Standard 17: Interdependence

A. The distribution and abundance of organisms is determined by the interactions between organisms, and between organisms and the non-living environment.

B. Energy and nutrients move within and between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems via physical, chemical and biological processes.

C. Human activities and natural events can have profound effects on populations, biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

General Information
Number: SC.912.L.17
Title: Interdependence
Type: Standard
Subject: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Life Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.912.L.17.In.1
Recognize that living things in oceans and fresh water are affected by the location, availability of light, depth of the water, and temperature.
SC.912.L.17.In.2
Identify that living things in an ecosystem are affected by changes in the environment, such as changes to the food supply, climate change, or the introduction of predators.
SC.912.L.17.In.3
Identify relationships among organisms, including helping each other (mutualism); obtaining food (predation); benefiting at the expense of the other (parasitism); and competing with each other for food, space, or shelter (competition).
SC.912.L.17.In.4
Recognize possible changes in an ecosystem (biodiversity) that can result from natural catastrophic events, changes in climate, and human activity.
SC.912.L.17.In.5
Identify the components of a food web, including sunlight, producers, consumers, and decomposers, and trace the flow of energy from the Sun.
SC.912.L.17.In.6
Identify the contributions of non-living elements, such as carbon and oxygen, to maintaining life in an ecosystem.
SC.912.L.17.In.7
Identify types of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources and explain the need for conservation.
SC.912.L.17.In.8
Describe ways the lifestyles of individuals and groups can help or hurt the environment.

Supported

SC.912.L.17.Su.1
Recognize that living things in bodies of water are affected by the location and depth of the water.
SC.912.L.17.Su.2
Recognize how animals and plants in an ecosystem may be affected by changes to the food supply or climate.
SC.912.L.17.Su.3
Recognize that organisms can interact with other organisms in an ecosystem to help each other (mutualism), to obtain food (predation), and to benefit at expense of the other (parasitism).
SC.912.L.17.Su.4
Recognize changes in living things (biodiversity) that can result from natural catastrophic events and human activity.
SC.912.L.17.Su.5
Identify producers, consumers, and decomposers in a simple food chain.
SC.912.L.17.Su.6
Identify that clean water and air are important for supporting life in an ecosystem.
SC.912.L.17.Su.7
Identify a way to conserve a familiar, nonrenewable, natural resource.
SC.912.L.17.Su.8
Identify ways individuals can help the environment.

Participatory

SC.912.L.17.Pa.1
Recognize common living things in bodies of water.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.2
Recognize what happens to plants and animals when they don’t get enough food or water.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.3
Recognize examples of mutual relationships between people and other living things.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.4
Recognize actions that are harmful to living things.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.5
Recognize that animals (consumers) eat animals and plants for food.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.6
Recognize the importance of clean water for living things.
SC.912.L.17.Pa.7
Recognize a way to help the local environment.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Educational Software / Tool

What Is It Like Where You Live?:

This site offers an abundance of information on Earth's biomes (rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate, and grasslands), as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. The site features relevant facts, pictures, maps, indigenous plants and animals, additional links, and much more.

This resource is a wonderful reference, not a lesson plan. Teachers will need to provide an objective and structure for student interaction with the website.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Image/Photograph

Oil Slick Satellite Image:

NASA Aqua Satellite image, captured on April 25, 2010, of an oil slick caused by the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Type: Image/Photograph

Lesson Plans

Bonefish Genetics:

Recent research has shown that bonefish (Albula vulpes) found all around the Florida Keys, The Bahamas, and many other places across the Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean are genetically related. In this lesson, students will learn about what it means to be “genetically related,” how genetics are determined, and how this could change how we manage bonefish populations locally and internationally. They will work together in to create a “model treaty” that protects bonefish between countries.

Type: Lesson Plan

Harmful Algal Blooms:

Harmful algal blooms are the result of bacteria and phytoplankton obtaining far too many nutrients from fertilizers, sewage, and other pollutants. This lesson explains the causes and effects of these blooms in depth, and students will consider solutions for reducing blooms around Florida. This lesson involves a classroom discussion of the costs and benefits involved in reducing harmful algal blooms, and how science can be used to inform policy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Acidification:

Climate change has a multitude of effects, one being the acidification of our oceans. This lesson explains why oceans acidify as human release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and describes the effects of mild pH change on the ocean’s inhabitants. Students perform three tasks related to the topic through a “Tic Tac Toe Choice Board.”

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise:

Climate change has a multitude of effects, one being the increase in sea level. This lesson explains why sea levels are rising, explains the impacts on coastal communities, and explores some of the laws that could be making the situation worse. Students perform three tasks related to the topic through a “Tic Tac Toe Choice Board.”

Type: Lesson Plan

The Surprising World of Complex Systems:

This lesson introduces students to complex systems and to basic concepts from the field of system dynamics that lie at the heart of systems thinking. These concepts include stocks and flows, feedback loops, unintended consequences, and the basic principle that the behavior of complex systems can best be understood by looking at the system as a whole, and specifically by analyzing the system’s underlying structure. The lesson introduces these topics through an immersion in (and a role-play simulation of) the dynamics of urban recycling systems, many of which have been thrown into crisis in the past two years. Through this current-affairs example of complex systems in crisis, we identify some key structural features that help to explain how these systems behave over time. We also discover how well-intentioned action can cause negative unintended consequences when we try to intervene in a complex system without understanding how it operates.

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12 Adaptations in Everglades Ecosystems, Lesson 1: Living on the Edge :

Students will be able to distinguish among the types of mangroves common to Florida and understand their zonation within the coastal community. They will also be able to describe how mangroves, as an essential biotic component, help stabilize the coastline and protect it from erosion and storm surges. Lastly, students will provide argumentation supported by evidence for the protection of mangroves. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-10 Adaptations in Everglades Ecosystems, Lesson 2: Design A Perfect Beast:

Students will be able to identify abiotic and biotic factors of an assigned Everglades ecosystem, discuss how these factors influence adaptations, and identify structural and behavioral adaptations that help organisms survive in their ecosystem. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12 Adaptations in Everglades Ecosystems, Lesson 3: Crossing Lines:

Students will be able to explain the concepts of ecotone and edge effect and describe how the edge effect relates to biological diversity in a watershed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Water Use and Society, Lesson 3: A Question of Quality :

Students will learn about water quality management for the Everglades and will analyze sample data from a Stormwater Treatment Area. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Everglades Restoration, Lesson 2: Our Changing Watershed :

Students will read a passage from Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s The Everglades: The River of Grass and compare the description with the present day Everglades. They will then look at the impacts from the US Army Corps of Engineers project and evaluate whether the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) addresses these issues. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Everglades Restoration, Lesson 3: A Look at CERP:

Students will analyze information about various current and ongoing CERP projects and report on the progress that is being made. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Water Use and Society, Lesson 2: A Question of Quantity :

Students will look at a typical water conservation plan and analyze it from the viewpoint of various stakeholders. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Water Use and Society, Lesson 1: Tragedy of the Common:

This is a simulation that allows students to explore how the common usage of a potentially renewable resource can lead to its exploitation. Students will complete an activity, a data sheet, an analysis of the data, and discuss how the concept of the ‘commons' relates to southern Florida's water resources. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12 Environmental Factors of the Everglades, Lesson 1: The Heart of a Watershed :

In small groups, students build a model landscape to illustrate the uniqueness of the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (K-O-E) watershed and use a model to demonstrate how alterations have affected it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr 9-12. Everglades Restoration, Lesson 1: Everglades Restoration :

Students explore the costs and environmental impacts of land development and restoration.

Type: Lesson Plan

Populations and Population Density Distributions:

This an introductory population density and distribution lesson for one class period.

Type: Lesson Plan

To Spray Pesticides or Not: That is the Question :

This lesson is designed to help students understand the impact of pesticide use on human health and the environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Many Thrive If the Wolf Survives:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the interactions of many different species of organisms in Yellowstone National Park. Specifically, the text focuses on the importance of not only the interactions that wolves have with the ecosystem, but how important beavers are to the stability of the whole ecosystem. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Helpful Herbivores:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that explains how a smaller species of organisms are filling a niche of larger organisms that have been reduced due to overfishing and disease. These smaller organisms have been shown to reduce algal communities that can lead to the destruction of crucial coral reefs. This discovery may have large, beneficial impacts on endangered coral communities around the world. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes use of a seed discussion organizer, a vocabulary handout, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bioremediation: Nature's Way to a Cleaner Environment:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. This article explains how bioremediation takes place via microorganism digestion of toxic waste generated by human activity. Students will learn how this process occurs naturally and how this natural process has been researched and is now utililized to clean up spills of certain hazardous substances. This lesson includes a vocabulary guide, a Cornell Notes note-taking guide, text dependent questions, and a writing prompt, along with answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Too Much of a Good Thing: Human Activities Overload Ecosystems with Nitrogen:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article briefly summarizes the nitrogen cycle, then explains how human activities have impacted ecosystems through the increased release of nitrogen and explores potential solutions to alleviate the issues caused by excess nitrogen. A video is also presented which explores why Florida had a large-scale eutrophication event in 2016 and presents solutions and economic implications of the event. By reading, viewing, and synthesizing information from the article and video, students learn how excess nitrogen impacts aquatic ecosystems and the economy. Further, they will be able to provide suggestions to lessen our impact on these systems. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

ComBATing Extinction:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how Caribbean bat species are uniquely suited for studying the consequences of extinction. By reading this article, students will get a better understanding of geographic isolation and speciation, which are major themes when discussing the theory of evolution. In addition, students will gain an understanding of the devastating effects human impact can have on populations of species.

Type: Lesson Plan

Will We See More White Nose Syndrome in Bats?:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text that discusses the spread of White Nose Syndrome in North American bats and how bat colonies are being affected in both size and number. The article also provides a comparison between European and North American bat colonies suffering with this disease. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, and answer keys.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bad News for Starfish:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research on the effects of the Sea Star Associated Densovirus, a virus devastating sea star populations. The article further explains the implication of the virus for the tidal ecosystems of the Pacific West Coast. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Importance of a Baboon's Birthday:

In this lesson, students will read an article from the National Science Foundation that discusses how a drought affected the savannas of southern Kenya during 2009. It further addresses how baboons are affected later in life based on when they are born and the social status they are born into. Based on the research on baboons, the implications on human health are also discussed in the latter portion of the article. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Dynamic Carbon Cycle:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains the dynamic carbon cycle and how human activity contributes to global warming. A second related text builds on that knowledge to discuss the importance of Everglades mangroves as carbon "sinks." By reading and synthesizing both articles, students will learn not only about the specifics of the carbon cycle, but how it applies to Florida and the rest of the world. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Loss of Sea Ice Leaves Polar Bears in the Cold:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article showcases recent research into the declining Arctic sea ice and its effect on polar bear populations. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bee Faithful! :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a study that confirms the impact of removing just one bumblebee species from an ecosystem. The text describes how removing just one bumblebee species from an ecosystem causes less effective pollination and lower seed production. Bumblebees, as most bees do, stick with one species of flower until it's finished blooming. Scientists have found that when one bee species is removed it causes the remaining bee species to "cheat" on their original flower species. This causes a decrease in pollination and in seed production. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Forests of the Living Dead:

In this lesson, students will read a National Science Foundation article that discusses a 200-year study into the mortality of forests. The process of decomposition and the importance of decaying wood in a forest are explained in great detail. The research described has altered and changed the management plans for forest ecosystems worldwide.

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. It includes a note-taking guide, a vocabulary guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Looking for the Loris:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research and efforts by scientists to save the slow loris from extinction. It discusses the complexity of conservation today and details how there are many different layers that need to be addressed on this issue. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mutualistic Mussels:

In this lesson, students will read an article from the National Science Foundation that discusses how extended droughts have affected salt marsh ecosystems found in the Southeastern part of the United States. The article then describes the mutualistic relationship that was discovered between ribbed mussels and salt marsh grasses and how this relationship is helping the marshes survive and recover from the droughts. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mercury Levels are Rising!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a new method for measuring the amount of mercury in the environment that is formed as a byproduct of human activities. The text describes how scientists were able to develop a method for measuring mercury by using data about phosphate and carbon dioxide levels. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Stinging Truth about Jellyfish:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses the fluctuations of the jellyfish population in the Bering Sea and describes how a new study explains the increase and decrease of jellyfish in that ecosystem. The study focuses on whether or not rising water temperature (due to climate change) is the driving factor in jellyfish population growth. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Killer Prairie Dogs:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area.  The National Geographic article profiles the scientists who discovered that the white-tailed prairie dog is killing ground squirrels in order to eliminate its competition for food. The article further highlights how the squirrel killings benefit the prairie dogs' offspring.  The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Bees Endangered for First Time:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a recent listing of yellow-faced bees on the endangered list. This is the first time any type of bee has ever been listed as endangered. The text describes how the yellow-faced bee population in Hawaii has been decimated by invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change. The text also describes an innovative approach by researchers to help bring these bees back from the verge of extinction. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Wiping Out Invasive Predators in New Zealand:

In this lesson, students will read an article from National Geographic that discusses the plan of the New Zealand government to eliminate invasive predators from the country by 2050. The article further goes on to discuss the effects the predators have had on the native wildlife. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a vocabulary handout, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Save Our Planet Now!:

The students will create a book containing information about the cause and effect of global warming. The book will include possible solutions to reduce pollution to help Save Our Planet Now! The students will research and record information regarding the impact of fossil fuels on the environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Determining Relative Salinity of Estuaries:

Students will help their teacher figure out where her water samples came from by determining their relative salinity. With this information and a picture map of areas of the Intercoastal Waterway, they will locate possible sources of the samples.

