Tracking Global Changes in Forest Cover
This activity guides the analysis of a published scientific figure from a study that investigated annual global losses in forests over time.
In this study, scientists used satellite imagery to estimate the amounts of forest that were lost annually, across the globe, from 2000 to 2012. Although most tropical countries showed an overall increase in forest loss over time, others experienced the opposite trend, possibly due to differences in government policies. The figure compares the annual forest loss in two different tropical countries, Indonesia (left) and Brazil (right), over the 12-year study period.
The “Educator Materials” document includes a captioned figure, background information, graph interpretation, and discussion questions. The “Student Handout” includes a captioned figure and background information.
Student Learning Targets
- Analyze and interpret data from a scientific figure.
- Describe trends in annual forest losses and why they may differ among countries.
bar graph, deforestation, environmental policy, Landsat, p value, satellite, trend line
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2-2, HS-ESS3-6; SEP2, SEP4, SEP5
AP Biology (2019)
SYI-2.B, SYI-3.G; SP1, SP4
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 1.2, 5.2
Learning Objectives & Practices: EIN-2.B, ERT-1.B, SP1, SP2, SP5
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
Math.S-ID.3, Math.S-IC.1; MP2, MP5
Vision and Change (2009)
CC5; DP2, DP3