Thursday, 10 February 2011

Issues in Ecology

National Park Service Nature and Science: Critical Issues

Parks are becoming crowded remnants of primitive America, threatened by invasions of nonnative species, pollution, and incompatible uses of resources in and around parks. Read more about some of the critical issues facing our parks system and what the National Park Service is doing to address them. MSP full record
Invasive Species: Background Information

In two paragraphs, this resource introduces readers to the concept of invasive species. Purple loosestrife is given as an example of one of the many invasive species that is not indigenous to North America. The resource reveals the proportion of nonnative species that have turned out to be invasive in North America. The magnitude of ecological and monetary damage caused by invasive species is also mentioned. Links are given to web sites with more information about invasive species. MSP full record
Talking Trash about the Ocean

In this lesson, students create an advertising campaign to raise awareness about the importance of keeping trash out of the marine ecosystem. Students work in teams to create different campaigns geared toward particular target audiences and produce posters. We suggest modifying the assessment to include applying knowledge of ecosystems and population ecology and demonstrating proficiency with some specified concepts of your choice. Links to additional information and resources are also provided. MSP full record
A Map of Things To Come: National Geographic Map

This integrated lesson is an authentic exercise revolving around a real case study, enabling students to analyze and interpret mapped information regarding the effects of urban sprawl. The lesson includes two activities based on urban sprawl and Maryland’s Smart Growth map. One of the assessment questions requires students to connect the social studies concept of urban sprawl to concepts of ecology. You might consider adding an assessment question asking students to analyze and evaluate their own city's growth patterns and comment on these patterns' relationship to the ecosystem. MSP full record
What kind of incentives can the world community offer to the countries in South America for ending deforestation?

This is a video clip of a student asking an expert the title question. The partial answer provided is: Massive financial gain is one of the reasons why there's a great amount of destruction of rain forests in South America. The speaker also mentions the poor nutrient content of rain forest soil, which is counterintuitive to students who have seen pictures of the lushness of the rain forests. You might ask: How can such nutrient-poor soil support such lush forests? This hook followed by the next activity can make an effective ecology assessment activity. MSP full record
Rainforest Facts
Awesome Library K-12 Education Directory
This page is a nicely organized reference with headings such as: The Wealth of the Rainforests; The Biodiversity of the Rainforest; Logging for Tropical Hardwoods; Fuel Wood and the Paper Industry; Subsistence Farming; Bioprospecting; and Indigenous People, A Valuable Resource. You could develop a webquest around it, or assign jigsaw groups of students to different topics with the goal of learning enough about the topic to teach other students. In doing so, students demonstrate mastery of ecological concepts in a real-world application. MSP full record