Type: Lesson Plan

The High Cost of Living:

The relationship between oceans and climate change has been debated. The cost of ocean and marine life conservation can be high. Students will create an ecological budget to decide whether the preservation of marine ecosystems is worth the cost.

Type: Lesson Plan

SuperMan(groves):

Students will study the effects of seasonal variations in climate (and corresponding events) on mangrove ecosystems and examine the ways that natural systems protect plant and animal populations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Man vs. Volcano: Who Let the Carbon Out?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article compares carbon emissions from human activities to those from natural volcanic processes. The authors outline the methods, data collection, and findings of carbon emissions, closing the debate on what releases the most carbon. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Precision Agriculture Eliminates Over-Fertilizing:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses an innovative way to determine the age of the nitrogen in corn and soybean fields. Determining nitrogen's age could help make agriculture more precise, because when farmers over-fertilize their fields, the excess can leak into water supplies. Research scientists from the University of Illinois believe they can use this new technology to identify areas that are specifically deficient in nitrogen and therefore eliminate the need to apply it uniformly. This would benefit agriculture and the environment. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fighting Poaching with Technology:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text from National Geographic that discusses the design of an artificial intelligence technology called PAWS that was designed to prevent poaching. PAWS uses data about previous poaching activities and analyzes the data to create smart and efficient routes for wildlife officers to use while looking for poaching activity. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

By-Products of Fracking:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses accidental wastewater spills in North Dakota from the use of fracking. The text describes how fracking has caused widespread water and soil contamination. Researchers have found high levels of contaminants and salt in surface waters. Soil at the spill sites contain radium, and in some places radium was found to be present even 4 years after a spill. Researchers studied almost 4,000 spill sites in North Dakota to connect the soil and water contamination directly to fracking spills. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area; it includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Transport of Invasive Species:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects the Panama Canal expansion may have on the number of invasive species introduced to the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the United States. The article explains how ballast water and wet surface areas are the two ways the invasive species can travel from port to port. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Algebra:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns, or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Penguins in Peril:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text from National Geographic designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses research conducted on the status of the Adelie Penguin population in Antarctica and what might happen to this species by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at past and current data and used future climate projections to determine the fate of the Adelie's habitat. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dangerous Fog:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the presence of monomethyl mercury in California sea fog and how it is affecting nearby terrestrial environments. The article further explains the research that was conducted and discusses future studies. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Helping the Honey Bee!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an article that discusses the problem of declining honey bee populations in the United States and lists the possible factors involved. The text then describes the study on African honey bees to determine if there are genetic or physiological causes in their positive response to the Varroa parasite. Researchers are hoping the data they gather will help them improve breeding programs or management practices in U.S. bee populations. This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Drama in the Deep:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the interactions between three different microorganisms and the implications on the food webs found in the oceans near Antarctica. Phytoplankton and bacteria are competing for food and resources in previously unknown ways. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Winter Ecologists Explore Effects of Climate Change:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the consequences of climate change on living organisms in snow ecosystems, particularly those who live in the subnivium beneath the snow's surface. The text describes a new field of researchers called winter ecologists and their findings that show how climate change is causing lighter snows in some areas, diminishing the amount of insulation in the subnivium that many living organisms need to survive the winter. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Where Did All the Cod Go?:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects of climate change on the Gulf of Maine and the cod population found there. Although quotas have been instituted to preserve the cod population, they have not been effective because of the unanticipated effects of global warming. The article explores possible solutions. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Challenge: Melting Ice and Its Effect on Life:

In this activity, students observe water movement patterns formed by melting ice cubes to make predictions about the movement of ocean water and the impacts on populations of aquatic organisms.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Hole in the Ozone:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article informs readers about the ozone layer and why it was larger and lasted longer in 2015 than in previous years. Although it was unusually large, the practices that have been followed since the Montreal Protocol was enacted have actually resulted in a long-term decrease in the size of the ozone hole. The text explains the aberration and also provides general information about the ozone layer and its function in protecting human life. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evolution and Natural Selection at the Top of the World :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text addressing two issues, climate change and evolution. This informational text (designed to support reading in the content area) describes how the changing climate in the Arctic is contributing to evolutionary changing in populations of animals that live there. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric along with ideas for extending the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lionfish: Invasive Predators!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The text concerns lionfish, an invasive species in the Atlantic, and the environmental and economic damage the species threatens. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Ideas for extending the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the work the USGS (United States Geological Survey) is doing to monitor the effects of the 2015-2016 winter season as it is impacted by El Niño. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Ups and Downs of Populations:

Students will analyze population graphs, collect data to generate their own population graph, and experience limiting factors and their impact on carrying capacity in a small deer population. Students will be able to identify, explain, and evaluate the impact that different limiting factors have on the population of organisms including food, water, shelter, predation, human interference, changes in birth and death rate, changes in immigration and emigration, disease, and reproduction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Impact of Technology on the Environment:

Students conduct research to identify and explore environmental technologies in their area and to describe how these technologies are being used to shape the world around them.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Relationships in an Ecosystem:

This lesson plan will enable students to explore the types of relationships that are found in ecosystems. Students will independently sort cards with no guidance from the teacher. As the lesson goes on, they will reassess their card groups in order to classify examples of symbiotic and other relationships. The lesson ends with students explaining each type of relationship and how individuals are affected by these interactions.

Type: Lesson Plan

White Ibis: A Feathered Cujo:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes the impact that local ibises have on their environment and the impact that humans have on the birds. The study examines how humans are changing the lifestyles of white ibises, which in turn causes the interactions between birds and humans to lead to a greater spread of disease. The author analyzes the positive and negative effects of interactions between organisms in an ecosystem. The lesson plan includes a text coding strategy, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Humans: The Leading Cause of Extinction:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text selected to support reading in the content area. The article describes how wildlife is impacted by natural events and by humans, focusing on scientific data gathered in the Caribbean (specifically Abaco Island). It explains how humans impact the populations of species in ecosystems and why it is important for people to understand these interactions. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Homestead Farming: Saving Money and Forests in Bangladesh:

This lesson plan is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read an informational text that describes how people in Bangladesh are using homestead farming to provide for their families, while simultaneously contributing to preserving local forests. With the help of USAID, farmers are using higher-yielding seeds and cultivating crops using organic fertilizers and composting. The demand for food grown without pesticides and nourished by compost helps the homestead farmers to make enough money to improve their standard of living, while helping the environment at the same time. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Major Meltdown: Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes the results of a long-term study of the changes in the crysophere on Niwot Ridge, which lies at the top of the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The text describes the ways in which the cryosphere has changed due to climate change, and it also describes some of the impacts on the ecosystem and explains how the researchers gathered their data. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Impact of Melting Tropical Glaciers:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that explains how climate change is leading to the melting of tropical glaciers in Peru and how this is negatively impacting the residents there. Students will examine how the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is assisting the Peruvians in developing strategies to deal with the impact. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide:

In this lesson, students will read and analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes the rise of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere and its likely effects on the planet, including climate change and ocean acidification. The online version contains an interactive graph that supports the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Flexing Their Mussels:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text examining scientists' studies of freshwater mussels in an attempt to develop methods for saving threatened species. Students will learn of the researchers' hope to be able to use other species that cohabitate local ecosystems to restore the threatened species. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Phosphorus: Fertilizer of the Sea:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how scientists worked with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to try and better understand the phosphorus cycle in marine ecosystems. The author points out that although the phosphorus cycle has been studied in the past, the work chronicled in the article has greatly expanded that understanding. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Effect of Seasonal Variation, Due to Climate Change, on Grasslands:

In this lesson, students will examine how ecosystems change due to seasonal variations as they analyze an informational text explaining the process scientists used to collect data on daily changes in grasslands. Students will learn of the usefulness of this data in creating a model that allowed the scientists to predict how seasonal variation will change the grassland ecosystem. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fighting Marine Debris on the Alaskan Coast:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. The text is the transcript of an interview concerning the removal of marine debris from the coast of Alaska. The interview subject explains how marine debris needs to be researched, removed, and prevented. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Ideas for extending the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Seeking the Zika Virus:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text from the National Science Foundation. The text describes current research into the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, with the ultimate goal of using the research to predict and possibly prevent future outbreaks. Scientists are studying three towns in Ecuador by collecting data to help them discover the socioeconomic and environmental factors that put people most at risk for diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, including the Zika virus. The scientists are also examining how virus transmission by these mosquitoes may be affected by climate change. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions with an answer key, a writing prompt with a sample response, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Submarines of Jelly: The Remarkable Siphonophore:

This lesson uses an informational text resource intended to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. It can grow as long as 160 ft. (49 m) and can move through the water column in a coordinated fashion, and knowledge of its locomotion may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Game of Population Changes:

This lesson plan uses multicolor paper dots to model how events change a bird population over time. 

"You are a scientist observing a community of birds in the forest. Periodically, different events occur and have an effect on the populations of different birds. As a dedicated scientist and observer, you record all of these changes and watch how the community changes over time."

 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Rulers of the Reef: Coral Reef Parasites :

This lesson uses an NSF article to inform the reader about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. He also explains how more questions arose throughout his investigation, questions like "Do these parasites carry other parasites that infect fishes?" and "Do these gnathiid parasites infect other species of fish?" This first-person account creates an interesting view of how marine research is done, including field work, lab work, and collaborating with other scientists. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Battle of the Borders:

This resource is about the difficulties of implementing environmental policies and laws that effect human behaviors and land in bordering countries. It uses a reading strategy called SLAM to analyze arguments and identify supporting details in written text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Methods of Protecting Coral Reefs:

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. Students will read a short but complex article that describes the expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (a type of marine protected area) and the benefits of MPAs. The article identifies threats to coral reefs and how creating an MPA can help the coral reefs within this protected area and reefs in adjoining areas as well. The text provides some background information on how similar programs have helped other protected reefs near the Philippines, and both local and global threats to coral reef ecosystems are referenced. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

What Lies Beneath: Coastal Blue Carbon :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the issue of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from carbon sink sites located in coastal habitats. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how carbon that has been stored for potentially thousands of years is getting released into the atmosphere due to coastal habitat destruction of mangrove forests, salt marshes, and sea grass beds. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Not-So-Friendly Spider Venom May Be Used as Earth-Friendly Pest Control:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the environmental problems caused by insecticides and explains how compounds (toxins) in spider venom may be used to selectively eliminate crop-destroying insects while leaving other insects, vertebrates, and the environment unharmed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Welcome to the Dead Zone:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Finding the Light in a Jaguar Conservation Challenge:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses an innovative conservation method designed to protect jaguars in Colombia. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how predation of domestic cattle by jaguars in Colombia was becoming increasingly common due in part to deforestation. A conservation program was implemented to create a corridor for jaguars to pass through, keeping the jaguars separated from the farms and livestock and allowing them a natural pathway to cross through the Andes Mountains to eastern Colombia. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Building a Home for the Future:

During this lesson, students will learn about green homes and how they allow for a more sustainable future. Students will learn how an individual family's carbon footprint can be reduced by designing their own green home. Students also complete a cost analysis of the expenses in constructing a green home and savings over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Be Alert - I Am Invasive!:

Through schoolyard exploration, class discussion, and group projects, students will investigate common invasive species and their impact to Florida ecosystems. Students will recognize the impact various invasive species have on biodiversity and the consequences of the subsequent loss of biodiversity.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Cycling of Water:

During this active-learning lesson plan, students explore the water cycle through games, videos, and class discussion. For the final assessment, students will follow a drop of water as it travels through a Florida ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Biological Magnification in Aquatic Ecosystems:

This lesson is a hands-on, one-day lab that uses candies to simulate biological magnification. Students learn about energy transfer and DDT accumulation through tropic levels in an aquatic ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Change Calamity: The Arctic Ecosystem:

This resource includes a 5E lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation on climate change, an interactive game, a student worksheet, and an engaging video link on the Arctic ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Population Prediction:

In this lesson, students will gather data from individual countries in order to calculate population density and create an age structure diagram for that country. They will use their age structure diagrams and information to predict how the population may change in the future.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Otter Spotter - A Population Growth Curve Using Southern Sea Otter Census Data:

Students explore the world of population biology using the sea otter as a case study. The lesson involves reading technical reports from the US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as reading information about the sea otter from non-governmental organizations. Students are introduced to a specialized wildlife capture technique and monitoring of the endangered population through annual census data. Using that data students explore the limiting factors affecting sea otter growth and apply mathematical knowledge to analyze population growth curves. Students also produce an argument on whether the sea otter has met criteria and should be removed from the endangered species list.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Jaguar in America: Hunting and Conservation:

Jaguars lived throughout North America during the last Ice Age and were among some of the most common predators of the time period, with a range as far north west as Washington state and as far northeast as southern Pennsylvania. In modern times, jaguars ranged as far north as the South eastern United States, but the animals were considered dangerous and were hunted to extinction in America. Jaguar populations in the United States have recently been expanding and jaguars have been seen in places where they have been absent for over 40 years.

