The Living Earth

Often, the best way to learn about something is to experience it. The best way to learn about the Earth is to get outside and explore the land, sea and air around you! Discover plants, trees and animals and learn how to identify them. It's time to learn about who we share the planet with and how we can protect them.

What is Biodiversity?

One word sums up the incredible variety of animals and plants on Earth. This video from the World Wildlife Federation International explores the magic ingredient that enables the world to work smoothly — biodiversity.

Biomes of the World

From Antarctica to the hottest desert, there are many different places on Earth for plants and animals to live. Large groups of similar ecosystems are called biomes. You will probably recognize most of the biomes visited in this video from Free School. Come learn a little more about them and the plants and animals that live there!

How to Use a Field Guide

Take a quick visit into your backyard or maybe closest wooded trail. There are so many plants and animals out there that no one could easily identify them all! That’s where field guides come in, an essential tool on your journey of discovery outdoors! In this video feature, join Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, as she helps you learn more about the nature in your neighborhoods. She provides important information about how to use field guides to identify flowers, plants, and more!

Exploring and Protecting Creeks and Streams

We’re heading out into Temple University Ambler’s 187 acres to explore creeks and steams on campus with Mary Cortese, a Research Assistant with the Temple Ambler Field Station and  PhD candidate in Biology at Temple! Mary shares why these streams are important and how you can do your part to protect them!

How to Identify Plants

Plants are all around us. They nourish us and nurture us and often provide an oasis of calm during our busy days. But how much do you know about plants? Join Kathy Salisbury, Director of the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University, as she shares some essential ways to identify plants while you are on your outdoor adventures! 

Learn About Birds of Prey and Carrion Birds

Did you know most birds of prey mate for life and have just one brood per season? Ospreys use some interesting material for their nests, including caution tape, clothing, even a flip flop will do. Highly territorial, bald eagles will lock talons and fight to the death! Unlike other birds of prey, vultures are social and like to hang out in groups. Cindy Ahern, Adjunct Instructor in the Landscape Architecture and Horticulture programs in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, provides invaluable insight into the wonders of bald eagles, great horned owls, red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk, osprey, turkey vultures and black vultures. Thank you to Scott Ahern for his wonderful images of birds of prey in the wild and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research for images of their invaluable rescue efforts.

Peregrine Falcons and Restoration

In this video from the U.S. Forest Service, Joel Pagel, raptor ecologist for Fish and Wildlife Service, talks about his partnership with the Forest Service in saving the Peregrine Falcon species from extinction.

All About Great Horned Owls: Discover Why They are the Alpha Predator of the Forest

Did you think you'd go through a section called "The Living Earth" without some mention of owls? We're Temple! It's in our DNA. This video from the U.S. Forest Service introduces all the amazing attributes and talents of Great Horned Owls that make them such amazing alpha predators in the forest. Learn about this owl's talons, eyes, strength, huge habitat range, and diet.

Temple Ambler is Abuzz About Bees

Take a bite out of a succulent Georgia peach. Enjoy a tall, cool glass of orange juice with breakfast. Taste the sweet mess of a watermelon at your next picnic. Now thank the honey bee for all of the hard work she has put into pollinating one third of all of the food crops that we consume in the United States. Honey bees are an essential part of our ecological sustainability. Honey bees, however, are disappearing at an alarming rate. One way to help honey bees make a comeback is through backyard beekeeping. Join apiculture educator and master beekeeper Dr. Vincent Aloyo as he explores the hives at Temple Ambler.

Life Cycle: The Honeybee & Flowers

In this video by FunScienceDemos, Jared visits a real-life bee farm to tell us why bees are so important for both flowers and humans. This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

The Habitat of Honey Bees

Wendy and Jared explore the hive, the habitat of the honey bee in this video from FunScienceDemo. To learn more about habitats, or any other topics meeting Next Generation Science Standards for elementary through high school students, visit our companion website here: This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

Life in Water

As a marine biologist, Dr. Rob Jennings, Assistant Professor of Instruction in Biology and Laboratory Manager for Teaching Labs in the Biology Department at Temple University, spends a lot of time learning about what it’s like to live in the water.

In honor of Earth Day and World Water Day, Dr. Jennings is sharing some of the surprising ways that marine organisms’ experience living in the water is truly quite different than our own experience of being in the water.

How Our Reefs Protect Us: Valuing the Benefits of U.S. Reefs

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards during storms. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision-making. The U.S. Geological Survey combine engineering, ecologic, geospatial, social, and economic tools to provide a rigorous valuation of the coastal protection benefits of all U.S. coral reefs in the States of Hawaii and Florida, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Why Are Coral Reefs So Important?

