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Database Provider


National Park Service


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


Science, Biology

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 11 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South, Texas


YouTube Video

Warming Up to Adaptation: Big Bend National Park

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  • This video explains how ecologists, climate change scientists, and park rangers used future climate projections to redesign Big Bend National Park's water infrastructure to accommodate warmer temperatures and more frequent droughts. 
  • Students will learn that water is a limiting factor in the Chisos Basin in Big Bend National Park and that planning for future droughts instead of looking at historic rain patterns is essential to provide adequate water in the future.
Teaching Tips


  • This video shows the decision-making process for a complex climate change problem. 
  • A link to the audio-described version of the video is available in the video description section.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video is part of a series from the National Park Service. Teachers can find a link to the video "Warming Up to Adaptation Series Introduction" in the video description section.


  • While watching the video, social studies or career studies classes could identify the speakers' professions. Students could research the type of education and experience needed for each profession.
  • Before viewing the video, science classes could research Big Bend's ecosystem, climate, and changing environmental conditions on the Big Bend National Park website.
  • Science or language arts classes could have students write an abstract or summary paragraph about the video and connect it to lessons about the water cycle, global warming, and changing weather patterns.
  • Other resources on this topic include this ClimateScience course on climate adaptation, this lesson and activity on droughts, and this activity on temperature and precipitation as limiting factors.
Scientist Notes
This video reflects on the adaptation management strategies in Big Bend National park. Climate change has influenced the hydrological basins and eco-tourists are at risk of water shortages. The video highlights the need to model multiple climate outcomes to mitigate future climate risks in the park. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 6.ESS2.4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS.ESS3.2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS.ESS3.5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS.ETS1.1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
      • HS.ETS1.2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
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