Eastern Australian Temperate Rain Forest / Belize Barrier Reef
27-32 Food Webs
Arizona Sonoran desert / Hydrothermal vents
Alaskan Tundra / Mediterranean sea
Eastern Australian Temperate Rain Forest / Belize Barrier Reef
33-38 Seasonal Variation and Temperature Charts
Arizona Sonoran desert / Hydrothermal vents
Alaskan Tundra / Mediterranean sea
Eastern Australian Temperate Rain Forest / Belize Barrier Reef
45-46 Reference pages
ECOTOUCH LESSON PLANS
Opening: First we shall ride into the Sonoran desert camels except my team shall be riding on an African elephant. Due to the high temperature, it is highly recommended to be wearing light and cool clothes also you must of have over 600 ml water in your backpack. You should drink every 25 to 35 minutes to hydrate yourself to prevent dehydration or an unfortunate chance of heat stroke. Our group will be camping and sleeping in tents while the equipment is in the jeep unless we are working at night. The Sonoran desert is one of the largest deserts in North America however we will be in the Arizonan region of the desert. This area is home to a large numbers of plants, birds, rodents, and reptiles. There are 52 species of snakes but only 18species are actually venomous and can harm humans. I must stress you will not touch any organism unless we are researching them at a given time. When the time does come to examine organisms we will first be researching the first communitywe come across.
Objectives: The students will understand how the different species interact with the harsh, arid weather conditions. Also they shall learn how the sun and rocks play as abiotic factors and the effects on how population of multiple species of reptiles.
Map of Arizona, Compass, Radios, Measuring tape, Tents, Sleeping bags, Water bottles, Water, Food, Wood, matches and traveling music with player
Background skills:All those who are going to participate should know basic camping skills.
1. Learn how to efficiently and properly care for the transportation animals.
2. Legally acquire African elephant and camels.
3. Travel into the Sonoran desert to find the most ideal community to observe specimens and area to camp.
Classroom management:All participants must sign a contract that entails punishment. If they do step out of line they will be punished by sleeping outside of their tent. When they improperly handle animals and the animal injures them they deserve it and a 5 bites from the snake that we currently have.
Assessment:Understand how all the populations have interactions within a species and others.
Homework: During and after the trip the students will write about how the interaction of different animals in the food web with the rises and dips of a predator-prey population.
Closure:To clarify what the students have learned they will take a questionnaire about all the experiments they've performed.
Hydro Thermal Vents
Opening: To begin this deep sea expedition we will be sailing away on an open course in the pacific to find a hot spot. Since our journey will be in the Galapagos region it will be warm due to being near the equator. Due to the lack of climate in the aphotic zoneand being in submersibles there is no preferred season. Our trip to the desired vents will take a few days but luckily our eco-friendly ship has pleasant accommodations. The vessel is large enough so that three submersibles can be stowed on it. The submersibles can be operated with passengers however, due to safety reasons it will be operated remotely. The vehicles will stand to the pressure where the vents lie. In that area 7000 feet below the surface where the benthosvent community is in the. At these vents bacteria and plankton are autotrophs however they perform chemosynthesis to gain nutrients. These vents are a renewable resource due to being underwater “mini” volcanoes. You shall observe from the vehicle to figure out the trophic levels of the food chain.
Objectives:Your goal is try to understand how the organisms interact with each other, how the populations of each species differ due their positions of the food weband lastly how they have extreme tolerancelevels.
Materials:Radios, Clock, the submersibles will have most of the required equipment already built inside.
Background skills: Students shall be trained to drive submersibles, photograph organisms, and record data.
Procedure:1. Students will learn how to operate the submersible they will be driving and how to collect the data.
2. After learning the first step they will have driving experience in shallow waters.
3. Once they know have to drive a team of three will dive into the deep part of the ocean and then will have to locate a hydrothermal vent community.