Students will learn how human interaction with the environment through hunting/over-hunting, legislation, and protected lands can affect species in North America.

Type: Lesson Plan

What happens to available energy as it moves through an ecosystem?:

This activity is a lab exercise where students look at the passing of water in cups and compare it to the loss of available energy as it moves through an ecosystem. Students will collect data, calculate efficiency, graph the data and respond to reflection questions to connect the data to what happens in an ecosystem. The end of the activity includes a connection to the 10% rule where only 10% of energy from one trophic level is available at the next level.

Type: Lesson Plan

Got water?:

Students will be learning about natural resources and the human impact on them. Specifically, students will discover where local water sources are and how much water is available within the community using research skills. Students will also design experiments to collect data and discover how residents of the community are using the water and how much they are using. Lastly, they will take the information they discover and the data they collect to hypothesize what the local human impact will be on the water source.

Type: Lesson Plan

How does human impact affect natural ecosystems at your school?:

Students will design their own experiment to discover the human impact on ecosystems around their school environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changing Ecosytems:

Students will explore how climate change is already causing large changes in various ecosystems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Duck, Duck, Growth:

In this lab students will have a chance to explore the effects of limiting factors on a pair of ducks. Students will then examine why the limiting factors influences the carrying capacity of a population. Students will collect data and analyze it before drawing a conclusion about limiting factors and carrying capacity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Disentangling Food Webs:

In this lesson, students create a food web using information about a group of non-existent species. They will use the food web to create food chains and a population pyramid that will show the flow of energy through the food web. Finally, they will explore how changing the population size of one species affects other species, often with unpredicted results.

Type: Lesson Plan

Small Pond Testing:

This project provides students a hands on experience testing water samples for water quality. The goal is to increase student awareness of local water pollution problems and the human activity that impacts pond ecosystems. This project consists of pre quiz, a lab activity, and a research project.

Type: Lesson Plan

Invasive Species - Air Potato Round Up:

Students will be introduced to invasive species in the beginning of the lesson via YouTube video and guiding questions. The students will use digital and print media to explore (identify, describe and predict) the loss of biodiversity in several ecosystems due to the introduction of invasive exotic species.

The teacher/students will continue to identify and describe invasive species in a second YouTube video and a graphic organizer. The teacher will supervise students in small groups during this phase of the lesson.

The final product for students will be to complete a poster advertising a future "Air Potato Round Up" event sponsored by the local US Army Corp of Engineers.

Students will be guided by a rubric and have supplemental resources to access information for the poster project.

Type: Lesson Plan

Who's in My Burrow?:

Students will be introduced to the sandhills ecosystem, the commensalism of gopher tortoise burrows, and various other relationships between organisms. Class discussion, independent research, and presentations will then allow further development of the concepts of parasitism, competition, mutualism, commensalism, and predation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Measuring Biodiversity :

Purpose: To compare the species diversity of an area with high human impact vs. less human impact.

Students will complete an investigation which will allow them to use the Simpson's diversity index formula to evaluate and compare biodiversity around their school campus. Students will draw conclusions based on their data set.

This activity can has many applicable extensions based on student needs and interests. It also can be easily modified to fit certain time constraints, or physical limitations on varying school campuses.

Resource includes lab sheet which provides instructions for students to complete the investigation, worked example of the Simpson's Index formula, space for students to record their findings at the various investigation sites, as well as apply their data to the formula. Students will also draw conclusions based on their data set.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where in the World?!:

This lesson is intended to teach students regarding similarities and differences that are found within and between terrestrial and aquatic biomes. Students will become familiar with major terrestrial biomes and major aquatic biomes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Webs:

In this lesson students will show how energy flows through the ecosystem by constructing a food web, identifying, consumers, producers and decomposers, and the different trophic levels within it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food chains and the organisms in them!:

This lesson plan will give the students the opportunity to use their prior knowledge about food chains and food webs. It will be student centered with the teacher merely being a facilitator the entire class. There are 2 different activities that the teacher has the option to select from. Any of the activities will definitely have the students learning and engaged the entire class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Freshwater Humans:

This lesson plan teaches students about the importance of freshwater, human impact on freshwater systems, and encourages students to modify their personal behavior based on information they learn in discussions and through individual research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Pollinate Biodiversity:

This is lesson introduces real-world examples of the consequences of the losses of biodiversity through a TED talk, detailed discussion, and group work.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ecosystems:

This lesson has been created to help students show you the pathway of energy transfer through trophic levels by reading assigned stories that take place in ecosystems.  It begins with a detailed lecture with embedded questions. Then they will create a poster in the end with a food web, isolated food chain, and energy pyramid. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Going Green:

This lesson will build student awareness of renewable and non-renewable resources using a combination of discussion, a group simulation activity, and a group research project and presentation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Turtle Sex and Climate Change:

In this lesson students will examine how changes in an ecosystem result from environmental factors specifically demonstrating the consequences of climate change on sea turtles. The lesson is in four parts: 1) a fact finding/research component; 2) a group discussion and student presentation; 3) a multi-media component; and 4) a laboratory activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Save Our Dunes:

Save Our Dunes is a literature-based research project suitable for 9-12 marine science or environmental science students. The lesson requires approximately 160 min. as well as computers/ internet access/ a printer. Students are guided through a series of brainstorming activities about the types of natural events and human activities that could affect dune ecosystems.

Students discuss the importance of dunes and what might happen if some dune organisms disappeared. Students then research background texts and use the research to create and defend a unique dune management plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

State of Emergency: Climate Change in Florida:

The governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency and is asking all of the residents to calculate their carbon footprint. Students need to submit a reference letter back to the governor explaining what their carbon footprint is as well as the steps they will take to reduce their carbon footprint. Students will then present their findings and evidence to reduce their carbon footprint at a city council meeting. This is an imaginary scenario and students will be graded on their written letters and speeches that are presented to the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dynamics of Populations:

This lesson addresses the different factors responsible for the size and dynamics of populations. Growth and decline in population numbers are both addressed through presentation, discussions and a plant growth experiment extension.

Type: Lesson Plan

Alternative Energy - Solar:

The underlying focus of this lesson is to provide students with documents designed to equip students with information that describes the following: solar policies guiding the current federal administration, basic current forms of solar energy use, costs and benefits of investments in solar energy, the planned infrastructure designed to make the transition to solar happen.

Type: Lesson Plan

Best Types of Grass to Grow in Florida:

Based on various factors, students will decide the best types of grass (sod) to grow in Florida and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Type: Lesson Plan

How to Cook a Penguin:

This lesson addresses the importance and role the environment plays in the distribution and abundance of organisms in a particular area. Specifically it looks at the real world example of Galapagos penguins and their distribution on the Galapagos Islands, and archipelago located on the equator. Students will investigate how a penguin species can survive in a predominantly tropical climate while maintaining the basic biological characteristics that most penguins require, such as colder temperatures. The lesson addresses the importance that ocean currents play in affecting the distribution and abundance of this species.

Type: Lesson Plan

Describing Populations of Frogs and Salamanders:

Students use real world examples of sampling frog and salamander populations to explore the different characteristics of a population and the process of observation and inference. The lesson includes individual and group activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring Florida Ecosystems:

Students explore the general definition of an ecosystem and reinforce the idea using ephemeral wetlands as a specific example. Students apply and share knowledge through presentations about specific Florida ecosystems.

Type: Lesson Plan

It’s Not Waste—It’s Matter!:

It's Not Waste—It's Matter is an MEA that gives students an opportunity to review matter, their physical properties, and mixtures. The MEA provides students to work in teams to resolve a real-life scenario creating a design method by which recyclable products are separated in order to further process.

Type: Lesson Plan

To The Limit:

"To The Limit" MEA has students identify several factors that can affect a population’s growth. Students will examine photos to list limiting factors and discuss their impact on populations. As a group they will develop a solution to minimize the impact of pollution on fish population.

Type: Lesson Plan

Population Dynamics:

This 7E lesson plan is broken down into 3 lessons used to teach high school students in grades 9-12 about the characteristics used to describe populations. There are inquiry based and project based inquiry activities incorporated within the lesson. Students will also learn the difference between exponential and logistic growth by doing hands -on activities. A Power Point is used to guide the activities, and learning.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sustainability and Tourism Location MEA:

This MEA gives the students an opportunity to learn about sustainability and then apply that knowledge to help EcoAthletica determine the location for their next sustainable tourism resort. The students will use a variety of criteria and the definition of sustainability and sustainable tourism to create a model for choosing locations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Panthers and Wildlife Corridors:

Students will learn about the Florida Panther, threats to it's survival and the role of wildlife corridors as an attempt to reduce roadway fatalities. Students will participate in a game simulating panther crossings, learn about panthers from a guest speaker or teacher, and participate in a mock town hall meeting evaluating the construction of wildlife corridors.

Type: Lesson Plan

Coral Reefs in Acid - What is Ocean Acidification?:

The goal of this lesson plan is for students to be able to conduct mini-experiments that demonstrate what ocean acidification is and how it affects marine organisms. Students will perform mini-experiments and observe diagrams to help generate a definition of what ocean acidification is, why it is occurring, and how humans can reduce their impact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Physics of Water:

The purpose of this lesson is for students to conduct mini-experiments, demonstrating the physical properties of water. Students will collect data, diagram results, and generate a well-developed paragraph describing the various effects of water pressure and temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Preserving Our Marine Ecosystems:

The focus of this MEA is oil spills and their effect on the environment. In this activity, students from a fictitious class are studying about the effects of an oil spill on marine ecosystems and have performed an experiment in which they were asked to try to rid a teaspoon of corn oil from a baking pan filled with two liters of water as thoroughly as possible in a limited timeframe and with limited resources. By examining, analyzing, and evaluating experimental data related to resource usage, disposal, and labor costs, students must face the tradeoffs that are involved in trying to preserve an ecosystem when time, money, and resources are limited.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cleaning Up Your Act:

Cleaning Up Your Act Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) provides students with a real world engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best material for cleaning up an oil spill. The main focus of this MEA is to recognize the consequences of a catastrophic event, and understand the environmental and economical impact based on data analysis. Students will conduct individual and team investigations in order to arrive at a scientifically sound solution to the problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Renewable Resources are the answer!:

This lesson deals with understanding how non renewable resources are being depleted. It emphasizes the urgent need to discuss and implement the use of renewable resources since its much cheaper. A total appreciation of what the earth supply us with.

Type: Lesson Plan

Community Energy Wars:

Students will discuss the costs and benefits of a variety of energy projects in a local area.

Type: Lesson Plan

Testing water for drinking purposes:

The importance of knowing what drinking water contains. How to know what properties are present in different bottled water. Knowing the elements present in water that is advantageous to growth and development of many things in the body. To know what to be alert for in water and to understand the importance of water in general.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy Resources and Anthropogenic Effects on the Environment:

The term "anthropogenic" describes something that is caused by human activity. Today we will focus on how our "throw-away" consumer lifestyle has detrimentally affected the environment, and we will look at possible solutions to preventing more harm to the environment and society.

Type: Lesson Plan

Marvel Rainforest:

Students will examine how to manage a rainforest while maintaining the living standards of a community.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Camouflage Colors:

Ocean Camouflage Colors explores the concept of light-wave absorption by ocean water and how it alters color perception and consequently the appropriate choice for protective coloration in the ocean. After exploring the students' prior knowledge of concepts like color perception, absorption and reflection, the class watches a video clip of a diver who takes a red apple ( and some colorful plastic) diving in the Caribbean. After some further discussion and the creation of a set of notes, students are given a more formal reading activity with 5 questions to complete independently (in most cases). This reading activity can be used in class or possibly as a homework exercise if time is short. Ocean Camouflage Colors was intended as an extension activity to support the 2 mini-labs in Ocean Camouflage. The reading portion can be used alone to bring students who were absent the day of the mini-labs "up to speed" OR it can be used as a review exercise prior to a test OR a homework activity for further practice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Clean Park - Environmental MEA:

The environmental conditions in parks can influence the availability of food, light, space, and water and hence affect the growth and development of animals. It can become worse and lead to endangerment and extinction of various species. The following are areas in nature that can be affected: lakes, plants, animal life in and outside of water and many more.

