Shenandoah National Park, American Geoscientists Institute create air quality interactive

shenandoah national parkClean air is vitally important for Shenandoah National Park ― and now you can learn more about its connection to the park through an interactive “Virtual Field Trip” launched Monday by the National Park Service in partnership with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI).

“Virtual Field Trip: Air Quality at Shenandoah National Park” incorporates interactive features allowing visitors to virtually explore the park, enjoying beautiful park vistas while learning about scientific contributions that the park makes to our understanding of air quality.

What can you do on the site? Explore park vistas. Examine milkweed leaves damaged by ozone through a microscope. Learn how dragonflies provide indicators of mercury pollution. Listen to scientists talk about conservation measures. Dive underwater to find how acid rain affects streams. Check out the high-tech equipment in the park’s air-quality monitoring station. And much more.

The Virtual Field Trip draws on online resources of Shenandoah National Park and the National Park Service’s Air Resource Division, combining them into a coherent, engaging experience that illuminates the park’s vital role in monitoring air quality.

The website is the latest product of AGI’s long-running collaboration with the National Park Service, which shines a spotlight on the parks’ important role in geoscience education. Teaching, learning, and informational resources are shared each year through the Earth Science Week public awareness campaign. This year’s Earth Science Week will be held from October 13 – 19, 2019.

The Virtual Field Trip can be found on Shenandoah’s Interactive Features website https://www.nps.gov/shen/learn/photosmultimedia/interactive-features.htm. Click on “Air Quality” to pull up a “Standard” version and an “Accessible” version, allowing users with certain disabilities to have access to the same materials in a more accessible manner. In this way, the Virtual Field Trip helps illustrate the Earth Science Week 2019 theme of “Geoscience Is for Everyone,” celebrating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the geosciences.

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