Farming the Desert: The Science Behind Desertification

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Australia's Simpson Desert

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  • Classroom Activities


The Nature Conservancy, PBS LearningMedia


The purpose of these activities is to introduce students to the factors that contribute to desertification and solutions that have been implemented in the Sahel region of West Africa, corresponding with the video Farming the Desert from the series EARTH A New Wild. The lesson includes an in-depth analysis of NASA data related to rainfall and desertification, an investigation of desertification vulnerability and population density, and a student-led microclimate investigation that relates back to the modifications that Yacouba Sawadogo, the main character of the video, made to his own farmlands.

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