Type: Lesson Plan

SUSHI MANIA:

This MEA is designed to educate students about the biomagnification of mercury in aquatic ecosystems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Designing an Ecosystem:

In this lesson students will design a completely imaginary ecosystem that is comprised of producers, consumers, secondary consumers, and decomposers. Students will design the ecosystem by determining the location of the ecosystem and the biotic and abiotic factors in the ecosystem. The students will also include the number of organisms at each trophic level, and any adaptations the organisms must have to live in their ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Camouflage in the Ocean:

In this lesson, students will complete two mini-labs to explore how colors change as you descend in an aquatic environment. Based on their observations they are challenged to design a camouflage pattern which could be used below the upper, sun-lit portions of the ocean, AND defend their design decisions in written form.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genetically Modified Foods:

Using short videos, articles and a scavenger hunt, students will learn the process of genetically modifying crops and understand the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified foods.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Living Like Weasels:

The goal of this four-day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to discover the rich language and life lesson embedded in Dillard's text. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will be equipped to unpack Dillard's essay. When combined with writing about the passage, students will learn to appreciate how Dillard's writing contains a deeper message and derive satisfaction from the struggle to master complex text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Carbon Cycle:

This resource includes a 5E lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation on the carbon cycle, student worksheet, and links for engaging videos on the carbon cycle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Coral Reefs Surviving Despite the Odds:

This lesson uses an article from the National Science Foundation to inform the reader about the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau. The article discusses the effects that ocean acidification normally has on coral reefs and then describes the unique situation encountered in Palau. Scientists discovered coral reefs thriving in waters with a lower pH than normal. The article discusses how scientists are unsure of why these coral reefs are thriving, but future studies could reveal the answers. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Web:

Food web
Energy Pyramid
Producers
Consumers

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Webs and Energy Transfer:

Students will learn about trophic levels, energy relationships, and how producers, consumers, and decomposers interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Invasive or Not?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that discusses new evidence regarding the status of the Arctic ground squirrel. The species was previously thought to be an invasive species on Chirikof Island off the coast of Alaska, but new evidence calls this belief into question. The lesson plan includes a vocabulary note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Invasive Species:

This resource provides a lesson plan, a student assignment, and a power point presentation on invasive species with examples.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is My School Environmentally Friendly?:

Students will learn about certain how individuals can create threats to the environment, as well as ways to limit these threats. Students will evaluate their own school and its environmental impact as well as ways to reduce negative impact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Overfishing Kills Reef Systems!:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the effects of overfishing on coral reef systems. The text explains how scientists have found that overfishing removes many of the algae-eating fish, and this causes an increase in algae growth, which leads to a microbial increase, and finally leads to coral mortality. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Plants versus Pollutants Model Eliciting Activity:

The Plants versus Pollutants MEA provides students with an open-ended problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best plants to clean up certain toxins. This MEA requires students to formulate a phytoremediation-based solution to a problem involving cleaning of a contaminated land site. Students are provided the context of the problem, a request letter from a client asking them to provide a recommendation, and data relevant to the situation. Students utilize the data to create a defensible model solution to present to the client.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's that Smell? Avoiding Peers with Parasites:

In this lesson, students will analyze two informational texts intended to support reading in the content area. The primary article discusses social behavior in mandrills that helps them know when to avoid certain individuals in their community in order to prevent becoming infected with parasites. A second related text discusses adaptations in Atlantic killifish that allow them to survive in water polluted by high levels of toxins. By reading and synthesizing both texts, students will learn about adaptations that enable survival of species. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution: A Lesson Study Resource Kit for grades 9-12:

This lesson study resource kit is designed to support lesson study teams in developing a unit of instruction for students in grades 9-12 on the topic of diversity and evolution.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

The Price of Success: Wolf Population Management:

In this MEA lesson, students will come up with a strategy to choose among proposals for managing wolf populations in the state of Wyoming. They will make an evidence-based recommendation to the state based on the costs and benefits of maintaining a healthy wolf population outside of Yellowstone National Park.

Type: Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

Original Student Tutorials

Biodiversity and Non-native Species:

See how non-native species can impact ecosystem biodiversity to create problems for native species in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Phosphorus in the Everglades:

Learn how phosphorus pollution can lead to changes in the Everglades. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Migration in the Kenyan Savannah:

Examine migration and factors affecting both population sizes and distributions of key species in the Kenyan savannah with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Interactions among Organisms: Kenya:

Explore examples of mutualism, competition, and predation in the Kenyan savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ant Populations in the Kenyan Savannah:

Explore living and nonliving factors affecting populations of ants in Kenya and learn a bit about the importance of the acacia tree in this savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Explore the impact of methylmercury pollution in the Everglades wetland ecosystem.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

A Study in Sustainability:

Learn how individual and societal choices affect sustainability and explore ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sustainability:

Learn the definition of "sustainability" and understand how our throw away consumer lifestyle has affected the environment in a negative way. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore possible solutions to prevent further harm to the environment.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Population Interactions:

Explore population interactions and how those interactions can affect population size in this interactive tutorial. You'll also learn about competition, predation and symbiosis.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Diving the Depths of Underwater Life:

Learn how the distribution of aquatic life forms is affected by light, temperature, and salinity with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Fire and the Carbon Cycle:

In this video, fire ecologist Kevin Robertson explains the role of fire in the carbon cycle in fire-dependent ecosystems.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Tree Rings Research to Inform Land Management Practices:

In this video, fire ecologist Monica Rother describes tree ring research and applications for land management.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ant Populations in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan discusses biotic and abiotic factors that affect populations of ants in the Kenyan savannah.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Migration in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan discusses the impetus for organisms to migrate in the Kenyan savannah.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Invasive Ants and Competition in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan shares his research on invasive ant species in the Kenyan savannah.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Relationships of Organisms in the Kenyan Savannah:

Patrick Milligan discusses the relationship of organisms in the Kenyan savannah.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Deep Sea Ecosystems:

Sandra Brooke, from FSU Marine Lab, talks about undersea canyon ecosystems.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Bycatch and the Impact on Biodiversity:

Dean Grubbs of Florida State Universisty, discusses the impact bycatch has on ocean life.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Why did we throw it away?:

Dean Grubbs explains how different types of trash, like plastics, ends up in the ocean and how they become a detriment to marine life.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Shark Population Analysis and Policy:

Enric Cortes discuses shark population data collected and the use of data to influence policy decisions.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Statistical Sampling Results in setting Legal Catch Rate :

Fish Ecologist, Dean Grubbs, discusses how using statistical sampling can help determine legal catch rates for fish that may be endangered.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Histograms Show Trends in Fisheries Data Over Time:

NOAA Fishery management relies on histograms to show patterns and trends over time of fishery data.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Fish and Bacteria Symbiosis:

Dr. Andrea Larsen describes interactions between bacteria and fish that allow both to thrive.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Fish Microbiota, Dysbiosis, and Disease Prevention:

Dr. Andrea Larsen explains how fish microbiota are connected to fish health for aquaculture applications.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Coral Research Driving Florida Reef Restoration Policy:

Dr. Erinn Muller explains how coral health research at Mote Marine Laboratory is driving policy decisions regarding coral reef restoration in Florida.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Research Methods to Understand Phosphorous in the Everglades:

Dr. Melodie Naja of The Everglades Foundation describes research and modeling programs designed to better understand origins and localized levels of phosphorous pollution in the Everglades.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Dr. Melodie Naja describes the link between agricultural pollutants and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in the fresh surface waters of the Everglades.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Habitat Changes in Related to Phosphorous Pollution in the Everglades:

Watch as Dr. Stephen E. Davis, III explains how excess phosphorous pollution is impacting the Everglades.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Periphyton plays several vital roles in the Everglades. Watch now to find out more!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Limiting Factors Affecting Coral Health Populations:

Dr. Erinn Muller describes limiting factors affecting coral health.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Rapid Genetic Identification of Sharks:

Dr. Mahmood Shivji explains how rapid genetic testing of shark tissue samples is used to address societal pressures on marine environments.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ocean Currents:

Dr. Nico Wienders from the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science at Florida State University discusses factors related to currents and energy transfer in the ocean.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematically Exploring the Wakulla Caves:

The tide is high!  How can we statistically prove there is a relationship between the tides on the Gulf Coast and in a fresh water spring 20 miles from each other?

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

MicroGravity Sensors & Statistics:

Statistical analysis played an essential role in using microgravity sensors to determine location of caves in Wakulla County.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Everglades Invertebrate Biodiversity:

Pick up the pace and learn how snails fit into the Florida food web!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Energy Transfer through Model Food Web Communities:

Dr. Tom Miller explains the major roles in food web communities and describes a model system for exploring energy transfer between organisms.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Large Animal Population Characteristics:

Dr. Bill McShea from the Smithsonian Institution discusses population characteristics related to large animal species.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership, including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protecting Biodiversity in At-Risk Ecosystems:

Dr. Bill McShea from the Smithsonian Institution discusses how he works to ameliorate negative human impacts on the enviroment to maintain healthy biodiversity.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership, including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protecting Wetland Habitats from the Negative Impacts of Roadways:

Roads are a great resource for humans, but what do they mean for fragile ecosystems? Find out in this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Measuring Biodiversity to Evaluate Human Impact:

Humans impact the environment in a number of ways. Learn more about how we interact with nature!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Coral Varieties and their Place in Aquatic Systems:

Learn all the information about coral and corral that knowledge!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Observing Invertebrate Biodiversity with Live Rock:

This teaching activity rocks! Learn about aquatic ecosystems and hands-on learning!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Ecosystems:

What lurks beneath the water's surface? Lots of creatures, big and small! Learn how mangroves grow in an unusual environment and support many other organisms both in and out of the water.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ocean Currents and Aquatic Life:

Too many ideas about ocean currents swirling around in your head? Get into the flow of things with this video.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Adaptation to Low Light Aquatic Environments:

This biologist will brighten your day with a discussion on colorful (or not) ways that marine organisms have adapted to ocean lighting.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Spills and Biodiversity:

Do you think you know oil there is to know about human impact on the environment? Let this biologist explain.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

On the Origin of Crude Oil:

An oil scientist explains how crude oil is formed and how it behaves in the environment.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Fish Stay in their Zone?:

Sink into science as a biologist floats a few thoughts about physiological adaptations marine animals use to stay at the right depth.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Environmental Restoration Techniques:

Scientists can be superheroes when it comes to saving rivers! Watch this video to find out more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protect our Fisheries from Invasive Species:

Lionfish and other species are roaring past our native populations. Learn more.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Sea Turtle Conservation:

Watch as this scientist shines a light on a type of pollution that affects sea turtles.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Causes of Ocean Currents:

Don't get stuck in a loop on ocean currents. Let this oceanography student explain.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Oil Spill Impacts through Community Involvement :

Don't cry over spilled oil. Take action instead! Learn how students can help scientists who are studying what happens to spilled oil and over time how it affects the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Negative Impacts of Oil Spills:

Learn how the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution experts track oil-soaked sand patties on the Gulf Coast to monitor possible negative environmental impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Managing Lionfish Populations:

Invasive lionfish are taking a bite out of the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. Biologists are looking for new ways to remove them, including encouraging recreational divers to bite back!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Symbiotic Plant-Bacteria Interactions:

Agriculture takes teamwork! Watch now to learn more about how plants, bacteria, and viruses interact.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Field Sampling with the Point-centered Quarter Method:

In this video, Jim Cox describes a sampling method for estimating the density of dead trees in a forest ecosystem.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Composting and Decomposers:

In this video, Mark Tancig explains how decomposers are vital to the process of composting.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Determining Remote Locations with Math:

Ecologist, Rebecca Means, describes the process of determining remote locations in the USA and developing quantitative questions that are appropriate.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Fishery Independent vs Dependent Sampling Methods for Fishery Management:

NOAA Scientist Doug Devries discusses the differences between fishery independent surveys and fishery independent surveys.  Discussion includes trap sampling as well as camera sampling. Using graphs to show changes in population of red snapper.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Longleaf Pine Forests and Renewable Resources:

Coleman Mackie discusses longleaf pine forests as renewable resources.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Salvaging Timber from Riverbeds :

Coleman Mackie discusses the process of how he salvages pre-cut timbers from the bottom of river beds, the importance of ring density, buoyancy and the uses of the recovered logs.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Waste Reduction from Glass Art Fabrication:

Glass artist Russel Scaturro explains how fine control of gas flow aids efforts to minimize his carbon footprint toward a larger goal of environmentally-conscious fabrication methodology. 

