Many types of scientists actively contribute to climate science research. Complete the scavenger hunt to learn about these climate connections! We've provided one hunt for younger kids and one for older, both accessible either in the drop-down menus or as a PDF, below.
Scavenger Hunt - Younger
Using the pictures below as an example, can you find these twelve climate- and environment-related things in and around your home and neighbourhood?
Zoologists study animals. Did you know that worms aren’t insects, but animals? Try using the red wiggler variety to build your own at home vermicompost.
Can you find a tree that is just starting to get leaves? Dendrology is the study of trees. Bonus point if you can find a sprouting acorn - a baby tree!
Limnologists study freshwater places like lakes, rivers, and streams. If you don’t live near water, where do you find fresh water in your house?
What clouds can you see from your window? Cirrus? Cumulonimbus? Studying these makes you a cloud scientist, a nephologist!
Entomologists observe insects. They might watch how different insects get along in the same place, or how they react to things that humans do.
Rocks tell geologists a lot about past environments: what was living then, or what was in the air and water.
Mycologists study fungi, including mushrooms or lichen. These organisms will eat anything, even garbage or unhealthy chemicals! Hint: they like shady places.
Glaciologists are cool scientists that study frozen water – ice! Higher temperatures on Earth cause large pieces of natural ice like glaciers to melt more and more each year.
Edaphologists are soil scientists. They examine how soil can best feed plants, what types of soils are found where, or even how to remove pollution from soil!
Make sure to always recycle plastic where it belongs! Aquatic ecologists learn about how bad plastic can be for fish, plants, and other animals if it makes its way to water environments.
Plants of all shapes and sizes interest a botanist, who might study whether the plant can make medicine or food for us. See how many different plants you can find in your area!
We can’t travel much right now, but many birds travel a long way every year. What birds are living in your neighbourhood this week? A scientist who studies birds is called an ornithologist.
Scavenger Hunt - Older
Fill in the blanks below with the 16 missing words (clues in the blue underlined hyperlinks), then search your home and neighbourhood for a creative photo of each missing word and learn how climate science research relates to the world around us.
- The study of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ s, like frogs and toads, and reptiles, like lizards and snakes, is called herpetology. Contaminants and climate change have contributed to a decline in worldwide _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ populations.
- Limnologists consider inland bodies of _ _ _ _ _ like lakes, rivers, and streams. They might research how changes in climate will affect our _ _ _ _ _ systems and how melting glaciers impact the food supply for fish and animals that live in lakes.
- The _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is used by nearly all scientists to process large amounts of data. Physicists can model CO2 storage in the ground or movement of groundwater contaminants, while bioinformaticians might process genetic data to track species changes due to environmental pressures.
- The environmental balance in a freshwater system is studied by aquatic ecologists. They might investigate the effect of micro_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ on freshwater algae.
- Ecotoxicologists study the effect of toxic chemicals on environments and living organisms. They can study the effect on animal health when _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ from pharmaceutical production or waste ends up in our water systems.
- Nephrologists, who study white fluffy _ _ _ _ _ _, meteorologists, who predict the weather, and geochemists, who investigate chemicals in the atmosphere to learn about our atmosphere’s history are all atmospheric scientists.
- Climate change alters the seasonal freezing and thawing of soil. Agronomists inspect the effects on the nutrients in soil used for agriculture and growing _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ like carrots or corn.
- Geologists focus on _ _ _ _ _ of all sorts, while sedimentologists look specifically at sedimentary _ _ _ _ _ and sand. Sedimentary _ _ _ _ _ can reveal a lot about historic water levels to understand how humans might influence our future fresh water supply.
- Get your binoculars and look to the trees! Scientists who observe _ _ _ _s are called ornithologists. Studies of _ _ _ _ populations can highlight ecological response to invasive species, for example.
- Botanical ecologists look at the relationship between _ _ _ _ _ _ and the environment. As the climate changes, can we predict how different species of _ _ _ _ _ _ will adapt?
- To move towards a greener future, _ _ _ _ scientists (edaphologists and pedologists) can study how to remove pollutants that result from industrial land use. Some scientists are even using plants to help clean up the _ _ _ _ in a process called phytoremediation!
- Microbiologists study living things too small to be seen with the naked eye, like bacteria in _ _ _ _ _ _ _ landfills. Studying these bacteria can help us harness their abilities for environmental remediation – the removal of pollution.
- Ichthyology is the study of _ _ _ _es , like salmon or sharks. An ichthologist might study the behaviour, physiology, and genetics of _ _ _ _, to understand how they survive in changing natural environments and what we can do to protect them.
- The study of the world’s natural _ _ _, like glaciers, is done by glaciologists. Glaciologists can study historic atmosphere composition through glacial air bubbles, the movement of glaciers and how they change the surface of the Earth, or even glacier melting and the relationship with rising global temperatures.
- Organic chemists investigate how naturally occurring chemicals are built. They can try to manipulate those structures to make useful building blocks for things, like new rechargeable _ _ _ _ _ _ _ technology for hybrid electric vehicles.
- “Nano” means super tiny. Nano-chemists can optimize electrochemical reactions such as treatment of the water that goes down the _ _ _ _ _ in your bathtub or sink.