Biology is designed for multi-semester biology courses for science majors. It is grounded on an evolutionary basis and includes exciting features that highlight careers in the biological sciences and everyday applications of the concepts at hand. To meet the needs of today’s instructors and students, some content has been strategically condensed while maintaining the overall scope and coverage of traditional texts for this course. Instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom. Biology also includes an innovative art program that incorporates critical thinking and clicker questions to help students understand—and apply—key concepts.
By the end of this section, you will be able to:Define water potential and explain how it is influenced by solutes, pressure, gravity, and the matric potentialDescribe how water potential, evapotranspiration, and stomatal regulation influence how water is transported in plantsExplain how photosynthates are transported in plants
In this activity, students examine how to grow plants the most efficiently. They imagine that they are designing a biofuels production facility and need to know how to efficiently grow plants to use in this facility. As a means of solving this design problem, they plan a scientific experiment in which they investigate how a given variable (of their choice) affects plant growth. They then make predictions about the outcomes and record their observations after two weeks regarding the condition of the plants' stem, leaves and roots. They use these observations to guide their solution to the engineering design problem. The biological processes of photosynthesis and transpiration are briefly explained to help students make informed decisions about planning and interpreting their investigation and its results.
Students learn how rooftop gardens help the environment and the lives of people, especially in urban areas. They gain an understanding of how plants reduce the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, provide agriculture space, reduce energy consumption and increase the aesthetic quality of cities. This draws upon the science of heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation, materials, color) and ecology (plants, shade, carbon dioxide, photosynthesis), and the engineering requirements for rooftop gardens. In the associated activity, students apply their scientific knowledge to model and measure the effects of green roofs.
Students learn about energy and nutrient flow in various biosphere climates and environments. They learn about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, food chains and food webs, seeing the interdependence between producers, consumers and decomposers. Students are introduced to the roles of the hydrologic (water), carbon, and nitrogen cycles in sustaining the worlds' ecosystems so living organisms survive. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.
Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They learn about the four vertical zones that make up a typical rain garden with the purpose to cultivate natural infiltration of stormwater. Student groups create personal rain gardens planted with native species that can be installed on the school campus, within the surrounding community, or at students' homes to provide a green infrastructure and low-impact development technology solution for areas with poor drainage that often flood during storm events.
Through multi-trial experiments, students are able to see and measure something that is otherwise invisible to them seeing plants breathe. Student groups are given two small plants of native species and materials to enclose them after watering with colored water. After being enclosed for 5, 10 and 15 minutes, teams collect and measure the condensed water from the plants' "breathing," and then calculate the rates at which the plants breathe. A plant's breath is known as transpiration, which is the flow of water from the ground where it is taken up by roots (plant uptake) and then lost through the leaves. Students plot volume/time data for three different native plant species, determine and compare their transpiration rates to see which had the highest reaction rate and consider how a plant's unique characteristics (leaf surface area, transpiration rate) might figure into engineers' designs for neighborhood stormwater management plans.
This unit covers the processes of photosynthesis, extinction, biomimicry and bioremediation. In the first lesson on photosynthesis, students learn how engineers use the natural process of photosynthesis as an exemplary model of a complex yet efficient process for converting solar energy to chemical energy or distributing water throughout a system. In the next lesson on species extinction, students learn that it is happening at an alarming rate. Students discover that the destruction of habitat is the main reason many species are threatened and how engineers are trying to stop this habitat destruction. The third lesson introduces students to the idea of biomimicry or looking to nature for engineering ideas. And, in the fourth and final lesson, students learn about a specialty branch of engineering called bioremediation the use of living organisms to aid in the clean up of pollutant spills.
Students apply their understanding of the natural water cycle and the urban "stormwater" water cycle, as well as the processes involved in both cycles to hypothesize how the flow of water is affected by altering precipitation. Student groups consider different precipitation scenarios based on both intensity and duration. Once hypotheses and specific experimental steps are developed, students use both a natural water cycle model and an urban water cycle model to test their hypotheses. To conclude, students explain their results, tapping their knowledge of both cycles and the importance of using models to predict water flow in civil and environmental engineering designs. The natural water cycle model is made in advance by the teacher, using simple supplies; a minor adjustment to the model easily turns it into the urban water cycle model.
