average, monthly global methane emissions across 39 year period (x-axis) with concentration of methane (CH4) listed in parts per billion, or ‘ppb’ (Figure adapted from NOAA).

Methane emissions have been increasing in recent decades due to human activities such as agriculture, landfills, and fossil fuel extraction. This increase in methane emissions is contributing to the acceleration of the greenhouse effect, which is causing global warming and climate change. Methane is particularly concerning because it has a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (around 12 years compared to hundreds of years for carbon dioxide), but it has a greater warming potential in the short term. Therefore, reducing methane emissions can have a more immediate impact on slowing the rate of global warming.

There are several ways in which humans are working to counteract methane and CO2 emissions. One approach is to reduce methane emissions from agricultural activities, such as livestock farming and rice cultivation. This can be achieved through changes in farming practices, such as using different feed for livestock or changing irrigation methods for rice fields. Another approach is to capture and use methane emissions from landfills and other sources as a source of energy.

Arguably the most important cycle for sustaining life is the carbon cycle. Carbon is a fundamental atom of living creatures on Earth, so much so that the compound makes up ~20% of organisms, and is present in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. In this form, carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up by plants during photosynthesis and is incorporated into organic molecules, such as sugars. When organisms die and decompose, the carbon is returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. The carbon cycle also involves the movement of carbon through the oceans and the geosphere.

The carbon cycle is the process by which carbon is exchanged between the Earth’s land, ocean, and atmosphere. Carbon is a key component of all living organisms and is essential for photosynthesis and food production, which is why it is so important to understand the cycle. Carbon is created in the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels, and it is also released into the atmosphere when plants and animals die and decompose. This carbon is then absorbed by the oceans and land, where it is stored in rocks and soils. Eventually, it is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which is then absorbed by plants and converted back into oxygen, completing the cycle. The cycle is important because it helps to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which affects the global climate.

Take a moment to watch the video below by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Video 2). This videos describes the pathway carbon molecules take both into and out of Earth’s atmosphere, particularly how the molecular engages in oceanic systems.

Video 2. (C) NOAA | Video Transcript

When humans burn fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, they release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases work like a blanket and trap heat in the atmosphere, thus raising the temperature of the earth and contributing to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a natural process that helps keep the earth’s temperature in a livable range. Unfortunately, human activities have caused the release of too much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, causing the temperature of the earth to rise significantly.

In terms of CO2 emissions, there are many efforts underway to reduce emissions from fossil fuel combustion and other human activities, such as transportation and industry. This includes the development of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and the implementation of energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption.

Section 3.0


A biome refers to large region of the earth that has a distinct set of biological and environmental characteristics. Biomes are shaped by factors such as latitude, altitude, precipitation, and temperature, and they can be found all over the world. In this module, we will discuss the major biomes of the world, their characteristics, and the importance of their conservation.

Major Biomes: There are several major biomes on Earth, including:

  1. Tropical Rainforest Biome
    • This biome is located near the equator and receives a lot of rain throughout the year. It is characterized by tall trees, diverse plant and animal life, and high humidity.
  2. Desert Biome
    • This biome is characterized by low precipitation and high temperatures. It is found in areas with little vegetation and is home to animals such as snakes, lizards, and camels.
  3. Tundra Biome
    • This biome is found in the coldest regions of the world and is characterized by low temperatures and a short growing season. It is home to animals such as polar bears, Arctic foxes, and reindeer.
  4. Grassland Biome
    • This biome is characterized by grasses and other herbaceous plants, as well as a dry climate. It is home to animals such as bison, zebras, and kangaroos.
  5. Temperate Forest Biome
    • This biome is characterized by trees that lose their leaves in the fall, a moderate climate, and moderate precipitation. It is home to animals such as deer, bears, and wolves.

Use the slideshow below to compare the major biome types.

How are biomes and their subcategories distributed across earth?

Biomes are important for several reasons, including their role in providing habitat for plant and animal species, their contribution to the global climate, and their potential for providing resources such as food and medicine. However, many biomes are under threat due to factors such as deforestation, climate change, and overexploitation of resources.

Conservation efforts are essential for preserving biomes and the biodiversity they support. These efforts can include initiatives such as reforestation, protected areas, and sustainable resource management. It is important to recognize the value of biomes and the need to protect them for future generations.

Figure 2, below, contains the relative positions of major biomes across the world.

Figure 2. A map of global biome distribution (c) Laulima Univeristy, Hawaii.

