Satellite view of trees and plants

This is an interdisciplinary resource that explores the living layer of the biosphere, what it is and how to define it. It is an adaption of the SatSchool Biosphere module StoryMap.  

Due to climate change, this layer is changing. The Biosphere 1.1 explores what the Biosphere is made up of, and how it can be studied through technology and satellite imaging. The Biosphere 1.2 explores the effects of climate change, using the case study of forest fires as a naturally occurring yet increasingly extreme event. This looks first at band maths and plant health to establish an understanding of healthy vegetation and how this is then impacted. The impact of forest fires can be viewed through this data set, exploring the use of NDVI indexes and satellite imaging to understand and analyse the extent of the damage.  

This resource makes accessible complex ideas about the biosphere, and can be flexibly adapted for learners aged 10-14. 

It is suitable as a standalone resource. The information and activity packs match up with the topics covered in other Satschool modules can also supplement and enhance those materials.  

This resource is an adaptation of one of six SatSchool Earth Observation Educational Modules. View the OER collection here! 

Learning Outcomes

SCN 3-11b: By exploring radiations beyond the visible, I can describe a selected application, discussing the advantages and limitations.

SCN 3-15: Having contributed to a variety of practical activities to make and break down compounds, I can describe examples of how the properties of compounds are different from their constituent elements.

SCN 3-19a: Through experimentation, I can identify indicators of chemical reactions having occurred. I can describe ways of controlling the rate of reactions and can relate my findings to the world around me.

SCN 3-19b: I have helped to design and carry out practical activities to develop my understanding of chemical reactions involving the Earth’s materials. I can explain how we apply knowledge of these reactions in practical ways.

SCN 4-05b: Through exploring the carbon cycle, I can describe the processes involved in maintaining the balance of gases in the air, considering causes and implications of changes in the balance.

SCN 4-06a: By researching developments used to observe or explore space, I can illustrate how our knowledge of the universe has evolved over time.

SCN 4-11b: By carrying out a comparison of the properties of parts of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the visible, I can explain the use of radiation and discuss how this has impacted upon society and our quality of life.

SCN 4-20b: Having selected scientific themes of topical interest, I can critically analyse the issues, and use relevant information to develop an informed argument.

SOC 3-08a: I can identify the possible consequences of an environmental issue and make informed suggestions about ways to manage the impact.

SOC 3-14a: I can use a range of maps and geographical information systems to gather, interpret and present conclusions and can locate a range of features within Scotland, UK, Europe and the wider world.

SOC 4-10a: I can develop my understanding of the interaction between humans and the environment by describing and assessing the impact of human activity on an area.

Featured image:

Lake George, Uganda by ESA is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Biosphere logo is designed by Calum Hoad.