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  • White-Nose Syndrome

    White-Nose Syndrome

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore images of bats with an infectious fungal disease as phenomena to learn about population dynamics and disease impacts.

  • White-Nose Syndrome in Bat Populations

    White-Nose Syndrome in Bat Populations

    Data Points

    Scientists modeled the impact of an infectious fungal disease on a bat population.

  • Developing an Explanation for Tuskless Elephants

    Developing an Explanation for Tuskless Elephants

    Lessons

    In this activity, students use scientific evidence and reasoning to construct an explanation of and develop an argument for tusklessness in elephant populations.

  • Baboon Longevity Under Adversity

    Baboon Longevity Under Adversity

    Data Points

    Scientists studied how adversity early in life impacts the long-term survival of baboons.

  • The Wolves of Isle Royale

    The Wolves of Isle Royale

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore photos of wolves hunting a moose on Isle Royale as phenomena to explore the effects of predation on population dynamics.

  • Cougars and Trees in a Trophic Cascade

    Cougars and Trees in a Trophic Cascade

    Data Points

    In Zion National Park, scientists studied the effects of tourism on cougars and cottonwood trees.

  • Serengeti Wildebeest Population Regulation

    Serengeti Wildebeest Population Regulation

    Data Points

    In Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, scientists investigated how the eradication of rinderpest disease led to the wildebeest population boom. Worksheets also available in Spanish.

  • Age Structure of Ebola Outbreaks

    Age Structure of Ebola Outbreaks

    Data Points

    Scientists analyzed demographics, including sex and age, of the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease during seven outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  • Scientific Inquiry and Data Analysis Using WildCam Gorongosa

    Scientific Inquiry and Data Analysis Using WildCam Gorongosa

    Lessons

    In this activity, students will be guided through making observations from trail camera data in Gorongosa National Park, the development and investigation of a scientifically testable research question, and analysis of their results.

  • Biodiversity Studies in Gorongosa

    Biodiversity Studies in Gorongosa

    Lessons

    In this activity, students will calculate species richness, evenness, and the Shannon diversity index for various habitat types using data from trail cameras in Gorongosa National Park, and then investigate the impact of human activity in these habitats.

  • Living Together

    Living Together

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore photos of bobtail squid as phenomena to explore symbiosis and species interactions.

  • Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests

    Seed Dispersal in Tropical Forests

    Lessons

    In this activity, students use data from published studies to understand patterns of seed dispersal and apply these ideas to the design of a conservation area.

  • Modeling Food Webs in Darién, Panama

    Modeling Food Webs in Darién, Panama

    Card Activities

    Students use cards to build model food webs and evaluate how ecological disturbances affect each trophic level. Also available in Spanish.

  • Vertebrate Declines and the Sixth Mass Extinction

    Vertebrate Declines and the Sixth Mass Extinction

    Data Points

    In this study, researchers measured species population declines on a global scale that may contribute to the sixth mass extinction.

  • Predator-Prey Relationship Dynamics

    Predator-Prey Relationship Dynamics

    Data Points

    In a study in Greenland, scientists examined whether changes in population densities of Arctic fox are related to changes in population densities of its main prey, the lemming.

  • Tracking Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

    Tracking Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

    Lessons

    Genetically modified mosquitoes have been used to reduce mosquito populations and the diseases they spread. But how can we tell if the method works? In this activity, students analyze data from a field experiment.

  • Microbial Community Response to an Oil Spill

    Microbial Community Response to an Oil Spill

    Data Points

    Researchers monitored the succession of the microbial community in the Gulf of Mexico using data from before, during, and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • Benefits of Schools

    Benefits of Schools

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore photos of animals in groups as phenomena to explore animal behavior concepts.

  • Modeling Trophic Cascades

    Modeling Trophic Cascades

    Card Activities

    Students use cards of animal and plant species to model trophic cascades. Species examples are drawn from seven different habitats to test student understanding.

  • Snail Fronts and Salt Marsh Die-Offs

    Snail Fronts and Salt Marsh Die-Offs

    Data Points

    Researchers studied whether periwinkle snail fronts expand mudflats and contribute to salt marsh die-offs.

