Short Attention Span Science Videos, Vol. 1 & 2: Sustainability—The Coral Reef Notebook. 2 DVDs. range: 45:42–48:02 min. GG Films (stanford.edu/group/microdocs/DVD.html). 2009. ISBN 0-0822269-4-2. $39.95.
Gr 6 Up—Designed to be accessed by topic, this unique set provides more than 30 two- to four-minute, easy-to-understand micro-documentaries on ecological sustainability in an engaging manner. Dr. Stephen Palumbi, a marine biologist at Stanford University and a leading expert on the genetics and ecology of a variety of marine and terrestrial systems, narrates the topics based on current research in which he and his team are actively engaged. Visuals feature live-action footage taped at research locations around the world, including Fiji, Samoa, the Caribbean, and Micronesia. The first volume covers topics such as sustainability, productivity, diversity, resilience, and the impact that maintaining ecosystems has on our future. Volume 2 expands the basic principles of sustainability through an exploration of coral reefs and how they help to maintain the quality of life. Based on ecosystems and their resources, topics include life on a reef, four kinds of coral, growing a giant clam, natural global warming lab, and others. Individual segments can be easily accessed. Excellent video angles and photography allow viewers to see close-up, colorful images of coral reefs. Supplementary reference materials and a quiz are available at www.stanford.edu/group/microdocs/. This well-documented, clearly-presented program is aligned with the National Science Education Standards and will be extremely useful to introduce environmental issues as well as to spark classroom discussion and engage students in further research.—Linda M. Teel, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Short Attention Span Science Videos: Sustainability-the Coral Reef Notebook
Operating on the premise that a great science film can run less than three minutes, this program introduces coral reefs in 32 short films narrated by Stephen Palumbi, director of Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University. The films, shot on location in Fiji, Samoa, Micronesia, and the Caribbean islands, sport crystal clear images and onscreen and voice-over narration, including commentary from experts and locals. The life cycle of coral reefs is explained with emphasis on five key concepts: sustainability, productivity, diversity, resilience, and disturbance. Though building on previously presented information, each short stands on its own. Presented concepts include biodiversity, reef structure and preservation, global warming, native species and much more. An excellent resource to support classroom disussions of coral reef ecosystems. Lesson activities and teachers' guide available online.
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