Our goal for this week is for students to work together in their groups to conduct a deep-dive into their assigned biome and human-caused environmental disaster. Students must share the work load equally, documenting their efforts in a shared team Google Doc. Groups are expected to work together to identify scientifically credible resources and to document those resources in their Google Doc. By Friday, everyone in the group should be able to:
- Clearly describe the biome when it is healthy (long-term climate and major vegetation).
- Is the weather the same year-round? Describe in detail.
- Are there seasons in your biome? Describe in detail.
- Where does your biome exist on a map? Does your biome exist in multiple places around the world?
- How are the organisms living in the region where your assigned disaster occurred similar or different to other parts of the world with the same biome?
- Draw the major ecosystem(s) present within the biome as a food web (complete with nodes, edges, and properly drawn arrows indicating energy flow).
- If your biome exists in multiple places on Earth, include food webs for each site.
- Explain what humans did to cause the environmental disaster within the biome.
- Specificity matters – include as many details as possible about the cause of the disaster.
- Conduct a root cause analysis: keep asking “why” and dig as deeply as you can!
- Clearly describe the biome when it is in crisis (as a result of the environmental disaster)
- Explain how humans have attempted to correct the problem that led to the environmental crisis (what worked, what did not work)
- Note: If your group finishes conducting research before Friday, craft your research into a research report. Follow standard conventions for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Write in complete sentences. Proof-read and edit! Work as a team to construct a report you can be proud of submitting.
Your project team will be assigned a biome. Your team may choose from the options provided, or propose a different topic (must be discussed with Mr. Swart before moving on). If multiple groups in the same class period are assigned the same biome, teams must select different project options. Teams are expected to identify additional resources beyond those provided below and incorporate those resources into their research.
Selected Project Team Resources:
- Ocean (A): Great Pacific Garbage Patch
- Ocean (B): Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill
- Ocean (C): Ocean Acidification and the NW Oyster Die-Off
- Ocean (D): Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef
- Ocean (E): Radioactivity in the ocean from Fukushima
- Desert (A): Los Alamos Nuclear Weapon Testing
- Desert (B): Oil Spill in Israel’s Evrona Nature Reserve
- Rainforest (A): Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon
- Rainforest (B): Coal Mining in Indonesia
- Jungle: Agent Orange in Vietnam