Maintenance of biomes is crucial to ensure planetary balance. When vital ecosystem types are removed, this can cause severe impacts. For example, when a wetland area (freshwater or brackish, half-salt-half-fresh) is removed or damaged, its function to buffer or minimize the effect of hurricanes/tropical ocean-origin storms is rendered minimal to useless.

Removing wetlands takes away hurricane buffers because wetlands act as natural barriers that absorb the shock of storms and prevent flooding. When wetlands are removed, the land is more vulnerable to flooding and destruction from hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina is a prime example of this. In the years leading up to the hurricane, wetlands in Florida were removed for development purposes, which weakened the natural protection from the storm and caused it to become even more destructive. The destruction from Katrina was significantly worse due to the destruction of the natural buffer provided by the wetlands.

Wetland areas that are bordering to sea regions are known as mangroves. These ecosystems are not limited to North America, and in fact can be found on every continent except for Antarctica.

Mangroves are a type of coastal tree that are typically found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. They thrive in areas with salty water, such as estuaries, tidal creeks, and mudflats, and have an extensive root system that helps stabilize the coastline. Mangroves are an integral part of the ecosystem, providing essential habitat for a variety of species, including fish, crabs, and birds. They also help to protect shorelines from erosion and provide shelter from storms. In addition, mangroves can help improve water quality and reduce the intensity of floods and waves. As such, they are an important resource for humans and wildlife alike.

Some of the biomes that are most under threat include:

  1. Tropical Rainforests–home to an incredible variety of species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
    • These biomes are under threat from deforestation, which is driven by factors such as agriculture, logging, and mining.
  2. Coral Reefs– some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, and they provide important habitat for many species of fish and other marine life.
    • These biomes are under threat from factors such as climate change, pollution, and overfishing.
  3. Temperate Forests– found in areas with moderate temperatures and rainfall, and they provide important habitat for many species of plants and animals.
    • These biomes are under threat from deforestation, urbanization, and other factors.
  4. Grasslands–characterized by their grassy vegetation and are home to many species of mammals, birds, and insects.
    • These biomes are under threat from factors such as agriculture, grazing, and climate change.

Interactive Activity: Discovering Your Local Biome

By researching your local biome, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the biodiversity that exists in your own backyard!


  • Notebook or paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Internet access (optional)


Biomes are regions of the world that are characterized by their climate, geography, and the types of organisms that live there. Think about the biome that you live in. Use the list of biomes in the section above to to help identify the biome you live in.

Once your biome is identified, make a list of the different types of organisms that live in that biome. Try to include many types of organisms, including plants, animals, and other living things you’ve noticed.

Next, provide a set of characterizations that are typical of the biome you live in (e.g., hot and dry, cold and snowy, rainy and humid).

Don’t hesitate to use the internet, field guides, or other resources to help identify and learn more about the organisms that live in your biome!

Section 4.0

Unbalanced Cycles Threaten Life on Earth

Feedback loops are an important concept in ecology, as they describe how the components of an ecosystem can interact with each other and impact the system as a whole. Positive feedback loops amplify a change in a system, while negative feedback loops dampen or stabilize changes in a system. In this education module, we will explore the concepts of positive and negative feedback loops in ecology and how feedback loops can have detrimental effects on the planet if left unchecked.

Positive feedback loops can occur when a change in one component of an ecosystem leads to a change in another component, which in turn reinforces the original change. An example of a positive feedback loop is the relationship between forest fires and climate change. As global temperatures rise due to climate change, the risk of forest fires increases. These fires release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to further climate change and more frequent and intense fires.

Negative feedback loops occur when a change in a system leads to a stabilizing or dampening of that change. In ecology, negative feedback loops can occur when a change in one component of an ecosystem leads to a change in another component, which in turn counteracts the original change. An example of a negative feedback loop is the relationship between plants and carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide levels rise in the atmosphere, plants are able to absorb more of it through photosynthesis. This uptake of carbon dioxide by plants helps to stabilize carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Feedback loops can have significant impacts on the planet if left unchecked. One example is the ice albedo effect, which is a positive feedback loop that occurs in polar regions.

The Ice Albedo effect is increases rate with accelerated greenhouse gas warming of the atmosphere. When sunlight hits the Earth, some of it is absorbed by the surface. Ice and snow, however, have a high albedo, meaning they reflect more of the sunlight back into the atmosphere. When this happens, less of the sunlight is converted into heat energy, and the Earth’s overall temperature is lower. The greenhouse effect works similarly; certain gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, act like a blanket and trap some of the heat energy from the sun, causing the Earth to warm up (see Figure 3). The ice albedo effect works in concert with the greenhouse effect, since the ice and snow act as a natural reflector against some of the heat energy from the sun, helping to keep the Earth’s temperature in check.

