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Craters of the Moon VFE

Viewing within Google Earth? Switch to your browser by clicking the button in the upper right. A product of the ReaL Earth Inquiry Project

Don Haas

on 26 November 2015

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Transcript of Craters of the Moon VFE

Van Hise Rock
Van Hise 'read' this rock to gain understandings of structural geology.
A Virtual Fieldwork Experience
A product of PRI and its Museum of the Earth ReaL Earth Inquiry Project
Our Team!
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is an extreme volcanic landscape formed in a series of eruptive events that occurred between about 16,000 years ago and about 2,000 years ago. The landscape features volcanic spatter cones, lava tubes, aa and pahoehoe lava flows. the hot spot that created this landscape is now underneath Yellowstone National Park. The VFE uses both Prezi and Google Earth and includes activities adaptable across a range of grade levels.
Associated Handout - Geoscience
Download the file in Microsoft Word.
Color coded to ReaL Earth System Science Bigger Ideas.
Earth Science Bigger Ideas
See more here:
Use this if you want to. Or just delete it.
Example VFEs
The Mission Trails VFE uses this template. See it here:
Many more VFEs are in VFE database here:
Icons for Prezi & Google Earth
A growing collection can be found in this Picasa Web Album:
Any on the current page can be copied and used within this or other Prezis.
Helpful Hints:
See the tutorial for using this template here:
The questions are written generically, so they may be asked of any site. Subsititute in your own photos.
Shift, click and drag allows you to highlight multiple objects. You can then copy and paste them, including copying from one Prezi to another.
You can reorder the layering of images. Right click to allow you to do things like "bring to front."
There are a few ways to add images. You can upload from your own computer, search Google images and copy and past the URLs of images. See the insert menu.
The Path can also be reordered by simpling dragging path points into new positions.
The VFE Template
Use the VFE Template to make your own VFE! See it here:
That's the page you're on!
Make a copy of the template and insert your own photos, text, and other kinds of files. A piece of the template is excerpted below.
Why does this place look the way it does?
Why does this place look the way it does?
Key for Icons
The icons below are used in Google Earth, Prezis and PowerPoints to indicate an iterm's intended topic focus. Several are from Google Earth's default icon set. They are also posted in a Picasa web album found here: https://picasaweb.google.com/TFG.VFE/IconsForGoogleEarthPlacemarksPrezis
Icons maybe copied within a Prezi or from Prezi to Prezi, if you are viewing in edit mode. To use them for Google Earth placemarks, open the placemark through 'Get Info' (on Macs) or 'Properties' (on PCs) and click on the pushpin icon in the upper right. Then, either select from the available set, or add the icon's URL by copying and pasting from the Picasa Web Album. A red indicates that the connected file or placemark is a teacher's edition. Additional icons will be added as time and need dictate.
Human Impacts
Download the accompanying Google Earth file!
Click the link inside the Google Earth icon!
The file will open in a new window, so you will need to leave full screen viewing to see it.
You will need Google Earth to use the file.
Download it at
Must Dos for Friday Morning:

Wendy's VFEMike P. on GigapansA bit about Prezi & Google EarthRichard on placemarkUSGS Geologic Maps in Google EarthThe embeddables:PreziPhotosynthGoogle FormsSkype & schedule first webinar (or plan for scheduling)dugganhaasEstablish working groups (or plan for establishment)How will you use what we're working on in your teaching this year?EvaluationYour checks!Buffalo News Columnist @ 12:30



Why does lava look the way it does?

Why does some lava look different?Why are the volcanoes different from one another?One vent, many products


Sunny & Sharon

How can anything live here?

Mike P.

Why here? Why is lava in Idaho?

What's the order of events?

Scale & fractals...