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Interaction of the Spheres:

Jeff Dutrow discusses how the interactions of spheres impacts fish behaviors including tides, currents, and seasons.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Mathematically Modeling Eddy Shedding :

COAPS oceanographer Dmitry Dukhovskoy describes the process used to mathematically model eddy shedding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Graphs Help Identify Cost-Effective Sea Turtle Conservation Strategies:

This marine biologist discusses her use of graphical representations to help determine the most cost-effective management strategies for sea turtle conservation.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Conserving Resources with an Electric Car:

Charles Carpenter gives an overview of what it is like to own an electric car.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Composting with Worms:

In this video, Molly Jameson explains how worm composting can work for the classroom.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

The Importance of Sea Grass Beds:

Alicia Brown describes the role of sea grass beds in the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Exploring Bay Biodiversty:

Sometimes science means going outside. Get going!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Invasive Species Research Projects:

Listen in as this teacher explains how students can do their own research to can help them understand invasive species and the dangers they pose to an ecosystem.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Food Webs with the Encyclopedia of Life:

Dr. Jeff Holmes from the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology discusses the Encyclopedia of Life as a teaching resource for concepts regarding food webs.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Oil Spill Cleanup Kits:

Wade into science with students by cleaning up model oil spills!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Building Model Food Webs in the Classroom:

It's all connected. Check out this food web lesson idea.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Outdoor Exploration to Observe Nature:

Take a hike! This teacher presents an idea for students to learn about nature by collecting and categorizing specimens.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Building Websites about Endangered Species:

Technology and web design can help students communicate information about an endangered species.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Ephemeral Wetlands Teaching Resources:

Learn about wetlands and how they meet the needs of various inhabitants. Learn more about how to learn more at Remote Footprints.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Professional Developments

Volcano Power:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on teaching students how to integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information in different media. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Yosemite Burning:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on evaluating the reasoning and evidence of an argumentative claim. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Climate Change: Just the Facts:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to incorporate literacy skills into their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate how to help students identify an author's purpose and point of view as well as the question the author seeks to address. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version.

Type: Professional Development

Rising Tide: Crisis in the Pacific:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to incorporate literacy skills into their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate how to help students identify an author's purpose in a text and identify any unresolved important issues. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version.

Type: Professional Development

Projects

Imperiled Species Management Plan:

Students will create a management plan to conserve an imperiled species in the state of Florida.

Type: Project

Project Based Learning Assignment: Human Impact on the Environment.:

This resource is a student-led project surrounding human impact on the environment in the context of the nature of science (problem solving).

Type: Project

Teaching Ideas

An Ecological Field Study with Statistical Analysis of Two Populations:

Students will design an investigation that compares a characteristic of two populations of the same species. Students will collect data in the field and analyze the data using descriptive statistics.

Type: Teaching Idea

Survival Factors - SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will analyze the impact of humans on the coral reef ecosystem as a result of human social, political, and economic activities.

Type: Teaching Idea

Write Proposed Legislation-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will identify the steps of how a bill becomes a law. Students will demonstrate presentation and debating skills during a mock session of congress. Students will identify causes as to why animals become threatened or endangered.

Type: Teaching Idea

Polar Opposites-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will be able to understand the effects of introducing geographically non-native species to a new environment.

Type: Teaching Idea

Endangered Species Worldwide:

Students will be able to use a world map or globe to locate the distribution of at least 10 endangered species and describe the current threats and conservation efforts concerning one endangered species of animal or plant.

Type: Teaching Idea

Manatees on the Move-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will be able to show four or more West Indian manatee habitats on a map and describe and/or illustrate yearly movements of manatees along the Florida coastline. Students will be able to describe the top three threats to manatees and create an educational campaign to target the causes of the threats.

Type: Teaching Idea

Manatees on the 'Net-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will use the Internet to determine the population status of the Florida manatee and will use the information to debate the extinction or recovery of the manatee.

Type: Teaching Idea

Design an Ecosystem-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

The student will describe various adaptations and how they enable the organism to survive in its habitat.

Type: Teaching Idea

Line Up for Recycling-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will be able to describe the sources of discarded monofilament fishing line and its hazard to wildlife. Students will plan a clean-up campaign in their area. As an option, students can carry out the campaign. During the campaign, students will document the procedure, record the amount of line collected and write a "planning book" to become a resource for others to use.

Type: Teaching Idea

Lagoon Debate-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Given a common environmental situation, students will research available literature or other resources for more information, and logically argue a viewpoint. They will be able to demonstrate a real-life decision-making process and evaluate its outcome.

Type: Teaching Idea

Fur Seal Survey-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Given a current environmental situation, the student will be able to gather information, organize, analyze, and present data. They will participate in a decision-making process.

Type: Teaching Idea

Raptor Detectives-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will identify threats to raptor populations and conceptually model situations related to population dynamics.

Type: Teaching Idea

Raptor Population Ecology-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will calculate population size, carrying capacity, annual change in population size, and maximum rate of population increase of different raptor species.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Yellowstone Ecosystem Needs Wolves and Willows, Elk and... Beavers?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the effects of the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park, as well as how other organisms are linked in this food web. As the wolf population decreases, the elk population increases due to lack of predation. The larger elk population decimates the willow population, a prime source of food and building for the beaver. As beaver population decreases, streams no longer deposit enough sediments. This then changes the willow population, because they are no longer able to take root in the stream.

Type: Text Resource

The Invasive Squirrel That Wasn't:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes the discovery of evidence that contradicts the notion that a specific species of squirrel was introduced to an Alaskan ecosystem. It further discusses the implication of the new evidence and challenges the current meaning of invasive species.

Type: Text Resource

Gut Check: Mandrills Sniff Poop to Avoid Peers with Parasites:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a mechanism of behavioral avoidance to help maintain health between mandrills. Mandrills use their olfactory senses in order to determine which of their peers to avoid due to parasitic infections.
Quantitative

Type: Text Resource

These Itsy-Bitsy Herbivores Could Stage a Huge Coral Reef Rescue:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The article implies that human interactions that raise the global temperature (climate change) can have disastrous effects on coral reefs (coral bleaching). The article explains how a discovery of other organisms filling a previously occupied niche may help to rebuild and sustain coral reefs.

Type: Text Resource

Scientists Discover Stinging Truths About Jellyfish Blooms in the Bering Sea:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how jellyfish populations in the Bering Sea have been impacted by different limiting factors like temperature and food availability. Scientists suspect that increasing water temperatures affect the development of polyps in multiple ways. In addition, the study is a multi-disciplinary effort between experts in marine ecology, statistics, and the mathematical geosciences. It is thought such models may be applied to other marine and land-based ecological studies and the spread of infectious diseases.

Type: Text Resource

What is the Carbon Cycle?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the carbon cycle and its dynamic nature. Carbon dioxide is recycled by plants and other autotrophs, considered "sinks." Animals and heterotrophs give off carbon dioxide as a by-product of the process of cellular respiration. In addition, human activity, accelerated by industrial activity, produces more carbon dioxide than autotrophs can handle, leading to global warming.

Type: Text Resource

Polar Bears Across the Arctic Face Shorter Sea Ice Season:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are among the animals most affected by the seasonal and year-to-year decline in Arctic sea ice, because they rely on ice for essential activities such as hunting, traveling, and breeding. A new research study has confirmed this finding.

Type: Text Resource

Born During a Drought: Bad News for Baboons:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how a drought affected the savanna ecosystem found in southern Kenya during 2009. It further addresses how baboons are affected later in life based on the conditions when they are born and the social status they are born into. Based on the research on baboons, the implications on human health are discussed in the latter portion of the article.

Type: Text Resource

Virus Fingered as Top Suspect in West Coast Sea Star Wasting Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research on the identification and the effects of the Sea Star Associated Densovirus. The article further explains the importance of research on this virus because of its impact on the tidal ecosystems on the Pacific West Coast.

Type: Text Resource

Hibernation Season Over, Will Disease-Ridden Bats Emerge from Caves and Mines This Spring?:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The article discusses the spread of White Nose Syndrome in North American bats and how bat colonies are being affected in both size and number. The article also provides a comparison between European and North American bat colonies suffering with this disease.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource: Bioremediation: Nature's Way to a Cleaner Environment:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. It is designed to introduce the ideas and the research history of bioremediation studies performed by the USGS scientists. This text begins with an environmental spill and moves into the progress gained in cost effective and safe cleanup of toxic substances from the environment using research completed by the USGS.

Type: Text Resource

Caribbean Bat Species Need 8 Million Years to Recover from Recent Extinction Waves:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how Caribbean bat species are ideal for understanding the implications of extinction and its effects on species. The article suggests that the geographic isolation of these species helps scientists to understand the causes of extinction and how long species may need to recover from natural and human impact.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource: Too Much of a Good Thing: Human Activities Overload Ecosystems with Nitrogen:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Human activities, mainly the use of fertilizer, are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen. Nitrogen is a dynamic cycle that is mediated by bacteria. Humans have been contributing to the nitrogen cycle through synthetic nitrogen fixation. This has resulted in eutrophication of aquatic systems and greenhouse gas emissions. Methods to increase the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use are discussed.

Type: Text Resource

New Zealand Announces Plan to Wipe Out Invasive Predators:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains the new Zealand government's plan to eliminate invasive predators from the country by 2050 and the challenges that may be involved in reaching this goal. The article also describes the effects the predators have had on the native wildlife to date.

Type: Text Resource

For the First Time, Bees Declared Endangered in the U.S.:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how for the first time bees have been declared endangered in the United States. Seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees have been decimated by invasive species and habitat loss and are now federally protected. The text goes on to describe an innovative way scientists want to help the bees.

Type: Text Resource

Prairie Dogs Are Serial Killers That Murder Their Competition:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the discovery of the white-tailed prairie dog murdering ground squirrels in cold blood in order to eliminate the competition for food. The article further highlights how the killings of the squirrels benefit the prairie dog offspring.

Type: Text Resource

What's Good for Crops Not Always Good for the Environment:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes a recent development that will allow scientists to help farmers determine the precise amount of nitrogen needed for their corn and soybean fields. The research was conducted by two scientists at the University of Illinois. If farmers can pinpoint the exact amount of fertilizer needed, reducing the amount that runs off or leaches into the water supply, the better for all living organisms on Earth.

Type: Text Resource

Panama Canal: Superhighway for Invasive Species?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the effects the Panama Canal expansion may have on the number of invasive species introduced to the East Coast and Gulf Coast of the United States. The article explains how ballast water and wet surface areas are the two ways the invasive species can travel from port to port.

Type: Text Resource

Contamination in North Dakota Linked to Fracking Spills:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how accidental wastewater spills from fracking have caused soil and water contamination in North Dakota. Researchers from Duke University have been able to prove the contamination comes directly from the North Dakota wells. The text also explains how almost 10,000 wells have been drilled in North Dakota over the past decade, and how the state began producing more than 1 million barrels of oil a day in 2014. Much of the increased production has come through hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

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Rangers Use Artificial Intelligence to Fight Poachers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text discusses the design of an artificial intelligence (AI) technology called PAWS that was designed as a tool to help wildlife officials stop poachers. PAWS uses data about previous poaching activities and analyzes the data to create smart and efficient routes for wildlife officers to use while looking for poaching activity.

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Antarctica Could Lose Most of Its Penguins to Climate Change:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the status of the Adelie penguin population and what might happen to it by the end of the century. Using statistical models, researchers looked at current data and used future climate projections to determine the status of the Adelie's habitat.

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Mercury-Laden Fog Swirls over Coastal California, Scientists Find:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the research conducted on the amounts of methyl mercury found in fog samples. Two different studies were conducted, and both indicate that fog is a major contributor and source of the presence of methyl mercury in an inland environment.

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Which Emits More Carbon Dioxide: Volcanoes or Human Activities?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article answers the question of whether volcanic activity or human activities contribute more to global warming. With evidence and support, they easily conclude human activities are the heaviest contributor

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Protecting the Honey-Bearers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the problem of declining honey bee populations in the United States and lists the possible factors involved. The text then describes the study on African honey bees to determine if there are genetic or physiological causes in their response to the Varroa parasite. Researchers are hoping the data they gather will help them improve breeding programs or management practices in U.S. bee populations.

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Research Spotlights a Previously Unknown Microbial 'Drama' Playing in the Southern Ocean:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the relationship between phytoplankton and different bacteria in the Southern Ocean. The text goes on to describe the results and how they changed previous ideas and assumptions about the needs of phytoplankton.

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Peering into the Secret World of Life Beneath Winter Snows:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes a new field of researchers called winter ecologists who are examining the effects of warmer winters caused by climate change. The text describes how snow creates an insulating layer for the living organisms below the snow. When that insulating layer is thinner, due to increased global temperatures, the organisms suffer colder temperatures, stress, and even death. Winter ecologists are trying to learn more about this layer, which is called the subnivium, and how organisms are responding to these changes.

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Warming Waters Contributed to the Collapse of New England's Cod Fishery:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the decline in the population of cod found in the Gulf of Maine. The author writes that fishery managers have set strict quotas on cod, with little positive change. Research indicates climate change has been a major factor in the steady decline of cod, and the text explains why.

