Skip to main content
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

place holder   Teacher Resources
Search the Archive
 • Species Name
 • Family Tree
 • Conservaton Status
 • Skulls
 • Bones and Teeth
Field Guide
 • Map Search
   Including search by
     • Location
     • Ecoregion
     • Species
     • National Park
 • About Maps
dotted line
   Teacher Resources
   About the Site
dotted line
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice

On the Web: Measuring Biodiversity across North America

Once uttered only in the halls of academe, Biodiversity has made its way to the elementary, middle, and secondary school classroom. The word evokes ideas of total number of unique things, such as genes, genera, and species, and their abundances. As concepts go, Biodiversity is big, which makes measuring it in the field and in the laboratory quite a challenge. But the classroom is neither a science laboratory, nor a field site, which is why this lesson plan uses interactive mapping technology to bring Biodiversity field data to the classroom. This Biodiversity lesson plan utilizes the files below. The first five files are the most illustrative. The additional files are for those who may want a different format or to explore more on their own. To download a file, right click your mouse on the link and save it to your hard drive.

Download the Biodiversity Lesson Plan [ PDF file ]
Map Tutor [ Flash Interactive ]
Sampling Tutor [ Flash Interactive ]
Table_2 [ Word Document ]
Table_5 [ Word Document ]

Additional Files:
Blank Work Sheet [ Excel File ]
This file contains a list of all 426 mammals included in the North American Mammals web site. It also includes the latitudes used in these examples for data entry and comparison.
Sample Points for Latitude and Longitude [ Google Earth© KMZ File ] NOTE: Please do NOT try to open this file. Instead, right click and select "Save Target" (Internet Explorer) or "Save Link As" (Mozilla Firefox).

Install Google Earth© if it is not already on your computer. This file works best with Google Earth© 4.0 or later; go to to download the latest version.
Once Google Earth© is installed, right click to download this file to your desktop or to your Google Earth© Directory. Double left click on this downloaded file. Google Earth© will open with these locations in place. (If you had other locations on Google Earth's© map when it was last used, they will also be visible.) Be sure to save these locations before you exit Google Earth© by using your mouse to move them up into "My Places" or some other folder outside your temporary directory of places.


We greatly appreciate your interest and welcome comments and concerns. Direct comments to