What's the role of water?
Why does Craters of the Moon look the way it does?
Water seeping through rock
For all of these questions
How do you know? (What evidence is there?)
What does it tell you about past environments?
What does it imply about the future?
Are there mountains, valleys, or hills?
What are the valley shapes?
What can form valleys?
What can cause mountains or hills to form?
Are the mountains or hills young or old?
What role do tectonics play in shaping the site?
Describe the shape of the land.
What effects has water had on life and the landscape?
What effect has the climate had on the life and landscape?
Why does Craters of the Moon look the way it does?
Why does lava look the way it does?
Why is there lava in Idaho?
Why does Craters of the Moon look the way it does?
What effects has life, including human life, had on the landscape?
Is water depositing material, eroding material, or both?
Is the action of water primarily chemical, primarily physical, or both chemical and physical?
Was the past climate different?
What factors may have been affected or caused by climate?
Why do living things in the envi-ronment look the way they do?
How do living things shape the environment?
See embedded questions.
Igneous (Do some more editing here)
How do the order of eruptions?
Is it felsic or mafic?
Sediments & Sedimentary Rocks
Ask something about windblown sediments here.
How have plants shaped the landscape?
How have animals generally, and humans in particular, changed the landscape?
On what scale?
See also ecosystem graphic organizer.
Describe how life shapes the land.
What are the pioneer plants?
How do pioneer plants impact soil formation?
Are there invasive species? If yes, what are they and how are they changing the ecosystem?
How are animals shaping the land?
For all of these questions
How do you know? (What evidence is there?)
What does it tell you about past environments?
What does it imply about the future?
Describe the role of water in the ecosystem.
In what ways does water serve or disturb habitats?
How does life move, use and store water?
How has climate shaped the ecosystem?
How is the climate reflected by living things at the site?
Describe any microclimates and how they affect life.
Describe how sun and shadow affect life.
Describe the role rocks and soil play in the ecosystem.
How does life change the rocks and soil at the site?
How is life dependent upon the rocks and soil at the site?
See also the geoscience graphic organizer.
Describe the types and arrangements of plants and animals and what they indicate about present and past environments.
Why do living things in the environment look the way they do?
What life forms were the earliest to arrive?
Describe how different life forms are distributed throughout the field site.
See also: Describe how life shapes the land.
How have plants shaped the landscape?
How has the landscape shaped plants?
How do animals contribute to plant distribution?
What is the impact of invasive species?
What effects have humans had on the ecosystem?
What resources do humans use from here?
How have humans changed the landscape?
On what scale?
Describe the ecosystem.
Water seeping through rock
What effects has water had on life and the landscape?
Is water depositing material, eroding material, or both?
Is the action of water primarily chemical, primarily physical, or both chemical and physical?
Yellowstone Caldera Eruptions Google Earth file
(Three most recent eruptions)
15-16.5 Ma
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
12.8-14.5 Ma Owyhee-
Humboldt Caldera
10.5-12 Ma Bruneau-Jarbidge Caldera
8.6-10 Ma Twin Falls Caldera
7-10 Ma
4.3-6.5 Ma
Heise Caldera
2.1 Ma
Island Park
1.3 Ma
Henry’s Fork Caldera
0.63 Ma
3 Ma
6.7 Ma
Yellowstone Hotspot Timeline
Craters of the Moon Timeline
Associated Handout - Ecology
Download the file in Microsoft Word.
15,100 BP
Echo Crater and
Crescent Butte Cinder Cone
12,010 BP
Sunset Cinder Cone and
Sunset and Carey Lava Flow
7,470 BP
Grassy Cone Cinder Cone
and Laidlaw Lake Lava Flow
6,600 BP
Silent Cone Cinder Cone
and Carey Kipuka Lava Flow
6,020 BP
Big Cinder Cone and Butte Cinder
Cone and Sawtooth Lava Flow
2,270 BP
Vents at Pillar Butte
and Wapi Lava Flow
2,222 BP
Kings Bowl cinder cone
and Lava Flow
2,400 BP
Big Craters Cinder Cone
and Green Dragon Lava Flow
2,205 BP
Watchman Cinder Cone and
Trench Mortar Flat Lava Flow
2,076 BP
Big Craters and Blue
Dragon Lava Flow
Wendy's kmz file: http://wiggio.com/yui/folder/stream_file.php?doc_key=MtD7tuzWnhCRKkk45SQhD2HQ0FhUAAr0Ti9hbakzx58=
A Closer Look at Lava
This slide set is a teacher-directed lesson on why lava looks and behaves the way it does.
The slides encourage students to look for observable differences in rocks that form from lava. They are guided to consider variables that influence the cooling of lava and to infer why certain lava formations are created.
Activity opportunities are embedded for observing and interpreting rock samples commonly found in Earth Science classrooms. Students will also watch video footage of lava and study photos. Slides with images from Craters of the Moon National Monument provide many examples that focus on aspects of lava.

