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  • Ecosystems
AP Environmental Science: Soils
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No Strings Attached
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Soil plays an important role in land ecosystems. In order for a community of producers and consumers to become established on land, soil must be present. Furthermore, soil quality is often a limiting factor for population growth in ecosystems. Soil is a complex mixture of inorganic materials, organic materials, microorganisms, water and air. Its formation begins with the weathering of bedrock or the transport of sediments from another area. These small grains of rock accumulate on the surface of the earth. There they are mixed with organic matter called humus, which results from the decomposition of the waste and dead tissue of organisms. Infiltrating rainwater and air also contribute to the mixture and become trapped in pore spaces. This formation process is very slow (hundreds to thousands of years), and thus soil loss or degradation can be very detrimental to a community.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Homework/Assignment
Reading
Provider:
Rice University
Provider Set:
Connexions
Author:
University Of California
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Acid Lake
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
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Add acidity to a healthy lake and see what happens to the plants and animals in this interactive activity adapted from EcoKids. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
08/09/2007
Adaptation - Vampirism | Ecology & Environment | the virtual school
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An alternative introduction to the chapter "Adapting and Living Together" - explained with Vamipres! It sits within the Ecology and Environment topic of the virtual school GCSE Biology. Teachers can choose which engagement video is better for their own uses and students.

Material Type:
Full Course
Lecture
Syllabus
Author:
fuseschool - a global OER programme
Date Added:
01/28/2016
Adaptations Through Natural Selection
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Remix and Share
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Students will plan and design an imaginary organism that lives in the Temperate Deciduous Forest, Tropical Rainforest, or Desert. Students will then identify three adaptations of this animal, and determine how the adaptations of that animal may respond to a change in the ecosystem.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
Author:
Dan Leighton
Date Added:
07/01/2015
Agent Based Modeling of Complex Adaptive Systems (Basic)
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Remix and Share
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Our human society consists of many intertwined Large Scale Socio-Technical Systems (LSSTS), such as infrastructures, industrial networks, the financial systems etc. Environmental pressures created by these systems on Earth‰ŰŞs carrying capacity are leading to exhaustion of natural resources, loss of habitats and biodiversity, and are causing a resource and climate crisis. To avoid this sustainability crisis, we urgently need to transform our production and consumption patterns. Given that we, as inhabitants of this planet, are part of a complex and integrated global system, where and how should we begin this transformation? And how can we also ensure that our transformation efforts will lead to a sustainable world? LSSTS and the ecosystems that they are embedded in are known to be Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). According to John Holland CAS are "...a dynamic network of many agents (which may represent cells, species, individuals, firms, nations) acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other agents are doing. The control of a CAS tends to be highly dispersed and decentralized. If there is to be any coherent behavior in the system, it will have to to arise from competition and cooperation among the agents themselves. The overall behavior of the system is the result of a huge number of decisions made every moment" by many individual agents. Understanding Complex Adaptive Systems requires tools that themselves are complex to create and understand. Shalizi defines Agent Based Modeling as "An agent is a persistent thing which has some state we find worth representing, and which interacts with other agents, mutually modifying each other‰ŰŞs states. The components of an agent-based model are a collection of agents and their states, the rules governing the interactions of the agents and the environment within which they live." This course will explore the theory of CAS and their main properties. It will also teach you how to work with Agent Based Models in order to model and understand CAS.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Assessment
Lecture Notes
Reading
Provider:
Delft University of Technology
Provider Set:
Delft University OpenCourseWare
Author:
Dr. Ir. I. Nikolic; Dr.ir. I. Bouwmans
Date Added:
03/03/2016
The Air We Breathe
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This picture book is designed to introduce children to the Earth's atmosphere and its importance to life on Earth. It also introduces how the addition of new gases (e.g., ozone) contributes to changing the quality of air we breathe. With an understanding of how our atmosphere works, we can begin to understand how our activities may be contributing to some of those changes in air quality.