Figure 3. The Ice Albedo Effect: As the polar ice caps melt due to climate change, the white reflective surface of the ice is replaced by dark ocean water, which absorbs more heat and causes further melting. This process can continue to accelerate until the polar ice caps are completely melted, which would have catastrophic effects on global sea levels and climate patterns; (C), UK.

Sea-level rise is a major global issue that negatively impacts coastal regions all over the world. As sea-levels rise, coastal regions are exposed to an increased risk of flooding and coastal erosion. With higher sea-levels, the risk of damage to buildings, infrastructure, and other coastal projects is also increased. Furthermore, sea-level rise can contaminate drinking water and increase the salinity of soil, making it difficult for crops to grow. Finally, warmer water temperatures due to sea-level rise can cause coral reefs and other marine ecosystems to die off, negatively impacting the marine life in the area. All in all, sea-level rise has serious consequences for coastal regions, and it is important to be aware of these consequences and take steps to mitigate them. Currently, the ice albedo effect is contributing greatly to sea-level rise.

Image *. Creative approach on displaying geologic time © Ray Troll (Sumanarathna et al., 2022).

Sea levels have fluctuated across Earth’s history, that is a true statement. For example, seismic activity (such as tectonic plate movements) have shifted land mass shapes and associate volumes of water bodies over geologic periods. These geologic periods are the categories of time researchers use to describe large chunks of Earth’s natural history (Image *). You may be the most familiar with the Jurassic or Cretaceous periods, associated with an expansion of dinosaur biodiversity.

As plates move apart or collide with one another, it can cause changes in the shape and size of ocean basins, which in turn affects sea level. For example, when plates move apart, new oceanic crust is formed at mid-ocean ridges, which can displace seawater and cause sea level to rise. On the other hand, when plates collide, one plate can be pushed beneath another and cause the ocean floor to sink, leading to a drop in sea level.

Regardless of the fact that sea volumes have changed across Earth’s timeline, it is the rate at which human-induced changes are causing natural processes to increase speed that is causing concern. Additionally, altering the balance of natural chemical compositions on the planet can offset some cycles to be more active over others. If left unchecked, this can cause severse damage to ecosystems that are sensitive to environmental fluctuations.

As polar ice caps and glaciers continue to melt due to climate change, this effect is exacerbating sea-level rise. Rising sea levels pose significant dangers to coastal regions, freshwater ecosystems, and low-lying islands. Coastal areas are vulnerable to flooding, erosion, and saltwater intrusion, which can damage infrastructure and harm habitats. Freshwater ecosystems are also at risk, as rising sea levels can cause saltwater to intrude into rivers and wetlands, leading to the loss of important habitats and biodiversity. Additionally, sea-level rise can lead to increased storm surge intensity, which can cause devastating damage to coastal communities.

Section 5.0

Where can I, the individual, make an impact against climate change?

Regardless of if you make one small change a day, say from turning the water off when putting soap on your hands to making sure your trash made it into the proper receptacle, cumulative actions by the masses can make a difference. Below are some tips for living with an eco-forward mindset!

3 Ways to think Eco-Forward

1. Reduce your carbon footprint!

  • Example: Swapping produce

To begin, find a friend, family member, neighbor, or local farmer who is open to exchanging produce with you. Talk to them about what types of produce they have, and what types of produce you have. Once you both have agreed on what types of produce you will swap, arrange a day and time to meet up and swap the produce! Make sure to bring your own reusable bags or containers to the exchange to minimize single-use packaging. Swapping produce not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also helps you experience new types of produce, save money, and help your local community.

  • Example: Reducing energy use at home and in school

Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, unplug appliances when not in use, and turn off lights and electronics when not in use.

  • Example: Sort recyclable, compostable, and disposable waste

Sorting your trash into recyclables, compostables, and disposables is important because it helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. By recycling and composting, materials that would otherwise be considered waste can be repurposed into new products or used to create compost for gardens and farms. This helps reduce the demand for new materials and helps preserve the environment. Additionally, sorting your trash helps ensure that items are properly disposed of and don’t end up in waterways or other natural habitats.