Classroom management: Any student who steps out of line will be excluded on the expedition and will be constantly thrown overboard even in their sleep. If they do that while on the actual expedition the entire team with the individual all of them will have their communications shut down and the submersible will self-destruct if they do not disarm the sequence. That feature will either explode and will release them into the ocean (talk about pressure).
Assessment:Students should understand how life could have grown in the hydrothermal vent area and have such tolerance of the conditions.
Homework:Students will have to write about how to operate a submersible and how the population of the community can thrive.
Closure:Students will answer a survey on what the thought of the expedition.
Opening: The Alaskan tundra is a beautiful and freezing landscape home to many interesting animals. The tundra is a polar zone and as such is incredibly cold, it will be necessary for students to wear specialized gear in order to combat the weather. The group will be dropped off outside of the chosen site, and make our observations after the snow thaws in early spring. This timing will allow us to see the early effects of climate change on habitats our focus will be concentrated on how climate change has affected the animals in the area. Our goal will be to study everything from the population numbers to the individual habitats of the animals and see how close there are to idea habitats (though we will rely heavily on data already gained by other sources as well). The arctic tundra is one of the ideal places to study climate change's effects because of how the climate affects the very ground of the tundra, which is permafrost. As such the melting of the ground will give us an insight in to how it affects animals
Objectives: to study animals and the environment around them. Once they have gained their information they will compare their observations to previous observations to previous information gained in the area. They will try to figure out how climate change affects the ecology of the surrounding area.
Materials: artic camping gear, emergency supplies, food and water, multiple sets of high powered binoculars, photography/video equipment, portable weather monitoring station, writing utensils and note/log books, and data about the weather and animals in previous years
Background Skills: the students will be given training in basic survival, first aid, and operation of the equipment. Students will also be given briefings about the area and animals within and how to deal with them. Previous experience with artic backpacking is helpful but not needed
1. All of the training needed will be given and students will be tested on their aptitude in those areas. If the students are not able to pass said tests they will not be allowed to go on the trip.
2. Students and supervisors will be driven out to the site using approved vehicles. Once there they will begin setting up a base camps
3. For 2 weeks students will be assigned to specific animals and their habitats, they will we record and report their findings
4. The students will then compare and contrast their observation with previous observations
5. With the information gained from the comparing and contrasting students can make statements about how the climate change is affecting the tundra
Classroom Management: if a kid misbehaves or does not follow instructions (i.e. damaging the biome) once then they have cleanup duty after dinner, 3 offenses times and they get tied to a tree
Assessment: full study of what they observed and what they noticed when they compared and contrasted
Homework: to find other examples of the impact of climate change in other biomes
Closure: have the students what they learned about the animals and the environment from their observations.
Opening: the Mediterranean Sea is incredibly famous; known for its oddly blue and salty water. Many different countries are bordered by this body of water. Similarly the sea is also home to many diverse types of biomes and marine life, some native and some nonnative. The sea is also home to many fish farms, fish farms are aquatic farms usually placed in the photic layer which are used to farm fish. If these farms are not properly maintained they can have a devastating impact on the local wildlife. Not only is it possible for nonnative plants to escape from these farms, chemicals, bacteria, and waste can escape into the natural habitat. This can be very damaging to the ecosystem of the area around the farms. Our class's objective will to be to test the waters around the farms. The group will also study the populations around the farms to see how their communities compare to other communities. Finally we will catch and test individual organisms that are at the same level or above on the ecological pyramid. The point of these to see if there they have contracted any disease or genetic mutations from consuming or breeding with the escaped farmed fish.
Objectives: to study the impacts of fish farms and the various byproducts and escaped fish on the local environment and ecosystem,
Materials: scuba gear, several down east cruisers, water test kits, first aid/emergency supply kits, food, water, water proof paper and pens.
Background Skills: students will be taught how to scuba dive, various safety measures, and how to test the water/ animals.