  • Tracking Global Changes in Forest Cover

    Tracking Global Changes in Forest Cover

    Data Points

    Researchers used satellite imagery analyze the amount of forest that was lost annually across the globe between 2000 and 2012.

  • The Great Elephant Census Modeling Activity

    The Great Elephant Census Modeling Activity

    Labs & Demos

    In this classroom activity, students will model two types of counting methods, sample counts and total counts, to determine population size. 

  • Dead Zones in Coastal Ecosystems

    Dead Zones in Coastal Ecosystems

    Data Points

    Researchers overlaid the locations of more than 400 hypoxic systems linked to eutrophication on a map of the global “human footprint.”

  • Using Genetic Evidence to Identify Ivory Poaching Hotspots

    Using Genetic Evidence to Identify Ivory Poaching Hotspots

    Data Points

    A team of scientists analyzed the DNA from seized ivory to determine where the ivory from poached elephants came from.

  • Niche Partitioning Activity

    Niche Partitioning Activity

    Lessons

    Students are introduced to real-world examples of niche partitioning and cutting-edge technology used to give unprecedented insights into the feeding habits of wild animals.

  • Building Ecological Pyramids

    Building Ecological Pyramids

    Lessons

    In this activity, students will build biomass pyramids depicting trophic levels of various habitat types using data from trail cameras in Gorongosa National Park.

  • Effects of Predation on the Niche of Lizards

    Effects of Predation on the Niche of Lizards

    Data Points

    A team of scientists studied the effects of introducing a lizard predator on the food webs of a group of small islands in the Bahamas.

  • Slug Power

    Slug Power

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore photos of a sea slug and chloroplasts as phenomena to explore photosynthesis concepts.

  • Resistance to Coral Bleaching

    Resistance to Coral Bleaching

    Data Points

    To test whether corals can become more resistant to bleaching, Dr. Steve Palumbi and colleagues performed a series of experiments in the U.S. National Park of American Samoa off of Ofu Island. Worksheets also available in Spanish.

  • Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Modeling Ecosystem Effects of Termite Mound Patterns

    Data Points

    Dr. Corina Tarnita and colleagues studied how a pattern of termite mounds across a dryland ecosystem enhances resilience against desertification.

  • Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships

    Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships

    Card Activities

    Students use cards to build model food webs and evaluate how ecological disturbances affect each trophic level. Also available in Spanish.

  • Exploring Biomes in Gorongosa National Park

    Exploring Biomes in Gorongosa National Park

    Lessons

    Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique is a region with high ecological diversity that encompasses two distinct biomes. This activity introduces students to the concept of biomes in conjunction with the Gorongosa National Park interactive map click and learn

  • Coral Bleaching Activity

    Coral Bleaching Activity

    Lessons

    This is a classroom activity in which students use authentic data to assess the threat of coral bleaching around the world. It supports the 2014 Holiday Lectures on Science video featuring Dr. Stephen Palumbi. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Lone Anole

    The Lone Anole

    Phenomenal Images

    Students explore a photo of an anole lizard as a phenomenon to explore adaptations and natural selection.

  • Discovering the Wallace Line

    Discovering the Wallace Line

    Lessons

    This activity supports the HHMI short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Students are presented with a map of the Malay Archipelago and some field notebooks with observations of animals. By plotting which animals are found on which island, the students discover the Wallace Line—a sharp boundary that separates distinct Asian and Australian fauna. 

  • Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Labs & Demos

    This classroom experiment supports the film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. Students collect and analyze data to learn why even slight variations in beak size can make the difference between life and death.

  • Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Card Activities

    This activity supports the film The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree. Students are guided to sort the lizard species by appearance, then generate a phylogenetic tree using the lizards’ DNA sequences to evaluate whether species that appear similar are closely related to each other.

  • Winogradsky columns: Microbial ecology in the classroom

    Winogradsky columns: Microbial ecology in the classroom

    Labs & Demos

    An activity that recreates zones of microbial activity in a glass column. To accompany the lecture series Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future.

  • Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees

    Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees

    Card Activities

    Construct evolutionary trees by sorting seashells. To accompany the lecture series Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines and the Sorting Seashells Click and Learn interactive.

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