  • How do I find the nearest waste disposal station?
    • As this information is typically regulated and managed by individual state governments, there is not a single website to visit, however, some states may have publicly accessible databases or resources that provide information on waste management facilities and landfill sites within their jurisdiction
    • To find information on dump sites or waste management facilities in a specific state, a good place to start would be to check the website of the state’s environmental protection agency or department of natural resources. They may have a database or resource available that provides information on permitted waste management facilities and landfills, as well as any ongoing monitoring or regulation efforts to ensure compliance with environmental standards.
  • How do I find the nearest hazardous waste disposal station?

Compostable materials: Fruit and vegetable scraps, Eggshells, Coffee grounds, Tea bags, Cardboard, Paper towels, Leaves and grass clippings

Recyclable materials: Cardboard, Plastic bottles, Aluminum cans, Glass jars, Newspaper, Magazines, Steel cans

Not Compostable nor Recyclable materials: Plastic bags, Styrofoam, Bubble wrap, Disposable diapers, Ceramics, Electronics, Motor oil containers

2. Encourage your school to adopt green practices.

As an individual, you can encourage the use of reusable water bottles, recycling of paper and plastic, and overall reduction in the amount of energy the school uses.

Implementing green practices in high schools can provide numerous benefits, including reducing carbon footprints, conserving energy and resources, and creating a healthy learning environment. Here are some ways high schools can adopt green practices at low costs:

  1. Conduct an Energy Audit
    • Schools can identify areas where they can save energy and reduce costs by conducting an energy audit. An energy audit is a systematic process of analyzing and assessing the energy usage of a building or a system. This can help schools to identify inefficiencies, prioritize energy-saving measures, and make data-driven decisions. (, 2020)
  2. Switch to LED Lighting
    • One of the simplest ways to reduce energy consumption in schools is by switching to LED lighting. LED bulbs use less energy, last longer, and produce less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs. This can result in significant cost savings over time. According to the US Department of Energy, LEDs can use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. (, 2020)
  3. Implement Recycling Programs
    • Schools can reduce their waste by implementing recycling programs. This can include providing recycling bins in classrooms and common areas, educating students on proper recycling practices, and partnering with local recycling facilities. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, implementing recycling programs in schools can significantly reduce waste and promote environmental awareness. (Cho et al., 2021)
  4. Install Low-Flow Fixtures
    • High schools can save water and reduce costs by installing low-flow fixtures, such as faucets, shower-heads, and toilets. These fixtures use less water than traditional ones without compromising performance. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, schools can save up to 20% on their water bills by installing low-flow fixtures. (EPA, 2020)
  5. Adopt Green Transportation
    • High schools can encourage students and staff to use green transportation options, such as walking, biking, or using public transportation. This can reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and promote healthy lifestyles. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, promoting active transportation in schools can increase physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, and improve the overall well-being of students and staff. (Schoeppe et al., 2021)

3. Advocate for change.

Advocating for green initiatives to your representatives at a young age is an important step in creating a more sustainable future. As a high-schooler, you can use your voice to help bring about meaningful change for the environment. By advocating for green initiatives, you can help support legislation that reduces emissions, preserves natural resources, and protects wildlife. In addition, your advocacy can help to increase public awareness of environmental issues, build a community of supporters, and encourage others to take action. Taking part in environmental advocacy now can set you up for a lifetime of environmental stewardship and help ensure that future generations have a healthy planet to inhabit.

Educate yourself and others on climate change, and lobby your local and state representatives to support legislation that addresses climate change.

To locate contact information for your state’s legislation, visit the white house portal, below.

The White House, State Representatives Search Portal

Thanks for completing our Earth Day Interactive Learning Module!

A Message from the Founder

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and interest in learning about the Earth as a planetary body and its biodiverse inhabitants. Your efforts in understanding the complexities of our planet and the role we play in its preservation are truly admirable. It’s heartening to see young minds like yours actively engaged in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

As you continue to learn about our Earth, it’s important to remember why we must continue to study and share our collective knowledge. Our planet faces a number of challenges such as climate change, pollution, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity, and it’s only through a deeper understanding of our planet that we can begin to address these issues. By working together and sharing our knowledge, we can make a positive impact on the health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

Earth Day celebrations are an excellent way to raise awareness and promote action towards environmental conservation. It’s crucial that we continue to celebrate Earth Day and take concrete actions towards reducing our impact on the planet. Every effort, no matter how small, makes a difference, and I encourage you to continue to take an active role in promoting a sustainable future.

Thank you once again for your dedication to learning about our planet and its biodiversity. You are making a positive difference in the world.



If you would like a personalized certificated (.pdf) sent to your email, fill out the prompt below.

