nationalgeographic.com Tools
Search news.nationalgeographic.com  




In Association With
Heroes of the Planet

National Geographic Announces Conservation Map Giveaway


It’s a wild world—and now schools across the country have a new way to explore the globe’s tremendous variety of living things and unique landscapes—from the Siberian taiga to Hawaii’s tropical forests. The National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, and Ford Motor Company marked the donation of 10 “Wild World” maps to all 114,000 elementary and middle schools in the United States with a special presentation at the Stuart Hobson Magnet School in Washington, D.C.


photo

John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society, and Kathryn Fuller, president of the World Wildlife Fund, (center) join students from Stuart Hobson Magnet School in Washington, D.C. in displaying the new “Wild World” ecoregions map that will help students explore the world’s diversity and help them identify the areas most in need of conservation.
Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta

Ford Motor Company
EarthPulse


It’s a wild world—and now schools across the country have a new way to explore the globe’s tremendous variety of living things and unique landscapes—from the Siberian taiga to Hawaii’s tropical forests.

The National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, and Ford Motor Company marked the donation of 10 Wild Word maps to all 114,000 elementary and middle schools in the United States with a special presentation Thursday at the Stuart Hobson Magnet School in Washington, D.C.

A team of seventh-grade science students from the school prepared a PowerPoint report to demonstrate the use and scope of the new map.

Assigned to compare their local ecoregion—the Chesapeake Bay watershed—to the Bering Sea, one of 200 sites recognized by the new map as priority areas for conservation, students took turns describing the geographical and biological features of each region and its environmental threats.

“Our hope is that as students use these maps, they’ll begin to look at the planet in a whole new way— as an interconnected web of life” said Kathryn Fuller, president of the World Wildlife Fund. “You are the future of conservation,” she told the students.

Mapping the Wild World

The colorful two-sided maps are designed to raise awareness of the great biolodiversity—and endangered regions—of Earth. One side of the map identifies the “Global 200”—sites selected by World Wildlife Fund scientists as key global biodiversity regions. These include the lakes in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the moist forests of the Amazon, and the Bering Sea.

The “Wild World” side of the map lists 867 important terrestrial ecoregions on Earth. Both sides of the map are available on nationalgeographic.com/wildworld. Students can enter the number for any of the map’s ecoregions and retrieve more information, including facts, pictures, and animal sounds from that region.

“This map is the first of its kind in terms of its scope in mapping Earth’s biodiversity,” said Dan Olsen, a conservationist from the World Wildlife Fund. “This is a real tool that will be used by conservationists—not just students. It’s like a zip code for plants and animals.”

In addition to the 10 maps sent this month, each school will also receive an educator’s guide and the rules of the Wild World Contest, which challenges teams of students to prepare reports comparing their local ecoregion with one of the regions highlighted on the Global 200 map. The grand prize is U.S. $10,000 worth of educational materials and a visit from a National Geographic explorer-in-residence and a World Wildlife Fund scientist.

The competition is open only to students in grades six to eight in the United States.

Conservation Conscious

The online map already seemed to be a hit at the Stuart Hobson Magnate School, where students spent the morning Thursday cruising the Wild Word Web site, demonstrating how they conducted their research and repeatedly playing polar bear and humpback whale sounds from the Bering Sea feature of the map.

“What I like is that you can zero in on any part of the world and learn about its endangered species,” said seventh-grader Camille Presbury. Classmate Thomeisha Peterson was particularly interested in learning about the polar bears and seals in the Bering Sea.

Seventh grader Darius Reed, who was also clicking on the map, said it made him want to visit places ”where there aren’t a lot of people—like Alaska or Greenland.“

Clicking on a map of Madagascar, Reed said of the site, “I just like learning new things.”

National Geographic’s Wild World map of the ecoregions of the Earth was produced in partnership with the Ford Motor Company. Data was provided by the World Wildlife Fund. The map is part of the EarthPulse campaign, a National Geographic Society initiative in alliance with the Ford Motor Company to increase awareness of critical conservation-related issues.


 Related Websites