Download it here: v
How Can Anything Live Here?
This basic presentation will give you an overview of life at Craters of the Moon and the effects of human impact on the area.
With its weird, foreign landscape Craters of the Moon truly is a land like no other. Because of its unique volcanic history, Craters has become a unique home for a wide variety of animal and plant life. The uniqueness of the area is proof of the importance of its preservation.

For more about Craters of the Moon, visit
A Land Like No Other
Rock Dove
Spotted Knapweed
Introduced Species:
Threatening non-native species can compete with native species, disrupt food chains, interfere with breeding patterns, and alter the ecology of an area. These are most often introduced by humans:
transportation (come in on car tires, on building materials, clothing, shoes, etc.)
hunting (starlings and doves were brought by settlers who wanted to hunt them)

Problem species at Craters include spotted knapweed, cheatgrass, rock doves and European starlings.
Human Impact on Craters of the Moon
Air Pollution: The view from Craters of the Moon to the Big Southern Butte (seen below), once clearly visible from Craters of the Moon, is seen through the haze of pollution.
Clean, dry air once allowed for amazingly clear views across the desert from atop the Great Rift at Craters of the Moon. Unfortunately, air pollution from nearby cities is being carried across the Snake River Plain and across the valley.
Human Impact on Craters of the Moon
Limber pines are often reseeded by Clark’s nutcrackers and red squirrels. Clark’s nutcrackers collect hundreds of thousands of pine seeds and hide them in caches all around the park to save them for winter. Forgotten caches can become new trees.

Limber pine cones are sealed by a thick, sticky sap to protect the seeds from the harsh environment. Red squirrels’ saliva can digest the thick sap, and seeds that are exposed but not digested by the squirrels could germinate and grow.
Symbiosis: We’ve Got It Together!
In spring, Craters of the Moon comes alive with a wide variety of plant life, especially wildflowers. For a guide to common plants at Craters of the Moon, visit: http://www.nps.gov/crmo/naturescience/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfilepageid=396676.
(Holodiscus dumosus)
Dwarf Buckwheat
(Eriogonums spp.)
(Mentzelia laevicaulis)
Dusty Maiden
(Chaenactis douglasii)
Beauty Abounds in a Barren Land
Yet, plant and animal life at Craters of the Moon thrives and is incredibly diverse:
Over 800 types of plants
Nearly 300 animal species (not including insects!)
210 birds
60 mammals
10 reptiles
4 amphibians
Few places on earth are as hostile to life as Craters of the Moon:
Extreme seasonal temperature fluctuations (from -37 to 108 °F)
Lack of water (average annual rainfall less than 17 inches. Most of this is snow)
Porous volcanic soil results in high water loss and rapid evaporation of spring runoff
Sparse topsoil
How can they live here? Adaptation!
How Can Anything Live Here?
A Limber Pine, probably hundreds of years old, growing strong in a lava flow
Brittle Bladder Fern thriving in a lava rock crevice
Plants need soil, water, and protection from elements to grow. Wind, rain, runoff, and breakdown of lava results in soil collecting in crevices and cracks. The depth of the crevice or crack, amount of deposited soil, and moisture level determines the types of plants that can grow there.
Amazing Adaptations: Plants
Alive and Well:
Life at Craters of the Moon
American Pika
Western Rattlesnake
Mule Deer
Yellow-bellied Marmot
Sage Grouse
Golden Mantle Squirrel
How animals survive at Craters of the Moon:
Get water from what they eat rather than by drinking (water sources include eating vegetation, insects, rodents). Some animals (kangaroo rat) may never need to drink water in their lifetime!
Hibernate during winter months (example include snakes, amphibians, and ground squirrels) to conserve energy
Most active during night in hot summer months
Amazing Adaptations: Animals
Watch the short video to see how these mosses change when moistened. You may wish to use the slider to revisit before and after once you've watched the video once.
See animation here:
Full transcript