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Too Much Algae – and Too Many Microbes – Threaten Coral Reefs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes a recent study that helped researchers prove a link between overfishing to increased growth of fleshy algae to microbialization. This increase in microbes causes a depletion of the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. In addition, the increase in microbial growth can spread disease. In conclusion, microbialization is found to be a major contributing factor to the destruction and decline of coral reef health.

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Coral Reefs Defy Ocean Acidification Odds in Palau:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the impact that ocean acidification typically has on coral reefs in water with low pH. The text goes on to describe the surprising results of a study done on coral reefs in Palau that are thriving despite living in water with low pH. Researchers must conduct further tests to determine why this is happening, but it gives them hope that some coral reefs might be able to withstand future levels of ocean acidification.

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Annual Antarctic Ozone Hole Larger and Formed Later in 2015:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text provides information about 2015's ozone hole, showing why it is larger this year and lasted longer than previous years. The article shows how the protective ozone layer changes with the seasons and is different each year. Although the hole is large this year, the practices that have been followed since the Montreal Protocol was enacted have allowed the ozone hole to slowly decrease, and it should be back to 1980 levels by 2070.

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Environmental Pressures at the Top of the Earth Produce Evolutionary Impacts:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text presents a picture of how and why animals and people living at the Arctic will start to change (due to changing climate with melting sea ice) in order to keep surviving.

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Invasive Lionfish Diet Could Impact Native Coral Reef Fishes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how lionfish, an invasive species in Atlantic waters, is threatening ecosystems there. The voracious diet of the lionfish will likely affect native species and the commercial fishing industry.

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Text Resource: USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. El Niño is known to cause weather disturbances, however, its impact on winter storms causes a slew of additional complications when coupled with rising ocean levels instigated by global warming. The USGS reviews the effects, efforts to study the phenomena, and hints at ways to plan strategically for them in this timely article.

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Organic Fruit and Veggies Help This Farmer-Mom Save Money and Forests in Bangladesh:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how people in Bangladesh are using homestead farming to provide for their families, while simultaneously contributing to preserving local forests. With the help of USAID, farmers are using higher-yielding seeds and cultivating crops using organic fertilizers and composting. The demand for food grown without pesticides and nourished by compost helps the homestead farmers to make enough money to improve their standard of living, while helping the environment at the same time.

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Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers as Climate Warms:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a study that show declines in ice—glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice, and lake ice—at the Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains over the past thirty years. The text describes that the researchers attribute the declines in ice to climate change. Using the results of their study, the scientists also make a startling prediction that the Arikaree Glacier in the Rocky Mountains will disappear in twenty years.

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Ancient Fossils Show Effect of Humans on Caribbean Wildlife:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article focuses on scientific data gathered in the Caribbean (specifically Abaco Island). The authors describe how wildlife is impacted by natural events and by humans, and why it is important for people to understand these interactions.

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Feeding Birds in Your Local Park? If They're White Ibises in Florida, Think Twice:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the interactions between local wildlife (white ibises in Florida) and humans, and the impact that these interactions have on both species. The article presents both benefits as well as potential drawbacks to the close proximity of humans and white ibises. The article also describes how scientists are studying these interactions and their effects.

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In Grasslands, Longer Spring Growing Season Offsets Higher Summer Temperatures:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the process the researchers use to develop a detailed model of how they predict climate change will occur in the future and what effect this will have on North American grasslands. The author explains how climate change impacts ecosystems while also providing an example of using models in science to predict future events/outcomes.

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Genetics Provide New Hope for Endangered Freshwater Mussels:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains the impact of scientists’ studies on a number of freshwater mussel species and their genetic makeup. The intent of the research was to find ways of protecting threatened and endangered species of mussels. The article explains that the genetic similarities of species that cohabitate a river could lead to development of new methods of protecting mussel species.

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Revealing the Ocean's Hidden Fertilizer:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains how scientists are working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore the role of phosphorus, and specifically the phosphorus cycle, in marine ecosystems. The author explains what is known about the topic, what research was done, what conclusions were drawn, and the importance of the scientists' findings.

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Peru's Melting Glaciers Teach Community "to Be Strong in the Face of the Changes":

This informational text is resource designed to help support reading in the content area. The article discusses the impact of climate change (global warming) on the tropical glaciers in Peru. It focuses on providing a description of how Peruvians depend upon the glaciers and the impact that the melting of the glaciers could have in the future. The author also emphasizes USAID's role in working with Peruvians to help them develop plans to deal with the possible loss of the glaciers

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Alaska: Marine Debris in the Wilderness:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text is a transcript of an interview with Peter Murphy, the Alaska Regional Coordinator of the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The interview highlights some of the challenges of removing marine debris in Alaska, specific projects, and goals for future work.

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Text Resource - Climate Change: Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the possible effects on the planet due to the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, especially the implications for climate change.

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Jaguar Corridor Lights Up Eastern Colombia:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how predation of domestic cattle by jaguars in Colombia was becoming increasingly common due in part to deforestation. A conservation program was implemented to create a corridor for jaguars to pass through, keeping the jaguars separated from the farms and livestock and allowing them a natural pathway to cross through the Andes Mountains to eastern Colombia.

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Seeking Zika: Where and When Will Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Strike Next?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes current research into the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, with the ultimate goal of using the research to predict and possibly prevent future outbreaks. Scientists are studying three towns in Ecuador by collecting data to help them discover the socioeconomic and environmental factors that put people most at risk for diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, including the Zika virus. The scientists are also examining how virus transmission by these mosquitoes may be affected by climate change.

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Low-Oxygen "Dead Zones" in North Pacific Linked to Past Ocean Warming:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a recent study that has found a link between past ocean warming and the onset of "dead zones" in the Pacific Ocean off Oregon and Washington.

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Clues to Future of Undersea Exploration May Reside Inside a Jellyfish-like Creature:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article relates the findings of a study by four scientists about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. Their study focuses on this organism's ability to move through the water column in a coordinated fashion and how this knowledge may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater.

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Parasites: Rulers of the Reef:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. Through the scientist describing how his research lead to new observations that lead to new questions and research, the text is a good example of how scientific investigations are conducted, including working collaboratively and communicating important results.

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Good News and Bad News for Coral Reefs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. Through discussion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the central Pacific, this text offers perspective on how political factors can greatly influence ecology. The article explains some of the benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) like the Marine National Monument, which often include pristine coral reefs and exceptional biodiversity, using the example of MPAs in the Philippines. It also briefly describes global threats to MPAs.

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Spider Venom Could Yield Eco-Friendly Insecticides:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. A biochemist is studying spider venom to see if it can be used to control agricultural pests. The venom is harmless to vertebrates but kills insects that may kill crops. If successful, the spider venom could be used to replace chemical pesticides that are harmful to humans, wildlife, and the environment. In addition, insects that destroy crops are becoming resistant to these chemical insecticides but would not be resistant to bioinsecticides.

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Coastal Blue Carbon:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes different ecosystems that store carbon, like forests, and goes into how carbon is stored more efficiently in coastal ecosystems. The text goes on to advocate for conserving and protecting our coastal ecosystems to keep the carbon stored and prevent the carbon from being released into the atmosphere to further impact the planet through climate change. The text also explores other benefits for conserving coastal ecosystems.

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In the Valley of Wolves: Reintroduction of the Wolves:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has resulted in many changes in the ecosystem. Before the wolves were reintroduced, large elk populations destroyed aspen and willow trees, preventing their reproduction. Since wolves were reintroduced, elk have had to change their browsing behavior, allowing some vegetation to recover in certain areas. This has affected many other species, including beavers, birds, fish and insects.

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Coral Reefs Show Remarkable Ability to Recover from Near Death:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. When corals are stressed, they release their algal partners and turn white, a phenomenon called coral bleaching. This occurs when they are under stress from warming waters or other environmental factors. Researchers monitored reefs in the Seychelles during and after coral bleaching events, and found that several factors, including depth of growth, branching shape, nutrient levels, and amount of fish grazing accurately predicted whether reefs were likely to recover from these events. Human impacts such as sediment or nutrient run-off also affect the corals' resiliency.

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The Indian River Lagoon: An Estuary of National Significance:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.  What is the Indian River Lagoon?  Why is the lagoon an estuary of “national significance?”  What are some of the environmental challenges the lagoon faces?  These questions represent interesting and relevant content explored in this informative text about one of Florida’s most important estuaries.   The text also has the potential to be used as an anchor text to segue into further areas of inquiry such as the role of water management districts, restoration initiatives, and the death of wildlife on the Indian River Lagoon.

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Is Large-Scale Production of Biofuel Possible?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Is large-scale production of biofuel possible? The author attempts to answer this key question. As the world seeks to decrease its dependence on petroleum fuel by genetically engineering certain crops, there is the potential to commercially produce biofuels. Plant sources for bioenergy, the harnessing of plant bioenergy, and the sustainability of the industry are all issues considered in this text. The article discusses both environmental and economic consequences.

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Climate's Troublesome Kids:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Did you know that climate has two not-so-nice children? Meet El Niño and La Niña, the "boy" and "girl" spawned by the global climate every 3-7 years. They can give the world a climate that's quite troublesome, depending on which one is causing the disturbance.

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Introduced Species: The Threat to Biodiversity & What Can Be Done:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity for many reasons. This article outlines the scope of the problem, explaining how invasive species are impacting native flora and fauna and offering potential solutions to prevent their spread.

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The Importance of Wastewater Treatment :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Wastewater is being dumped into rivers, streams, and oceans, affecting not only the marine environment but also water quality in general. Better treatment processes are needed before this contaminated waste reaches our waterways. The article points out the problems faced by specific countries and their need for better management.

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Peru Billboard Doubles Up as an Air Purifier:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Students at a university in Peru have erected a billboard near a construction site that filters air. It uses water to rid the air of pollutants like dust, bacteria, and even metal particles. This innovative billboard purifies the same amount of air as 12,000 trees! The billboard uses recycled air and takes little energy to work. The embedded video shows the impact on the construction workers who are near the billboard.

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Polar Bears and Climate Change:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Polar bears are highly specialized to living on sea ice in the Arctic including their dependence on two species of seals. Therefore, scientists expect polar bears to be greatly affected by climate changes due to their habitat (reduced sea ice) and prey availability. These effects include increased movement, fewer den areas, and decreased prey access, which are predicted to have a variety of negative consequences on polar bears in the future.

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Gentoo Penguins Thrive, While Adelies and Chinstraps Falter in a Climate-Changed World:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes various species of penguins that are affected by warming climates in Antarctica. Tracing the penguins' genetic ancestry back to the last ice age suggests that some species' populations are increasing, while other species' populations are diminishing. This is likely due to the effects of climate change on the penguins' main food sources.

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Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the many environmental, climatic, social, and economic effects of global warming that are already occurring and will continue to take place. The report also predicts the environmental and socio-economic effects of climate change that will occur in the upcoming decades, especially those that will affect poorer countries.

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The Certainty of Climate Change:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Our Earth's temperatures have increased over time and scientists are attributing this to human activities.

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Tough Decisions on the Front Line of Nature Conservation:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article expresses its author's opinion about culling animals in zoos, which is reducing a population by selective slaughter. The argument supports the idea of culling as a way to control inbreeding and to control the breeding of animals that will not help the species stay adaptable and immune to diseases.

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Pesticides Spark Broad Biodiversity Loss:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about how agricultural pesticides are contributing to the biodiversity loss of invertebrates. Research teams examined streams in broad regions to study the effects of pesticides in those ecosystems. Up to 42% fewer species were discovered in streams that were highly contaminated. In another study, it was found that neonicotinoid insecticides accumulate in the soil at levels that kill soil invertebrates.

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Report: Polluted Farm Runoff Linked to Toxic Green Algae Slime in U.S. Waters:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the causes and potential effects of toxin cyanobacteria blooms that have occurred in bodies of water in the United States. The blooms are affecting water quality, killing wildlife, and threatening human health (including causing death and illness) across the United States.

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In the Fog about Smog:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Smog began appearing in Los Angeles in the 1940s and became a problem for decades. Scientists were able to figure out the cause of smog only after intensive study of organic compounds in the air. After discovering that nitrogen oxides from car exhaust were a primary ingredient in smog, it took years of policy changes and industrial innovation to reduce air pollution and resolve the smog issue in LA and worldwide.

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What Happens to Shipping Containers Lost at Sea?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article examines how the marine environment is affected by shipping containers that accidentally fall to the seafloor. It explores how the containers can be harmful but can also be a benefit to the ecosystem depending on factors such as what the containers are carrying and what the containers are made of.

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Watching Our Seas Rise:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The collective efforts of many scientists enable us to measure how fast Earth's sea levels are rising, past and present. Presently, satellites are measuring sea levels and have showed significant increases in the last 20 years due to glacial melting and the expansion of sea water. Evidence from the past shows sea levels have risen and fallen steadily with the ice ages, until a sudden spike around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Coastal areas and islands are expected to be most affected by rising sea levels.