1. Students will be trained in the operation of equipment, they will then be tested on all of these to make sure that they know everything. If they do not pass said test then they cannot come on these trips
2. Students will have supervisors drive them to an ecosystem close to a fish farm. The students will then proceed to preform tests on the area and its inhabitants
3. After these tests are preformed students will travel to a similar ecosystem away from the farms and preform the same tests
4. Students will then compare and contrast the data and infer what the farms are doing to the environment
Classroommanagement: if any kid misbehaves or causes undue harm to the animals or the environment then they have to do pushups that doubles with each offense, (5, 10, 20, 40, 80, 160, ECT...)
Assessment: be able list some of the differences between the ecosystems, and the impact that humans have on the one close to the fish farms. The students will consider how the farms may affect thefood webs in the area.
Homework: do more in-depth research on how fish farms affect local ecosystems
Closure: to have the students talk in a group about what the learned and what they gained from the experience
Eastern Australian Temperate Rainforests (or Gondwana rainforests)
Opening: The Eastern Australian Temperate Rainforests are a prime example of Ecosystem Diversity originating from a piece of the supercontinent Pangea, named Gondwana. The same plants and animals that exist today in these Temperate Rainforests have Evolved over millions of years from the Cretaceous period and even earlier. The Eastern Australian Temperate Rainforests consist of the Border Ranges region; known for Antarctic Beech tree evolving from over 100 million years ago (the middle of the cretaceous period), the Blue Mountains region named after the Australian Blue gum which is known for a fog with a blue hue given off therefore resulting in the Ecosystem’s/Ecoregion’s name, The Great Sandy Region which inhabits many Endangered species such as the Regent honeyeater who have suffered severe Habitat Fragmentation and are so threatened, populations in 2010 are said to only be a total of 350-400 mature individuals. To travel to the rainforests we will board a fleet of Solar Impulse’s and land at the Brisbane airport, then we will begin our expedition.
Objectives: We want students to further understand the interactions of the various species of animals and plants within Australia and how they all affect each other. Students must also learn about how Habitat Fragmentation affects the Grand Lyrebird. Using a hands on approach we want students to be able to analyze what we observe including Biotic and Abiotic factors and use what they to draw conclusions that are accurate or relevant.
Materials: visas, worksheets, rental cars, a fleet of Solar Impulses, writing utensils, cell phones, Map or electronic equivalent, food, water, Koala costume (For punishment if needed).
Background Skills: Students must have previously passed Biology with a C-, students must be able to conduct themselves responsibly in a wild environment, students must also be capable of following instructions correctly and effectively,
1: Once we have arrived in our fleet of Solar Impulses and have spent the night in a hotel. We will begin the procedure by securing a day to meet with the University of Tasmania and make sure it’s possible to go to watch and learn how they’re doing fieldwork on the Grand Lyrebird in the Tasmanian Forests.
2: Once date is secured we establish a form of transportation, make worksheets asking questions concerning things we will go over such as; the amount of soil a Lyre bird turns per hectare a year (63,000 Kilograms) and also questions about thoughts with how the Lyrebirds activities could affect other plants and animals. Then we must advise students of the up and coming trip.
3: Now that the day has arrived we shall meet up with the project leader Sarah Tassel.
4: To start out the day we will allow Sarah Tassel to explain what her project is; the impact of the Superb Lyrebird on Tasmanian forest ecosystems. Once the presentation is over we will allow students to ask Sarah any questions and then we shall move on.
5: Next we will observe the people participating in UTAS’s project and ask those questions and help fill out observations about the interactions of the Superb Lyrebird with other plants and animals.
6: Next we will have the students try some of their own calculations keeping in mind that the Superb Lyrebird turns 63,000 kilograms of soil per hectare (10,000 sq. meters) a year. We will ask them how much soil a Lyrebird would turn in a month et cetera. We will also ask how other plants and animals may be affected if the Lyrebird were to decrease in population (which it is).
7: Once students have completed their questions and we have learned enough about the Lyrebird we will head back to the hotel for more expeditions.
