WHO IS THE MOST MEAN?: We begin the Unit 1 by reviewing and expanding upon a few science practices. During Who is the Most Mean? we will carry out a small-scale scientific exploration to indentify the most average student in class.
ESS LEARNING TARGETS: After completing the first lesson we discussed the purpose and use of learning targets. Unit 1 - Earth Systems Science learning targets.
BIODIVERSITY: The value of biodiversity cannot be overstated, and the current threats to biodiversity have put us in the midst of the greatest mass extentions known. We will learn about biodiversity and how it is measured/calculated by comparing plant diversity surveys of two locations. This reading provides explanations of the benefits and threats to biodiversity.
LAND USE: Land use, adjacent of streams, has a major impact on the riparian ecosystems. Peruse this literature and be aware of the impacts the land-use practices adjacent to the Bitterroot River can have on water quality.
PCB CASE STUDY: We finally dip into a bit of Earth System Science with this case study about PCB contamination of remote Alaskan Lakes. This lesson provide and nice introduction to Earth Sytems Science however the primary focus is on formulating testable questions, hypotheses and sequential plans for investigations. Check out these videos if you need a little more clarification about how to write and good testable question and a hypothesis.
SLEVIN ISLAND: Trips to Slevin Island are a major component of the ESS unit. It's a fantastic location to think about how elements of the Biosphere, Geosphere, Technosphere, Atmosphere and Hydrosphere interact to create an ecosystem. During the first trip to the island students collect data that is used as a basis for practicing the formulation of testable questions and hypotheses.