Climate and Civilization: The Maya Example

Type of Resource



This activity uses geophysical and geochemical data to determine climate in Central America during the recent past and to explore the link between climate (wet periods and drought) and population growth/demise among the Maya. Students use ocean drilling data to interpret climate and to consider the influence of climate on the Mayan civilization.

Performance Expectations

HS-LS4-5   Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.

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 systems.

Science and Engineering Practices

Disciplinary Core Ideas