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Undead-End: Fungus that Controls Zombie-Ants has own Fungal Stalker:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Zombies may seem like science fiction, but that's exactly what scientists are calling the behavior in some species of ants. This article looks at the parasitic relationship between a form of fungus and carpenter ant that causes this zombie-like behavior. It also looks at a further complication to the process as the parasitic fungus has a parasite of its own.

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Hurricane Sandy was New York's "Self-Inflicted Calamity":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest storms to hit New York City in recent history. Intense wind and rain caused major damage all over the city and surrounding areas. The storm exposed how overdevelopment of reclaimed land and lack of political action to protect the city has led to major flooding—and probably will again unless action is taken.

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Wave Power:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. New Jersey-based company Ocean Power Technologies has gained a permit to launch PowerBuoys, which will convert ocean wave energy into power for human consumption. The benefits and concerns of harnessing the ocean's energy by this method are discussed in the article.

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With Data and Resolve, Tacoma Fights Pollution:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Rain and runoff carry pollutants from human activity to the sea in places like Tacoma, Washington. The city has devised a scientific process for identifying sources and pathways of pollution and is making headway in reducing pollutant buildup and damage. By utilizing forensic methods to find the source of pollution and fining polluters, Tacoma is winning the war.

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Brewing a New Fuel Source:

Mano Misra at the University of Nevada has proposed the use of old coffee grounds to make a biodiesel fuel. The benefits include the reduction of harmful emissions that trap greenhouse gases. Misra suggests ways in which the hurdle of gathering grounds for fuel production can be overcome.

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The Infinite Struggle Against Invasive Species in the Galapagos:

The Galapagos Islands provide some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world, and the islands have served as a hot spot for modern evolutionary theory, thanks to the work of Charles Darwin. However, the island's unique biodiversity is threatened by invasive species. This article delves into the struggle we face to preserve the species which are native to the islands.

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April Becomes First Month with Carbon Dioxide Levels Above 400 PPM:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses a troublesome milestone in climate science: the CO2 levels in Earth's atmosphere stayed above 400 ppm for the entire month of April 2014. The article discusses the significance of this measurement and how CO2 levels impact the atmosphere.

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Cool Jobs: Planet Protectors:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists are looking into newer, futuristic technologies to help humans do less damage to our environment. This article focuses on three very exciting solutions—leafy walls, water conservation, and solar cells—that are close to becoming realities.

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Will Seafloor Carpets Be the Key to Harvesting Wave Energy?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientists have discovered a method of transferring wave energy into electrical energy by the use of manmade seafloor "carpets." After the article explains how the process works, it lists the potential benefits of utilizing this method on a large scale.

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Could the Yosemite Rim Fire Be Ecologically Beneficial?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The Yosemite Rim Fire was the third largest in California's history. This article explains what made it such a devastating event and what could result from this wildfire. The article addresses ideas of succession, human impact, and ecosystems.

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"Greener" Energy Needed Now, Group Warns:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is based on a climate change report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It provides another perspective on climate change from the IPCC and includes evidence and possible solutions to the problems caused by manmade pollution.

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Urban Bees Respond to Littering by Adopting Innovative Nest-Building Techniques:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how some bees living in an urban environment have started to build their nests out of human-made materials such as plastics. Furthermore, the bees seem to prefer the materials to plants! Scientists theorize that these nests may actually prove to be safer for the bees, as they are stronger and protect against parasites.

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Birds Have Clever Solution for a Cuckoo Conundrum:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how Australia's superb fairy wrens have developed a solution to the parasitism of the cuckoos that lay their eggs in their nests. The wrens' adaptation of singing to incubating eggs allows the unborn babies to learn the call as a password. Once born, the babies repeat this call to the mother so she can feed them and not the parasitic cuckoos.

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Carbon Cycle- Ocean Acidification:

This website contains units focused on Earth's systems and cycles, which illustrate a sequence for learning the concepts through reading, data analysis activities, satellite imagery, computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments. This unit focuses on the ocean carbon cycle.

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Risks of Genetic Engineering:

An online passage which addresses the Health and Environmental risks of genetic engineering.

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Salamander's Hefty Role in the Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fascinating article about the large role one tiny organism plays in its ecosystem. The author explores the predatory habits of the salamander, how this amphibian can affect the carbon cycle, and the changes that have been taking place in the salamander populations over time.

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Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze on Everglades' Animals:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This interesting article about Burmese pythons in the Everglades showcases the effect one invasive species has on a local ecosystem and habitat. This is a great way to discuss invasive species in the classroom and explore the causes and effects on biodiversity.

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The Sloth's Busy Inner Life:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article is about how scientists sought to understand why some sloths descend from trees, risking their lives, to defecate on the ground. Their research results suggest that the behavior is to increase the benefit gained from the sloth's mutualists: moths and algae.

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Cultured Beef: Do We Really Need a $380,000 Burger Grown in Petri Dishes?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the way scientists have created the first lab-grown meat and the possible implications of this new technology. An infographic and video are included that add significantly to the content.

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Will Snakes Inherit the Earth?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The author discusses the effects that invasive animals can have on an ecosystem. She initially writes about the Burmese python's effect on the Everglades and follows with the effects of other non-native species on native species. Finally, she exposes the reader to the debate about whether something should be done to control invasive species.

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Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explains the causes and locations of deforestation and explores the environmental consequences that occur because of the practice.

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The Hidden World under Our Feet:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses the contribution that soil biodiversity has to the larger ecosystem. It addresses the consequences of the loss of soil biodiversity resulting from human activity.

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Some Ducks Let Young Be Raised by Relatives:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text is a news article describing three reproductive strategies of goldeneye ducks. The text provides evidence regarding the reasons for such behaviors and also notes how the hypotheses regarding them have changed over time.

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Seahorse Heads Have a 'No Wake Zone' That's Made for Catching Prey:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how seahorse heads are specialized to eliminate vibrations in the water, which might alert prey to their presence.

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Cannibalistic Mantis Invades New Zealand, Eats Natives:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a species of invasive South African Mantis. These insects have invaded New Zealand and the female of the species makes a habit of eating males that try to mate with them. Scientist are trying to uncover the reason for this attraction to the invasive species.

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Bactreia and Fungi Together: A Biofuel Dream Team?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes use of bacteria and fungi to share the process of changing cellulose in corn husks to isobutanol. In contrast to current methods of producing biofuels, this process requires a simple, one bioreactor process.

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Tiles May Help Shrink Carbon Footprint by Harnessing Pedestrian Power:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the development of floor tiles that provide a green, alternative energy source. These tiles work on the principle that pressure (footsteps) generates an electric current from certain crystals in an application of the piezoelectric effect.

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What is the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch?:

The article explains the ocean garbage patches: what causes them, what consequences to marine life result from their presence, and what we can do about them. This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

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Sustainable Farming:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. By compiling information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this text briefly discusses the history of sustainable land use before moving into an in-depth discussion of the consequences of conventional farming and the ways sustainable farming might improve these conditions.

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Reconsidering the Value of Non-Native Species:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the role (negative and positive) non-native species play in ecosystems.

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A Hotter World is Also Hungrier, Report Warns:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explores the large-scale effect of hunger as a result of climate change fueled by man-made greenhouse gases.

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Volcano Power Plan Gets US Go-Ahead:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes a group of researchers/investors who are attempting to convert the energy in volcanically heated water to electricity using a new method of forming more fissures to hold the heated water.

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Open-Cycle:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes the open cycle method of converting the energy of warmed, surface seawater into electricity and the benefits of using this method.

Type: Text Resource

Oil Found in Gulf Beach Sand, Even after Cleanups:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the unseen effects from the Gulf oil spill which lie beneath the surface of the "clean" sand along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Type: Text Resource

How Sinkholes Form:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses how sinkholes form, ways to recognize impending sinkholes, and ways to prevent them.

Type: Text Resource

Threatened Coral Get Fishy Rescue:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes an experiment that was done by scientists to show how corals are being destroyed by a certain type of seaweed and how gobie fish rescue the coral.

Type: Text Resource

Oceans May Absorb More Carbon Dioxide:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article is about plankton and how they use nutrients like carbon dioxide based on where the plankton are living.

Type: Text Resource

A Century of Melaleuca Invasion in South Florida:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This article deals with the invasive exotic species of tree known as melaleuca, which is mainly an issue in Southern Florida and Everglades National Park.

Type: Text Resource

"Water is Life", article by award-winning author Barbara Kingsolver published in National Geographic:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this essay published in a National Geographic special issue on water, Barbara Kingsolver explains the link between climate change and diminishing freshwater resources on our planet.

Type: Text Resource

What you Need to Know about Energy:

This site from the National Academy of Sciences presents uses, sources, costs, and efficiency of energy.

Type: Text Resource

Climate Change Affects Forest Floor Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article presents experimental results from an investigation of how the amount of rainfall, predicted by climate change models, affects fungal decomposition on the forest floor. It discusses how spiders, springtails, and fungi form an important part of the nutrient-cycling food web in a forest ecosystem and how decomposition rates are influenced by precipitation in unique ways.

Type: Text Resource

Plant vs. Predator:

Ecologist Daniel Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania describes how this plant's strategy came about and what's in it—both good and bad—for the bamboo, the rats and other predators, and anyone living nearby.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Words in the Wild: Vocabulary Strategies:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills into their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate a number of strategies teachers can impart to students to help them use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words within science texts. It will also help them teach students how to select the appropriate definition from reference materials. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Type: Tutorial

Underwater Evidence:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their science curriculum. This tutorial focuses on using specific textual evidence to support students' responses as they analyze science texts. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Tutorial

Survive Within a Niche:

This tutorial will help the learners to understand how animals survive in their habitat. In order to survive, the organisms must have adaptations that make them successful in the area where they live.

Type: Tutorial

Conserving Our Spectacular, Vulnerable Coral Reefs :

How do coral reef conservationists balance the environmental needs of the reefs with locals who need the reefs to survive? Joshua Drew draws on the islands of Fiji and their exemplary system of protection, called "connectivity", which also keep the needs of fishermen in mind.

Type: Tutorial

Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain:

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal feces contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

Type: Tutorial

The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees:

In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way -- by pollinating our nation's crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.

Type: Tutorial

The Secret Life of Plankton:

This short video opens up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing its beauty and complexity. Footage from the Plankton Chronicles Project is used to create a video designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Type: Tutorial

Population Demographic Lab:

This lab simulation allows you to use real demographic data, collected by the US Census Bureau, to analyze and make predictions centered around demographic trends. You will explore factors that impact the birth, death and immigration rate of a population and learn how the population transitions having taken place globally.

Type: Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Malaria: Human Host:


When a malaria-carrying mosquito bites a human host, the malaria parasite enters the bloodstream, multiplies in the liver cells, and is then released back into the bloodstream, where it infects and destroys red blood cells. This animation will help you to understand the process of malarial infection.

Type: Tutorial

Carbon Cycle:

This is a great tutorial on carbon cycle which gives data from NOAA's ESRL project.