Comprehensive Reference List:

Section 1: Earth as a Revolving Solar Body

Section 2: Let’s Explore Biotic and Abiotic Cycles

  • Houghton, J. T. (2013). The physics of atmospheric radiation. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Krebs, C. J. (2019). Ecology. Benjamin Cummings.
  • Likens, G. E. (2010). The Ecosystem Approach: Its Use and Abuse. Springer Science & Business Media.
  • Schlesinger, W. H. (1997). Biogeochemistry: an analysis of global change. Academic Press.
  • Bindoff, N. L., Willebrand, J., Artale, V., Cazenave, A., Gregory, J., Gulev, S., … & Jchurch, J. (2007). Observations: Oceanic climate change and sea level. In Climate change 2007: The physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 385-432). Cambridge University Press.
  • IPCC. (2014). Climate change 2014: Synthesis report. Contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC.
  • Milne, G. A., Gehrels, W. R., Hughes, C. W., & Tamisiea, M. E. (2009). Identifying the causes of sea-level change. Nature Geoscience, 2(7), 471-478.
  • Rignot, E., Mouginot, J., Morlighem, M., Seroussi, H., & Scheuchl, B. (2014). Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(10), 3502-3509.
  • Shepherd, A., Ivins, E. R., Geruo, A., Barletta, V. R., Bentley, M. J., Bettadpur, S., … & Whitehouse, P. L. (2018). Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017. Nature, 558(7709), 219-222.
  • Ciais, P., Sabine, C., Bala, G., Bopp, L., Brovkin, V., Canadell, J., … & Jones, C. (2013). Carbon and other biogeochemical cycles. In Climate change 2013: The physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 465-570).
  • IPCC. (2019). Climate Change and Land: An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Saunois, M., Jackson, R. B., Bousquet, P., Poulter, B., & Canadell, J. G. (2020). The growing role of methane in anthropogenic climate change. Environmental Research Letters, 15(12), 121001.
  • Shindell, D. (2015). Climate and air-quality benefits of a realistic phase-out of fossil fuels. Nature Climate Change, 5(6), 508-511.

Section 3: Biomes

Section 4: Unbalanced Cycles Threaten Life on Earth

  • Bindoff, N. L., Willebrand, J., Artale, V., Cazenave, A., Gregory, J., Gulev, S., … & Jchurch, J. (2007). Observations: Oceanic climate change and sea level. In Climate change 2007: The physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 385-432). Cambridge University Press.
  • IPCC. (2014). Climate change 2014: Synthesis report. Contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC.
  • Milne, G. A., Gehrels, W. R., Hughes, C. W., & Tamisiea, M. E. (2009). Identifying the causes of sea-level change. Nature Geoscience, 2(7), 471-478.
  • Rignot, E., Mouginot, J., Morlighem, M., Seroussi, H., & Scheuchl, B. (2014). Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(10), 3502-3509.
  • Shepherd, A., Ivins, E. R., Geruo, A., Barletta, V. R., Bentley, M. J., Bettadpur, S., … & Whitehouse, P. L. (2018). Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017. Nature, 558(7709), 219-222.
  • Sumanarathna, Aravinda & Abyewardhana, Kamal & Katupotha, Jinadasa & Aouititen, Majda. (2022). FOSSILS OF SRI LANKA: CHAPTER SABARAGAMUWA BASIN. 09. 173-300.
  • Cazenave, A., & Llovel, W. (2010). Contemporary sea level rise. Annual Review of Marine Science, 2, 145-173.
  • Hinkel, J., Lincke, D., Vafeidis, A. T., Perrette, M., Nicholls, R. J., Tol, R. S., … & Levermann, A. (2014). Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(9), 3292-3297.
  • Scheffer, M., Carpenter, S., Foley, J. A., Folke, C., & Walker, B. (2001). Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Nature, 413(6856), 591-596.
  • Bonan, G. B. (2008). Forests and climate change: Forcings, feedbacks, and the climate benefits of forests. Science, 320(5882), 1444-1449.
  • Chapin III, F. S., Randerson, J. T., McGuire, A. D., Foley, J. A., & Field, C. B. (2008). Changing feedbacks in the climate-biosphere system. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6(6), 313-320.
  • DeWeaver, E. T. (2009). The ice-albedo feedback: how changes in ice cover influence climate. Reviews of Geophysics, 47(4), RG4002.
  • Kump, L. R., & Pollard, D. (2008). Amplification of Cenozoic warmth by feedbacks associated with vegetation and pigmentation. Paleoceanography, 23(4).

Section 5: Eco-Focused