Subject:
Life Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
11/05/2014
The Airplane Graveyeard
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
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During World War Two, a fierce battle between American and Japanese forces on Kwajalein atoll left a trail of debris on the deep lagoon floor. This lagoon now has one of the largest collections of well-preserved aircraft in the world. In this video, as part of the first ever film crew allowed onto this secret military base, Jonathan explores a B-25, F4-U Corsair and Dauntless dive bomber still sitting on the bottom of the ocean, as if ready to take off. Please see the accompanying study guide for educational objectives and discussion points.

Subject:
Film and Music Production
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Oceanography
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Jonathan Bird's Blue World
Provider Set:
Jonathan Bird's Blue World
Author:
Jonathan Bird Productions
Oceanic Research Group
Date Added:
03/01/2007
All Caught Up: Bycatching and Design
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
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Bycatch, the unintended capture of animals in commercial fishing gear, is a hot topic in marine conservation today. The surprisingly high level of bycatch about 25% of the entire global catch is responsible for the decline of hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales, porpoises, seabirds and sea turtles each year. Through this curricular unit, students analyze the significance of bycatch in the global ecosystem and propose solutions to help reduce bycatch. They become familiar with current attempts to reduce the fishing mortality of these animals. Through the associated activities, the challenges faced today are reinforced and students are stimulated to brainstorm about possible engineering designs or policy changes that could reduce the magnitude of bycatch.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Whitt
Matt Nusnbaum
Vicki Thayer
Date Added:
10/14/2015
The Amazon Rain Forest and Climate Change
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This module discusses global climate change that is occurring largely because of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities, and in particular the impact that tropical deforestation plays in the climate system. It also covers signs of climate change, the current thinking on future changes, and international agreements that are attempting to minimize the effects of climate change. The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) is also discussed.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Module
Provider:
COMET MetEd Collection
Author:
COMET
Date Added:
12/22/2009
Analyzing an Ecosystem
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
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In this interactive activity adapted from the University of Alberta, identify the living and nonliving things in an ecosystem. Then look further at the living things to identify the producers, the consumers, and examples of mimicry.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
08/09/2007
Animal Adaptations
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this lesson, students will participate in classroom discussions and visit a website to learn more about animals and how well (or poorly) theyve adapted to satisfying their needs in their natural habitats. This will help move them toward the goal, in later grades, of understanding ecosystems.The Kratts' Creatures website used in this lesson provides students with a simple, visual means for familiarizing themselves with basic world ecosystems as well as some examples of the animals that occupy them.

Subject:
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
AAAS
Provider Set:
Science Netlinks
Date Added:
04/30/2006
Animal Diversity Web
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This site is a searchable encyclopedia of thousands of photos, descriptions, sound recordings, and other information about individual animal species. Find out about amphibians, arthropods, birds, fishes, insects, mammals, mollusks, reptiles, and sharks. Explore special features on mammals, skulls, and frog calls. Students are invited to contribute.

Subject:
Zoology
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
UCAR
UCAR Staff
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
NSDL Science Refreshers
Bridge: Sea Grant Ocean Sciences Resources Center
DLESE Community Collection
DLESE Community Collection
Date Added:
11/06/2008
Animals and Engineering
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Read the Fine Print
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Students are introduced to the classification of animals and animal interactions. Students also learn why engineers need to know about animals and how they use that knowledge to design technologies that help other animals and/or humans. 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.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Antarctic Ecosystem
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Read the Fine Print
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In contrast with its largely lifeless interior, the Antarctic coastal marine environment supports a vibrant and diverse ecosystem. Explore the region's living bounty in this interactive activity adapted from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/17/2008
Antarctic Food Web Game
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this interactive game adapted from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, build a food web that illustrates the flow of energy in an Antarctic ecosystem and the relationships between predators and prey.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
08/09/2007
Applied Ecology
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
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Applied ecology is a framework for the application of knowledge about ecosystems so that actions can be taken to create a better balance and harmony between people and nature in order to reduce human impact on other beings and their habitats.

Subject:
Ecology
Material Type:
Textbook
Provider:
Wikibooks
Date Added:
07/27/2016
Arctic Atlas
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this interactive atlas adapted from UNEP/GRID-Arendal, explore different environmental features of the Arctic. Select from a list of themes to customize your map, then zoom in to take a closer look at one of six featured regions. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Teachers' Domain
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/17/2008