Through an overview of the components of the hydrologic cycle and the important roles they play in the design of engineered systems, students' awareness of the world's limited fresh water resources is heightened. The hydrologic cycle affects everyone and is the single most critical component to life on Earth. Students examine in detail the water cycle components and phase transitions, and then learn how water moves through the human-made urban environment. This urban "stormwater" water cycle is influenced by the pervasive existence of impervious surfaces that limit the amount of infiltration, resulting in high levels of stormwater runoff, limited groundwater replenishment and reduced groundwater flow. Students show their understanding of the process by writing a description of the path of a water droplet through the urban water cycle, from the droplet's point of view. The lesson lays the groundwork for rest of the unit, so students can begin to think about what they might do to modify the urban "stormwater" water cycle so that it functions more like the natural water cycle. A PowerPoint® presentation and handout are provided.
This lesson covers the process of photosynthesis and the related plant cell functions of transpiration and cellular respiration. Students will learn how engineers can use the natural process of photosynthesis as an exemplary model of a complex yet efficient process for converting solar energy to chemical energy or distributing water throughout a system.
What do plants need? Students examine the effects of light and air on green plants, learning the processes of photosynthesis and transpiration. Student teams plant seeds, placing some in sunlight and others in darkness. They make predictions about the outcomes and record ongoing observations of the condition of the stems, leaves and roots. Then, several healthy plants are placed in glass jars with lids overnight. Condensation forms, illustrating the process of transpiration, or the release of moisture to the atmosphere by plants.
Students gain an understanding of the parts of a plant, plant types and how they produce their own food from sunlight through photosynthesis. They also learn about transpiration, the process by which plants release moisture to the atmosphere. With this understanding, students test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration by growing a plant from seed. They learn how plants play an important part in maintaining a balanced environment in which the living organisms of the Earth survive. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their evolving understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.
This lesson is meant to teach students about the basic physiology of plants.
- To identify different parts of a plant and understand their role within the plant’s life cycle.
- To identify and explain a variety of life processes within the plant.
- To explain why these things are important to the life of a plant.
Students explore whether rooftop gardens are a viable option for combating the urban heat island effect. Can rooftop gardens reduce the temperature inside and outside houses? Teams each design and construct two model buildings using foam core board, one with a "green roof" and the other with a black tar paper roof. They measure and graph the ambient and inside building temperatures while under heat lamps and fans. Then students analyze the data and determine whether the rooftop gardens are beneficial to the inhabitants.
These exercises are designed to guide a student to an understanding of how rainfall and storm events result in runoff over the surface of the earth. Runoff is influenced by the nature of the surface of the earth. Streamflow is particularly influenced by urbanization-the paving over of permeable surfaces with impermeable ones. In light of this, students are encouraged to think about design elements that incorporate more permeable surfaces into their own environments, including their school parking lots and neighborhoods.
Groundwater is one of the largest sources of drinking water, so environmental engineers need to understand groundwater flow in order to tap into this important resource. Environmental engineers also study groundwater to predict where pollution from the surface may end up. In this lesson, students will learn how water flows through the ground, what an aquifer is and what soil properties are used to predict groundwater flow.
Engineers design and implement many creative techniques for managing stormwater at its sources in order to improve and restore the hydrology and water quality of developed sites to pre-development conditions. Through the two lessons in this unit, students are introduced to green infrastructure (GI) and low-impact development (LID) technologies, including green roofs and vegetative walls, bioretention or rain gardens, bioswales, planter boxes, permeable pavement, urban tree canopies, rainwater harvesting, downspout disconnection, green streets and alleys, and green parking. Student teams take on the role of stormwater engineers through five associated activities. They first model the water cycle, and then measure transpiration rates and compare native plant species. They investigate the differences in infiltration rates and storage capacities between several types of planting media before designing their own media mixes to meet design criteria. Then they design and test their own pervious pavement mix combinations. In the culminating activity, teams bring together all the concepts as well as many of the materials from the previous activities in order to create and install personal rain gardens. The unit prepares the students and teachers to take on the design and installation of bigger rain garden projects to manage stormwater at their school campuses, homes and communities.