Tennessee Geographic Alliance

Earth Science Sites of the Week

Big picture
Courtesy of Mark Francek

Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies

Central Michigan University


Microplastics in our Nation’s Waterways: “Microplastics are the miniscule plastic fragments (smaller than 0.04 inch) that fall off decomposing plastic bottles and bags and are intentionally manufactured into some toothpastes and lotions. Scientists have found microplastics nearly everywhere, particularly in lakes, rivers, and aquatic animals.”


  1. Live Bird Migration Maps: “Real-time analysis maps show intensities of actual nocturnal bird migration as detected by the US weather surveillance radar network between local sunset to sunrise.”
  2. West Coast Wildfires: San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge Covered In Dramatic Orange Haze: “Unprecedented wildfires plunged San Francisco’s Bay Bridge into an apocalyptic orange glow, as a cloud of smoke covered much of California.”
  3. The Octopus and the Beer Bottle: Filmed in Blairgowrie, Victoria this beautiful little octopus had no problems squeezing itself out of this small beer bottle.
West Coast Wildfires: San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge Covered in Dramatic Orange Haze
The Octopus and the Beer Bottle


  1. Crust vs. The Tectonic Plate (What’s the Difference?): “With this series of 2-minute animations, called: “Myth-Conceptions”, we address common misunderstandings, misconceptions and myths about Earth science topics.”
  2. Landslide Misses Motorcyclist, makes you Feel the Rockfall: “Aug 10, 2018 in Bilaspur District, Himachal Pradesh, Traffic backed up from prior landslide debris on road When sloped areas become saturated by heavy rainfall many times landslides can occur. Without the aid of mechanical root support, the soil simply runs off when it contains too much water.”
  3. South East Maps and Aerial Photographic Systems: SE MAPS is a middle/high school interdisciplinary curriculum supplement that consists of an 800+ page Teaching Manual and a diverse variety of cartographic products (maps/satellite imagery/aerial photography) that use the geographic regions of eight Southeastern States as a framework for tying together the human and natural history of the region. The Teaching Manual contains background information and suggested student activities that utilize the accompanying cartographic products highlighting 21 different study sites. Both the Manual and cartographic products may be downloaded for free from the website or hardcopies (including large-format laminated maps) may be ordered from Clemson University.
Crust vs. the Tectonic Plate (What's the difference?)
Landslide misses motorcyclist, makes you FEEL the rockfall


Life and Death of a Planetary System: “How did we get here? How do stars and planets come into being? What happens during a star’s life, and what fate will its planets meet when it dies? Come along on this interstellar journey through time and scientific detective work.”


Meandering Stream Lab: “Modeling a meandering stream.”
Meandering Stream Lab


  1. Visiting the Coldest Town in the World- Chilling Out | 60 Minutes Australia: “In Oymiakon - a tiny village in Central Siberia - it's so cold your eyelashes freeze together and you're constantly on guard against frostbite. If it's warmer than minus 55 degrees Celsius, then it's a good day. AND “60 Minutes travelled to the hottest place on Earth. A place where the temperature routinely sits in the 50s and often hits 60 - the Ethiopian desert. The locals here are among the poorest people in the world, and life for them is a harsh and punishing experience.”
  2. “Someone put Blade Runner 2049 music to drone footage of San Francisco on 9 Sep 2020”
  3. Hurricane Size Comparison “In this 1st episode, we compare the sizes and power of hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons & cyclones, from a tropical storm to a category 5 hurricane such as Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Andrew & Hurricane Katrina, and even go beyond what you'd expect!”
Visiting the coldest town in the world - Chilling Out | 60 Minutes Australia
The hottest place on Earth | 60 Minutes Australia
Someone put Blade Runner 2049 music to drone footage of San Francisco on 9 Sep 2020
Hurricane Size Comparison