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The University of Tennessee

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The University of Tennessee GK-12 Earth Project
Funded by the National Science Foundation

Publications

Justin L. Hart, 2007. Biodiversity and Edge Effects: An Activity in Landscape Ecology. Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 36: 103–106.

 

ABSTRACT: Biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity have received increased attention during the last few decades and these topics have been implemented into many G7–12 science curricula. This work presents an exercise that may be used in middle and high school classrooms to help students better understand spatial aspects of biodiversity. The following activity was successfully implemented into 8th grade science classes to strengthen student understanding of biodiversity. In the activity, students are provided a sample dataset created using point-count surveys of avian species along a transect extending from forest interior to open field locations. Students are asked to calculate and analyze total bird density (n), species composition, species richness (S), and species diversity (H′). By analyzing the data, students observe how these measures change along the vegetation gradient. The activity can easily be adjusted to accommodate a variety of skill levels and class times.
 


 

Bryan Schultz, Crystal Yates, and Jayne M. Schultz, 2008. Digging Into Inquiry-based Earth Science Research. Science Scope 32(4): 26-31.

 

ABSTRACT: To help eighth-grade students experience the excitement of Earth science research, the authors developed an inquiry-based project in which students evaluated and cataloged their campus geology and soils. Following class discussions of rock-weathering and soil-forming processes, students worked in groups to excavate multiple soil pits in the school yard. They collected soil samples to study the characterization of soil morphology and to conduct petrographic (i.e., thin-section) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) analyses. Students gained hands-on geospatial and mathematic skills from recording compass, distance, and orientation measurements while establishing a base map for their campus research site.