Type: Tutorial

Population Ecology:

In this interactive, explore one of the most well-understood mass seedings—that of oak-tree acorn crops—and its widespread effects on various animals in the ecosystem as well as on nearby human populations.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Biogeochemical cycles:

This unit/ lesson sequence describes the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen. It includes descriptions of class room inquiry-based activities including worksheets and assessment items.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animations

The Ecological Cost of Dinner:

This lesson is about the flow of energy in ecosystems. The setting is Plimoth Plantation, a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA, where students will learn about the first Thanksgiving meal in America, celebrated in 1621 by early American settlers and Wampanoag Indians. By examining this meal and comparing it to a modern day Thanksgiving celebration, students will be able to explore the way in which food energy moves and is transformed in an ecosystem. The learning goals focus on the movement of energy from one feeding level to the next within a food web, the way in which energy changes form, and the inefficiency of energy transfer, which in turn affects the availability of food energy for organisms at the highest feeding level. The lesson is directed at high school level biology students. Students should be familiar already with food webs, food chains, and trophic (feeding) levels. They should also be familiar with the general equations for photosynthesis: 6H2O + 6CO+ Energy(light) -> C6H12O6 + 6O2 and cell respiration: C6H12O6 + 6O2 -> 6H2O + 6CO+Energy(about 38ATP), and understand the basic purpose of these processes in nature. This lesson can be completed during one long classroom period, or can be divided over two or more class meetings. The duration of the lesson will depend on prior knowledge of the students and on the amount of time allotted for student discussion. There are no supplies required for this lesson other than the downloadable worksheets (accessed on this BLOSSOMS site), paper and some glue or tape. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Birds of Paradise: Competition among birds:

This video shows mating displays and courtship behavior of Birds of Paradise. These birds display bright colors and visually stunning behaviors during courtship. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

The Mosquito Life Cycle:


This video presentation will help you to visualize the life cycle of mosquito. It will also help in recognizing that in order to prevent mosquitoes from spreading diseases, its essential to understand their life cycle.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Sustainability:Water- The Water Cycle:

All of the water you see around you is the same water that has been around since Earth's beginnings. This water is one of the primary reasons Earth is able to sustain life. This interesting video covers the different stages of the water cycle. Experts use real life examples to explore the flow of water through the environment.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Introducing Green Chemistry: The Science of Solutions:

This lesson introduces students to Green Chemistry, the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and/or the generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry is a proactive approach to pollution prevention that teaches chemists how to develop products and materials in a manner that does not use hazardous substances, thus avoiding much waste, hazards and associated costs. The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and how they relate to a chemical process. These principles provide a framework for scientists, engineers and chemistry students to use when designing new materials, products, processes, and systems. The Principles focus on sustainable design criteria and have proven to be the source of innovative solutions to a wide range of problems. Through this lesson, students will also use weight and measurement to understand the concept of a recipe as it is applied to a chemical process and think critically about that process and how it might be improved. Students will be asked to use a wasteful, inefficient procedure to make glue and be challenged to improve the procedure-during which they will unknowingly use the 12 Principles. Before starting this lesson, students should have been introduced to the periodic table and properties of matter. The estimated time for this lesson is 50-60 minutes. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Mount St. Helens: Rising From the Ashes :

In this NSF video and reading selection evolutionary biologist and ecologist John Bishop documents the return of living things to Mount St. Helens after the largest landslide in recorded history. This is a rare opportunity for scientists to get to study a devastated area and how it comes back from scratch in such detail.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Winn Bee Foraging Activity:

In this software simulation, students take on the role of bees and experiment with different foraging patterns in a field of flowers to maximize net energy input. Students generate quantitative data that can be analyzed and graphed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Virtual Lab Population Biology:

In this investigation, students conduct an experiment and grow two species of the protozoan Paramecium, alone and together. Then they compare growth curves of the population of each species, alone and then together. Objectives:

  • Demonstrate how competition for natural resources in the environment can affect population growth.
  • Explain how availability of resources such as food can be limiting for a population.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Biodiversity and Non-native Species:

See how non-native species can impact ecosystem biodiversity to create problems for native species in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Phosphorus in the Everglades:

Learn how phosphorus pollution can lead to changes in the Everglades. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Migration in the Kenyan Savannah:

Examine migration and factors affecting both population sizes and distributions of key species in the Kenyan savannah with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Interactions among Organisms: Kenya:

Explore examples of mutualism, competition, and predation in the Kenyan savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ant Populations in the Kenyan Savannah:

Explore living and nonliving factors affecting populations of ants in Kenya and learn a bit about the importance of the acacia tree in this savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Explore the impact of methylmercury pollution in the Everglades wetland ecosystem.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

A Study in Sustainability:

Learn how individual and societal choices affect sustainability and explore ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sustainability:

Learn the definition of "sustainability" and understand how our throw away consumer lifestyle has affected the environment in a negative way. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore possible solutions to prevent further harm to the environment.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Population Interactions:

Explore population interactions and how those interactions can affect population size in this interactive tutorial. You'll also learn about competition, predation and symbiosis.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Diving the Depths of Underwater Life:

Learn how the distribution of aquatic life forms is affected by light, temperature, and salinity with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Lesson Plans

The Surprising World of Complex Systems:

This lesson introduces students to complex systems and to basic concepts from the field of system dynamics that lie at the heart of systems thinking. These concepts include stocks and flows, feedback loops, unintended consequences, and the basic principle that the behavior of complex systems can best be understood by looking at the system as a whole, and specifically by analyzing the system’s underlying structure. The lesson introduces these topics through an immersion in (and a role-play simulation of) the dynamics of urban recycling systems, many of which have been thrown into crisis in the past two years. Through this current-affairs example of complex systems in crisis, we identify some key structural features that help to explain how these systems behave over time. We also discover how well-intentioned action can cause negative unintended consequences when we try to intervene in a complex system without understanding how it operates.

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Mathematically Exploring the Wakulla Caves:

The tide is high!  How can we statistically prove there is a relationship between the tides on the Gulf Coast and in a fresh water spring 20 miles from each other?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

MicroGravity Sensors & Statistics:

Statistical analysis played an essential role in using microgravity sensors to determine location of caves in Wakulla County.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Everglades Invertebrate Biodiversity:

Pick up the pace and learn how snails fit into the Florida food web!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protecting Wetland Habitats from the Negative Impacts of Roadways:

Roads are a great resource for humans, but what do they mean for fragile ecosystems? Find out in this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Measuring Biodiversity to Evaluate Human Impact:

Humans impact the environment in a number of ways. Learn more about how we interact with nature!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Coral Varieties and their Place in Aquatic Systems:

Learn all the information about coral and corral that knowledge!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Observing Invertebrate Biodiversity with Live Rock:

This teaching activity rocks! Learn about aquatic ecosystems and hands-on learning!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Ecosystems:

What lurks beneath the water's surface? Lots of creatures, big and small! Learn how mangroves grow in an unusual environment and support many other organisms both in and out of the water.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ocean Currents and Aquatic Life:

Too many ideas about ocean currents swirling around in your head? Get into the flow of things with this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Adaptation to Low Light Aquatic Environments:

This biologist will brighten your day with a discussion on colorful (or not) ways that marine organisms have adapted to ocean lighting.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Spills and Biodiversity:

Do you think you know oil there is to know about human impact on the environment? Let this biologist explain.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

On the Origin of Crude Oil:

An oil scientist explains how crude oil is formed and how it behaves in the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Fish Stay in their Zone?:

Sink into science as a biologist floats a few thoughts about physiological adaptations marine animals use to stay at the right depth.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Environmental Restoration Techniques:

Scientists can be superheroes when it comes to saving rivers! Watch this video to find out more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protect our Fisheries from Invasive Species:

Lionfish and other species are roaring past our native populations. Learn more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Sea Turtle Conservation:

Watch as this scientist shines a light on a type of pollution that affects sea turtles.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Oil Spill Impacts through Community Involvement :

Don't cry over spilled oil. Take action instead! Learn how students can help scientists who are studying what happens to spilled oil and over time how it affects the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Negative Impacts of Oil Spills:

Learn how the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution experts track oil-soaked sand patties on the Gulf Coast to monitor possible negative environmental impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Managing Lionfish Populations:

Invasive lionfish are taking a bite out of the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. Biologists are looking for new ways to remove them, including encouraging recreational divers to bite back!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Interaction of the Spheres:

Jeff Dutrow discusses how the interactions of spheres impacts fish behaviors including tides, currents, and seasons.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Text Resources

Carbon Cycle- Ocean Acidification:

This website contains units focused on Earth's systems and cycles, which illustrate a sequence for learning the concepts through reading, data analysis activities, satellite imagery, computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments. This unit focuses on the ocean carbon cycle.

Type: Text Resource

Risks of Genetic Engineering:

An online passage which addresses the Health and Environmental risks of genetic engineering.

Type: Text Resource

What you Need to Know about Energy:

This site from the National Academy of Sciences presents uses, sources, costs, and efficiency of energy.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Survive Within a Niche:

This tutorial will help the learners to understand how animals survive in their habitat. In order to survive, the organisms must have adaptations that make them successful in the area where they live.

Type: Tutorial

Conserving Our Spectacular, Vulnerable Coral Reefs :

How do coral reef conservationists balance the environmental needs of the reefs with locals who need the reefs to survive? Joshua Drew draws on the islands of Fiji and their exemplary system of protection, called "connectivity", which also keep the needs of fishermen in mind.

Type: Tutorial

Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain:

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal feces contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

Type: Tutorial

The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees:

In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way -- by pollinating our nation's crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.

Type: Tutorial

The Secret Life of Plankton:

This short video opens up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing its beauty and complexity. Footage from the Plankton Chronicles Project is used to create a video designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Type: Tutorial

Population Demographic Lab:

This lab simulation allows you to use real demographic data, collected by the US Census Bureau, to analyze and make predictions centered around demographic trends. You will explore factors that impact the birth, death and immigration rate of a population and learn how the population transitions having taken place globally.

Type: Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Malaria: Human Host:


When a malaria-carrying mosquito bites a human host, the malaria parasite enters the bloodstream, multiplies in the liver cells, and is then released back into the bloodstream, where it infects and destroys red blood cells. This animation will help you to understand the process of malarial infection.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Birds of Paradise: Competition among birds:

This video shows mating displays and courtship behavior of Birds of Paradise. These birds display bright colors and visually stunning behaviors during courtship. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

The Mosquito Life Cycle:


This video presentation will help you to visualize the life cycle of mosquito. It will also help in recognizing that in order to prevent mosquitoes from spreading diseases, its essential to understand their life cycle.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Sustainability:Water- The Water Cycle:

All of the water you see around you is the same water that has been around since Earth's beginnings. This water is one of the primary reasons Earth is able to sustain life. This interesting video covers the different stages of the water cycle. Experts use real life examples to explore the flow of water through the environment.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Introducing Green Chemistry: The Science of Solutions:

This lesson introduces students to Green Chemistry, the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and/or the generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry is a proactive approach to pollution prevention that teaches chemists how to develop products and materials in a manner that does not use hazardous substances, thus avoiding much waste, hazards and associated costs. The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and how they relate to a chemical process. These principles provide a framework for scientists, engineers and chemistry students to use when designing new materials, products, processes, and systems. The Principles focus on sustainable design criteria and have proven to be the source of innovative solutions to a wide range of problems. Through this lesson, students will also use weight and measurement to understand the concept of a recipe as it is applied to a chemical process and think critically about that process and how it might be improved. Students will be asked to use a wasteful, inefficient procedure to make glue and be challenged to improve the procedure-during which they will unknowingly use the 12 Principles. Before starting this lesson, students should have been introduced to the periodic table and properties of matter. The estimated time for this lesson is 50-60 minutes. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Mount St. Helens: Rising From the Ashes :

In this NSF video and reading selection evolutionary biologist and ecologist John Bishop documents the return of living things to Mount St. Helens after the largest landslide in recorded history. This is a rare opportunity for scientists to get to study a devastated area and how it comes back from scratch in such detail.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Everglades Invertebrate Biodiversity:

Pick up the pace and learn how snails fit into the Florida food web!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protecting Wetland Habitats from the Negative Impacts of Roadways:

Roads are a great resource for humans, but what do they mean for fragile ecosystems? Find out in this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Measuring Biodiversity to Evaluate Human Impact:

Humans impact the environment in a number of ways. Learn more about how we interact with nature!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Coral Varieties and their Place in Aquatic Systems:

Learn all the information about coral and corral that knowledge!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Observing Invertebrate Biodiversity with Live Rock:

This teaching activity rocks! Learn about aquatic ecosystems and hands-on learning!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Ecosystems:

What lurks beneath the water's surface? Lots of creatures, big and small! Learn how mangroves grow in an unusual environment and support many other organisms both in and out of the water.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ocean Currents and Aquatic Life:

Too many ideas about ocean currents swirling around in your head? Get into the flow of things with this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Adaptation to Low Light Aquatic Environments:

This biologist will brighten your day with a discussion on colorful (or not) ways that marine organisms have adapted to ocean lighting.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Spills and Biodiversity:

Do you think you know oil there is to know about human impact on the environment? Let this biologist explain.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

On the Origin of Crude Oil:

An oil scientist explains how crude oil is formed and how it behaves in the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Fish Stay in their Zone?:

Sink into science as a biologist floats a few thoughts about physiological adaptations marine animals use to stay at the right depth.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Environmental Restoration Techniques:

Scientists can be superheroes when it comes to saving rivers! Watch this video to find out more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protect our Fisheries from Invasive Species:

Lionfish and other species are roaring past our native populations. Learn more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Sea Turtle Conservation:

Watch as this scientist shines a light on a type of pollution that affects sea turtles.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Monitoring Oil Spill Impacts through Community Involvement :

Don't cry over spilled oil. Take action instead! Learn how students can help scientists who are studying what happens to spilled oil and over time how it affects the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Negative Impacts of Oil Spills:

Learn how the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution experts track oil-soaked sand patties on the Gulf Coast to monitor possible negative environmental impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Managing Lionfish Populations:

Invasive lionfish are taking a bite out of the ecosystem of Biscayne Bay. Biologists are looking for new ways to remove them, including encouraging recreational divers to bite back!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Oil Spill Cleanup Kits:

Wade into science with students by cleaning up model oil spills!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Outdoor Exploration to Observe Nature:

Take a hike! This teacher presents an idea for students to learn about nature by collecting and categorizing specimens.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

What you Need to Know about Energy:

This site from the National Academy of Sciences presents uses, sources, costs, and efficiency of energy.

Type: Text Resource