Classroom Management: Students must be aware of their surroundings and are prohibited from littering. Students must also remain respectful to their instructors and to UTAS supervisors and students. Students must also stay with the group and Eco Touch will not be held responsible for any runaways. If students disobey any of these rules they will be subjected to living a Koala’s life for 2 years and will most likely die from the poisonous leaves of the Eucalyptus tree.
Assessment: Students will be graded for understanding on the worksheets, they will also be graded on participation and how/if they conduct themselves respectfully.
Homework: Students will need to create and conduct their own project on the interactions of plants and animals within their own house, yard, or town. The project must have quantitative and qualitative observations, including tables or graphs. An example is the interaction of dogs with the surrounding yard, his own food and the owner.
Closure: We will ask students various questions about the Lyrebird and how it affects other plants and animals. We will also go over the worksheets together and compare results and our hypotheses. We will also ask students what they enjoyed about the trip and what they disliked about it, and how they can apply the knowledge they learned on the trip to daily life.
Belize Barrier Reef
Opening: We will begin our expedition to the Belize Barrier Reef (which is the largest Coral Reef in the Northern hemisphere), on a Tûranor PlanetSolarpowered with the Sun’s rays. When we arrive at Belize we will learn about and perform activities which are focused on; how humans disturb the Biome. Which include the Monocultural farming of coconuts, Population Density and Population Distribution of the Laughing Gulls, we will also cover calcification within the reef and how it is affected by Global warming, and we will observe siltation and the causes of it and how it affects the reef.
Objectives: We want students to become or stay more involved in their education with a hands on approach. The main objective may be educating students about the Biome disturbances by humans in the Belize Barrier reef; but students will also also be able to further their knowledge of Biology, while also learning new concepts and applying them during the expedition. We want students to use this experience as preparation for a future within science or other fields with the tools they can gain from this expedition.
Materials: Vials: As many as needed depending on size of group (for collecting water samples
Tûranor PlanetSolar boat, Silt Density Index apparatus (sdi), various worksheets, writing utensils, Money, rental cars, binoculars, and a map or an electronic equivalent, cell phones, food, water.
Background Skills: Students must have passed biology previously with a grade above a C. Students must also know how to use a lifejacket in case of an emergency at sea, students must be able to follow instructions succinctly. And must also have previous experience using critical thinking skills.
Procedure 1: Laughing Gull population activity
1: We will traverse in the Tûranor PlanetSolaryacht to the Laughing bird caye.
2: Once there we will hand out a worksheet with detailed pictures of the Laughing Gull
and various questions
3: Students will then form groups and record the amount of laughing gulls they observe within a hundred foot radius, they will also be informed of the area of the caye, so they are able to record the population density of the Laughing Gull on the caye.
3: Soon students will realize that Laughing gulls have Emigratedfrom one of their natural Habitats; Laughing bird Caye, due to the Immigration of humans.
4: Next students will be asked if this is an example of Immigration or Emigration
5: They will also be asked why they believe the Laughing Gull has emigrated from Laughing Gull Caye
Procedure 2: Siltation
1: Next we will travel in the Tûranor PlanetSolaryacht to sections of the Belize Barrier Reef near the Coast of Belize.
2: As a group we will use vials to collect water samples under water above the Coral Reef
3: Then we will use our water that we collected and use a silt density index apparatus to measure the density of the Siltation within the water.
4: Then we will ask the students how the silt density index may affect the Populations of the Coral while also telling them to keep in mind that Coral Reefs rely on photosynthetic bacteria to grow and survive.
5: In conclusion of this procedure we will ask students why we picked an area near the coast of Belize and how being in this area could affect the concentration of sediment within the water.
Procedure 3: Coconut farming
1: During this procedure we will visit multiple cayes via the Tûranor PlanetSolaryacht, one caye we visit will be a caye that is undisturbed by humans, and the other will be a caye that is used for coconut farming.
