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The purpose of this lesson is to understand that cities are urban ecosystems which include both nature and humans, in a largely human-built environmental context and that urban ecosystems have emergent properties that cannot easily be seen by simply looking at the different functional parts of a city: The whole is more than the sum of the parts.
Urban Ecosystems 1 introduces some of the principles of ecology, including the definition of an ecosystem as a community of living organisms interacting with its non-living environment. Students will be introduced to the study of ecosystems and models that are used by urban ecologists. The class will be invited to visit websites to see where the cities are on the planet, and they will have a chance to try some hands-on urban nature education activities.
This lesson was developed by Dr. Penny Firth, a scientist, as part of a set of interdisciplinary Science NetLinks lessons aimed at improved understanding of environmental phenomena and events. This is the first of a strand of five lessons.