Lessons and Learning Activities
By David Jakim and Dr. Jeffrey Bird, 2013
This lesson for high-school students starts with an introductory presentation regarding the role of fire in forest ecosystems, followed by a case study of the 2009 Railbelt Complex Fire in Alaska. Students use state-of-the-art satellite imagery to create a map of vegetation most severely affected by this Alaska fire and calculate total carbon dioxide emissions resulting from this fire event. Students draw upon this case study to evaluate the effects of fire on long-term changes to forest carbon dynamics and also to assess the relationship between forest fire severity and emissions of additional byproducts that drive climate change.