2: Within the first caye which is undisturbed by humans we will observe and record the various plants and gulls we see using a labeled placard with pictures
3: Then at the second caye we will do the same
4: We will then analyze as a group how coconut farming affects the ecosystem of the caye
1: Students must leave each ecosystem or habitat undisturbed and free of litter.
2: Students may not leave the group and if the student does, according to the forms signed by
the parents we are not responsible for any injuries that could occur or diseases caught.
Punishments may include: public hazing by Belizeans, and a literal trial by fire.
Students will be graded on what is written on their worksheets and also how they participate orally. For the oral portion of the students grade students will not be marked down if they were to answer a question incorrectly, the oral portion is graded according to understanding once corrected if incorrect, and the amount students participate intellectually, in the oral form.
Students will divide into separate groups each covering components of each procedure and present it to classmates who weren’t able to take the trip or for students in another science class.
Closure: We will form a group on our way back home on the yacht and ask questions concerning the worksheets filled out. Students will also be asked more in depth questions concerning human effects on the biome such as, Hotels, sand farming, fruit agriculture, and many other topics that are relevant to the latter.
In Arizona, during the summer months the temperature reaches a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius in the day and minimum of 28 degrees Celsius at night. In winter the temperature the reaches a maximum of 22 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius. The maximum amount of precipitation in Arizona reaches roughly 20 mm during the winter season. In late spring and early summer it precipitates less than 10 mm. Since most of Arizona is an arid, rocky desert The temperature range is a result of its arid desert climate and how the desert is influenced by the heat from the sun. The very little amount of precipitation influences of what organisms live there and the adaptations, behavior, size, and diet
In the hydrothermal vents all the temperatures all the same to the vents in a certain region and the amount of chemicals that spew out. However since there is a collection of these vents the water near is affected as well the organisms that reside there. The amount of sulfide that
is released into the water is dependent on the size of the vent and which region the vent community is. Certain bacteria flow out or stay close to the vent to intake the sulfide to gain energy.
The Alaskan Tundra is known for its incredibly cold temperatures, with nine months where the temperature is below freezing. The few summer months there are barely able to rate the name with temperatures rarely going above 10 degrees Celsius. The lack of precipitation is caused by the low absolute humidity caused by the cold weather. The cold weather is caused by its distance from the equator, and its relatively stable temperature range is caused by its nearness to the ocean.
The temperature of the Mediterranean Sea varies, yet even during its coldest season it will rarely drop below 12 degrees Celsius. During the warmest season its highest level never rises above 30 degrees Celsius. This warm and hospitably blue water (which is largely due to the small population of plankton) has a fair few days of rain, though the actual amount of rainfall is nothing to write home about. the sea actually loses more water due to evaporation than it gains because of rain, and with the in-pour of water from Atlantic ocean.
BELIZE BARRIER REEF
The Belize Barrier Reef, close to the hot equator maintains a warm ocean temperature, while also receiving lots of rainfall and thunderstorms. Since ocean water is not as easily changed in temperature as land is, the temperature over a whole year may only vary within a range of 26.1-30.4 degrees Celsius (only a difference of 4.3 degrees). The year starts out strong with a whopping 13 hour rain but overall is less wet than later months, below water the temperature takes an immediate drop then starts an increase. Besides some major storms rainfall isn’t very steady until between May and October, during this time sea temperature fluctuates but overall it increases. Around November and December the rainfall isn’t as steady and the Sea temperature continues to decrease to around a warm 28 degrees Celsius.
AUSTRALIAN TEMPERATE RAINFOREST
Even though the climate varies greatly within the multiple microclimates of the Australian temperate Rainforest, overall the different ecosystems average out to a pattern that is very straightforward. Throughout the early months of the year The temperature is at it’s highest, but the rainfall begins with a slow start. As we continue through May the temperature starts a steady decrease while the precipitation maintains at a steady rate. This temperature decrease continues until July, when the temperature begins a steady increase while the precipitation takes a blow. In August and forward, the precipitation continues to stay at a steady rate about half as many inches as the previous month while the temperature continues a steady increase, taking a slight hit in October and November though the rain still is increasing at an even rate. Once we reach December the temperature increases at a slightly slower rate than in previous months but the rainfall in inches has a one and a half increase in inches from the last month.
