Curriculum Filter Results

Trees on the Move: Can Maples and Buckeyes Migrate?

Activity A: What do climate models predict about tree ranges?
This lesson introduces examples of how General Circulation Models [GCMs] predict possible scenarios of climate change. Three methods of visualizing change are introduced and students compare how sugar maples and buckeye trees’ climate niches are likely to be altered.

Activity B: How can trees migrate?
The seeds of maples and buckeyes are “dispersed” in an outdoor simulation of how far a tree species might be able to spread over several tree generations.

Activity C: How does temperature affect maple seed germination?
Students examine research data on seed germination at different temperatures to infer some of the impacts of temperature on species survival.

Activity D: After the maples, then what?
Students study an outdoor area that has sugar maples and other species. Following research methods of Catherine Keever, they catalog the size and relative abundance of species in the plot and infer what species is likely to succeed if maples disappear.

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Beach Mysteries

Students learn about bacteria as an indicator of beach water quality for swimming. In groups they solve hypothetical problems associated with beaches. Then students write persuasive essays on the issue.
Activities:
  • Discuss the effect of harmful bacteria on swimming conditions at beaches.
  • Diagram three reasons for beach contamination.
  • Explain solutions for beach health problems.
  • Write a persuasive essay about beach health

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Hydropoly – A Decision Making Game

Students play a board game to hone their decision-making skills. Through the various choices posed in the game, they are asked to consider both economic and environmental well being in making decisions.
Objectives:
  • Discuss land-use practices that affect Great Lakes wetlands
  • Make decisions and recognize personal priorities with regard to wetlands
  • Describe some of the economic factors that often drive land use

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Trees on the Move

This activity set helps students examine the climate niches of the sugar maple Acer saccharum and the Ohio buckeye Aesculus glabra, and see how some global climate models predict those niches are likely to change. We will observe examples of how plants migrate, and predict some possible impacts on the North American economy and culture as maple and buckeye ranges shift. Finally, examination of research on tree seed germination offers insight on one way temperature affects trees.

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What is the Ecological Role of an Estuary?

To most people, an estuary (es-chew-airy) is a place where fresh water meets the sea. In its broader meaning, an estuary is that part of the mouth of a stream in which the water level is influenced by the lake or sea into which the stream flows. The Great Lakes have some estuaries.

Old Woman Creek on Lake Erie has an estuary that has been set aside by the state and federal governments as a “state nature preserve” and “national estuarine research reserve.” The St. Louis River Estuary on Lake Superior is currently listed as an “Area of Concern”by the EPA and is undergoing remediation for pollution. Why should the government bother to preserve an estuary such as Old Woman Creek or the St. Louis River Estuary?

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What Are the Characteristics of the Great Lakes Exotic Species?

This puzzle activity is designed to help students review facts and information about the characteristics of the Great Lakes exotic species. They also learn about origin and introduction methods.

Students will be able to match an exotic species with its characteristics, classification, origin, and introduction to the Great Lakes.

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What are the Characteristics of Some Great Lakes Fish?

If you know how to construct a dichotomous key, you can make one that classifies real organisms, some fish in the Great Lakes. For this activity you will work in groups of 3 or 4. Your group will construct a key to identify some fish families and learn something about them.

Lake Erie has a larger variety of fish life than any other Great Lake. Scientists believer this is because of the southern position of the lake and because it is shallow. Lake Erie has 138 species of fish. These species can be grouped into 27 families. All of the fish in a given family share certain characteristics.In this exercise you will learn how to use these characteristics to identify the 27 families.

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