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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey

Fossil Fuel Resources Interactive Map

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  • To be removed, all maps are combined.
  • This interactive map of the United States displays the locations of fossil fuel resources categorized as coal fields, tight oil and shale gas plays, and sedimentary basins. 
Teaching Tips


  • The map is simple and easy to navigate.
  • Students can zoom in to see their state or region and identify the available fossil fuel resources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The three fossil resource categories can be viewed together or individually.
  • Other layers can be added to the map by clicking the "toggle layer list" button on the right side of the map.


  • Students could add the coal mines layer or the oil and gas wells and platforms layer to the map to see how the locations of the mines and wells correspond with the resource locations.
  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with social studies and civics by having students research policies or laws related to the use of fossil fuel resources in the United States or a specific region.
  • Teachers could also connect this with an economics class by having students research how these fossil fuel resources impact the economy of the Unites States or a specific region.
  • If looking for a more comprehensive resource, this map also by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows all energy infrastructure and resources in the United States.
  • Other resources on the topic of fossil fuels include the video Growing Appetites, Limited Resources, the video What If We Burned All the Fossil Fuels?, the lesson plan Is There a Future in Oil?, and the video Youth Climate Story: Fracking in Pennsylvania.
Scientist Notes
This interactive map shows where active oil and gas wells are in the United States. It also displays active coal fields, as well as where shale gas can be found underground. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS.ESS3.2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
  • Social Sciences
    • Geography (K-12)
      • HS.39 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
      • HS.40 Use geographic data to analyze the interconnectedness of physical and human regional systems (such as a river valley and culture, water rights/use in regions, choice/impact of settlement locations) and their interconnectedness to global communities.
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