From Wikipedia, "The anthrosphere / anthroposphere (sometimes also referred as technosphere) is that part of the environment that is made or modified by humans for use in human activities and human habitats. "

Buttermilk Falls in Beaver County. Homewood Sandstone (link is external), a common building material in 19th century western Pennsylvania, was quarried on the site.

Buttermilk Falls (Beaver County)

Artificially constructed wetlands due to ones destroyed during the construction of I-99 in Pennsylvania.

Julian Wetlands

Bear Run, coursing through the woods of Fayette County. In the background, Pottsville formation rocks (;6) like those used in the exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Fallingwater.

Bear Run

August 25, 2016, marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Did you know that the smallest of all the national parks is right here in Pennsylvania? That honor belongs to the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial in Philadelphia. Kosciuszko was a military engineer from Poland that made significant contributions to the American Revolution. The park is only 0.02 acres in size.

Smallest National Park is in Philadelphia, PA

This historic building was built in 1899 as the First National Bank in Media, PA. The building is excellent to help students learn not only about local history, but building stone geology. This building was designed by John Dilks and is an example of French Renaissance Revival architecture. The building is constructed of muscovite schist and granite pillars and accents.


Building stone geology of First National Bank

My 8th grade Earth Science students requested this image from the International Space Station's EarthKAM camera during the April, 2016 EarthKAM Mission.  During the time of the photograph, a cool, clear high pressure system was situated over the northeastern United States, making for excellent viewing opportunities.  If you teach science, the EarthKAM program is a free NASA resource you really should look into.  More info can be found here:  The actual image is hosted on the EarthKAM servers, which are managed by the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  If you click the picture link, there are opportunities to download this an other images at various resolutions:  By clicking the "next image" and "previous image" buttons, you can sometimes view excellent overlapping images taken by the ISS as it orbited Earth at an astounding speed of 17,000 mph, close to 5 miles a second!  There are at least two April, 2016 EarthKAM images which caught the PSU campus and surrounding countryside.  Plenty of other excellent pictures of Earth from this and other EarthKAM missions going back nearly a decade.  Check them out in the EarthKAM image galleries.

One of the more interesting things that you can do with these EarthKAM images is to compare them with the images hosted by Google Earth to see change over time.  To make that easier, here is a Google Maps link to the EarthKAM image discussed in this post  (works best with Chrome browser).

PSU's Happy Valley From Space (ISS) EarthKAM

Look - we found "E" (for Earth) and "S" (for Science) on rocks! And we already knew that Earth Science rocks! Actually, these compass directions are part of the markers in the Stopford Family Meadow Maze at Tyler Arboretum (link is external) in Media, PA.

Earth Science Rocks

You may have driven by several of these, but this image provides us a unique perspective from the air of one of the many refineries located along the Delaware River in Philadelphia.

Refinery along the Delaware River

The city of Philadelphia has just joined the bike share movement. Indego, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, features 60+ stations located across Philadelphia in Center City and parts of North, South, and West Philadelphia.

Bike share program comes to Philadelphia

This photo was taken during a program offered by the Tiadaghton State Forest staff, titled "Marcellus Shale and Natural Gas Development on Pennsylvania State Forest Lands."  The program was part of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Eastern Section Conference.  This is one of several freshwater retention ponds that holds millions of gallons of water in the Tiadaghton State Forest.  The bottom of the pond is lined with a material containing sensors that send an alert signal if a tear develops somewhere in the lining.  Visit the PA DCNR website to learn more about Natural Gas Development and State Forests.

Freshwater impoundment in Tiadaghton State Forest