Abiotic Factor: Physical or nonliving factor that shapes an ecosystem.
Acid Rain: Rain containing nitric and sulfuric acids
Adaptation: Heritable trait that increases organism's fitness.
Age structure: Structure describing the relative number of organisms of each age within a population
Age-structure Diagram: graph of the number of males and females within different age
Agricultural: The practice of farming
Algal Bloom: An immediate increase in the amount of algae and other products that results from a large input of a limiting nutrient.
Aphotic Zone: permanently dark layer of the oceans below the photic zone.
Aquaculture: Raising of aquatic animals for human consumption.
Artificial Selection: Process of selection conducted under human direction.
Autotroph: Plants, algae, and certain bacteria that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use that energy to produce food.
Benthos: Organisms that live attached to or near the ocean floor.
Biodiversity: Biological diversity; the sum total of the variety of organisms in the biosphere.
Biogeochemical cycles: Process in which elements, chemical compounds, and other forms of matter are passed from one organism to another and from one part of the biosphere to another.
Biological Magnification: increasing concentration of a harmful substance in organisms at higher trophic levels in a food chain or web
Biomass: The total amount of living tissue within a given trophic level.
Biome: A group of ecosystems that have the same climate and similar dominant communities.
Biosphere: Contains the combined portions of the planet in which in which all life exists, including land, water, and air or atmosphere.
Biotic Factor: Biological influences on organisms within an ecosystem.
Biotic Potential: Maximum ability to produce offspring in ideal conditions.
Canopy: Leafy tops of tall trees extending from 50-80 meters above the forest floor forming a dense covering.
Carnivore: Organisms that obtain energy by eating only animals
Carrying Capacity: Largest number of individuals of a population that a given environment can support.
Cellular Respiration: Process in which organisms use oxygen to release chemical energy with sugars.
Chemosynthesis: Process by which some organisms, such as certain bacteria, which use chemical energy to produce carbohydrates.
Climate: Average year-after-year condition of temperature and precipitation in a particular region.
Coastal Ocean: Marine zone that extends from the low-tide mark to the end of the continental shelf.
Coevolution: Process in which two species evolve in response to changes in each other.
Commensalism: One member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed.
Communities: assemblages of different populations that live together in a defined area.
Competitive exclusion principal: No two species can occupy the same niche in the same habitat at the same time.
Coniferous: Trees that produce seed-bearing cones and most have leaves shaped like needles.
Conservation: Wise management of natural resources, including the preservation of habitats and wildlife.
Consumer: Organisms that rely on other organisms for their energy and food supply (also known as a heterotroph)
Coral Reef: Diverse and productive environment named for the coral animals that make up its primary structure.
Deciduous: Tree that sheds its leaves during a particular time of the year
Decomposers: Organisms that break down organic matter.
Deforestation: Loss of forests
Demographic transition: Change in population from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates.
Demography: Scientific study of human populations
Denitrification: The process of soil bacteria that converts nitrates into nitrogen gas.
Density-dependent limiting factor: Limiting factor that depends on population size.
Density-independent limiting factor: Limiting factor that affects all populations in similar ways, regardless of population size.
Desertification: A combination of farming, overgrazing and drought that turns once productive areas into deserts.
Detritivores: feed on plant and animal remains and other dead matter. (Type of decomposer)
Detritus: Particles of organic material that provide food for organisms at the base of estuary’s food web.
Ecological pyramid: a diagram that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each trophic level in a food chain or food web.
Ecological succession: Series of predictable changes that occurs in a community over time.
Ecology: Scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment.
Ecosystem Diversity: Variety of habitats, living communities, and ecological processes in the living world.
Ecosystem: Scientific study of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment or surroundings.
Emigration: Movement of individuals out of an area.