More than just colourful underwater scenery, coral reefs have huge benefits for life on land. From developing treatments for cancer to protecting shorelines from tsunamis, these diverse ecosystems matter much more than we think. The Natural History Museum in London is home to over 80 million specimens, including meteorites, dinosaur bones and a giant squid.

Fish are Adapted to Their Environment

In this video by FunScienceDemos, Jared teaches us about how a fish is able to breathe underwater, and other physical features that help them get around in the water! This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

How Fish and Wildlife are Responding to Climate Change Through Shifts in Timing of Life Events

Changes in phenology, or the seasonal timing of recurring life history events such as breeding, feeding, and movements, have emerged as a primary indicator of species’ responses to climate change. In terrestrial environments, shifts in phenology have been well documented; for example, earlier onset of spring and advances in the timing of emergence, flowering, and arrival times of migratory organisms have all been observed.

Far fewer examples exist that provide direct evidence for climate-induced shifts in marine phenology. This presentation from the U.S. Geological Survey summarizes the current state of knowledge for shifts in phenology (or lack there of) across the Gulf of Maine, a region currently experiencing rapid and intense seasonal and annual warming.

USA National Phenology Network — Partner to Advance Science Decisions

Phenology – the timing of life cycle events in plants and animals and their relationship to climate - is a key component of life on earth. This video introduces the USA National Phenology Network - a U.S. Geological Survey funded, national network that exists to collect, store, and share information about phenology. Scientists, managers, and decision-makers can work with the USA-NPN to access existing phenology data, advance scientific understanding, and inform resource management and decision-making.

Life Cycle of the Horseshoe Crab

Jared describes the life cycle of the horseshoe crab breeding in Delaware Bay in this video by FunScienceDemos. This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

The Food Web: Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crab Eggs

Jared explains the wonderful relationship between shorebirds and the eggs of the horseshoe crabs. This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

Exploring Wetlands Habitat

Wetlands are home to many plants and animals. Jared explains how wetlands work. This video is used with permission from the College of Science and TechnologyTuTeach and the incredible FunScienceDemos team.

Why Are Rainforests Important?

This video from Inspire Education explores the benefits of rainforests and why we need to help protect them.

Rainforests 101

Rainforests are home to over half of the world's plant and animal species. In this video from National Geographic, Learn about tropical and temperate rainforests, how they contribute to the global ecosystem, and the conservation efforts being done to protect these biomes.

Earth is Our Home - Let's Protect It

Humans aren't separate from nature, we're part of it. Let's make our planet proud. National Geographic Society is  a proud partner of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Conserving Nature Internationally

Conservation International protects the nature that people around the world rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. We do this through science, policy and partnerships, employing 1,000 people in 30 countries. Over the years, CI has helped establish more than 1,200 protected areas across 77 countries, safeguarding more than 601 million hectares of land, marine and coastal areas. Be sure to check Conservation International’s #NatureIsSpeaking series, featuring Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Luptia Nyong’o, Robert Redford and many others. Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.

USGS Ecosystem Research

The U.S. Geological Survey is the science research agency for the U.S. Department of the Interior. We conduct research on the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods around the country. We also monitor the water, energy, minerals and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change.

Why Celebrate Earth Day? Because the Earth is Amazing!

To celebrate Earth Day in 2020, Live Science asked scientists to share their favorite facts about our home planet. These researchers marveled at everything from backward flowing rivers in Antarctica to the Giant Crystal Cave of Naica in Mexico, which one geologist called the "Sistine Chapel of crystals." You can discover more here.

If The Earth Gave Earth Day Awards

Mother Earth herself is giving out awards for Earth Day in this video from Nature on PBS.

What's Up: April 2021 Skywatching Tips from NASA

What are some skywatching highlights in April 2021? Look for the rosy arch known as the Belt of Venus at sunset, then find the constellation Leo overhead on April evenings. Also, check out Jupiter and Saturn with the Moon on April 6. Additional information about topics covered in this episode of What's Up, along with still images from the video, and the video transcript, are available here.

Down to Earth: The Astronaut’s

Ever wonder what it’s like to see our planet from space? NASA’s astronauts will take you on a journey to the International Space Station, exploring the life-changing experience of an orbital perspective. In this video from NASA, view Earth as you’ve never seen it before: through the eyes of an astronaut.

Your Place in the Universe

You are here. But just where is here in relation to everywhere else in the universe? This clip from Cosmic Voyages will help you find the answers. Resource suggested by the Delaware Valley Amateur Astronomers

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