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Ecology and Natural History of Isle Royale National Park

BIO 126

Ecology and Natural History of Isle Royale National Park

BIO 126

Course Description

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: READING LEVEL 2, WRITING LEVEL 2 AND MATH LEVEL 2.

Introduces a remote area of ecosystems. Discusses key native and introduced species of plants and animals. Emphasizes the uniqueness, yet interdependency of organisms. Highlights the long-studied island Wolf-Moose interaction. Requires a three-day trip to the island at student expense. (15-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Participate in the process of science.

Objectives:

  • Make observations.
  • Design experiments.
  • Conduct experiments.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Collect data.
  • Analyze data.
  • Draw conclusions.
  • Report results.
  • Explain the evaluation and revision process of science.

Work collaboratively with classmates.

Objectives:

  • Participate in laboratory experiments and field activities with 1-3 classmates or entire class.
  • Share the workload of small group activities.
  • Share the responsibility of acquiring, cleaning and putting away laboratory and field equipment.
  • Share ideas and respectfully receive ideas of class notes and Park Service officials, as well as class supervisors.

Demonstrate the competent use of common instruments and technology in environmental investigation.

Objectives:

  • Use binoculars and spotting scopes to view various wildlife interactions.
  • Demonstrate the use of sound recording devices.
  • Read compass and follow maps of details/trails on island.

Competently communicate about environmental topics.

Objectives:

  • Read critically.
  • Write effectively.
  • Listen actively.
  • Speak effectively.
  • Develop and interpret graphs and flow charts.
  • Compile a journal of activities and impressions obtained in outdoor settings while experiencing different kinds of ecosystems.

Demonstrate the ability to think critically.

Objectives:

  • Integrate concepts.
  • Solve problems.
  • Draw logical conclusions.
  • Make predictions based on evidence.
  • Identify trends and patterns.
  • Distinguish between simple correlation and cause-and-effect.

Demonstrate appropriate preparation to participate in outdoor field activities involving sampling, observing and characterizing island natural history features.

Objectives:

  • Participate in field activities and use appropriate equipment to conduct the field activities.
  • Demonstrate safe and appropriate behavior while conducting field activities.
  • Use keys and resource books to identify organisms and their activities in the field.
  • Provide evidence of accurate behavioral and organismic interaction observation skill.
  • Report the results of outdoor studies conducted during the class.

Describe how living and non-living factors interact on the island.

Objectives:

  • Identify the abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem.
  • Describe the niche concept.
  • Differentiate between a community and an ecosystem.
  • List components of an ecosystem.
  • Describe the role of producer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, scavenger, parasite, and decomposer in an ecosystem.
  • Describe energy flow in an ecosystem.
  • Relate the concept of food web and food chain to trophic levels.
  • Explain the cycling of nutrients, such as nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus, through an ecosystem.
  • Describe the process of natural selection as it operates to refine the fit between an organism and its habitat.
  • Recognize that all organisms have an impact on their surroundings.
  • Relate physical environmental factors to the kinds of organisms found in a community.

Describe the various factors that influence how biotic communities interact and change over time, especially regarding the Wolf-Moose interaction on the island.

Objectives:

  • Recognize the key species of plants on the island.
  • Recognize the key species of animals on the island.
  • Understand how severe weather through the year affects the abundance and activity of various species.
  • Identify the reasons for the cyclical nature of the Wolf-Moose interaction.
  • Explain how man has affected the island habitat.
  • Project future of plant and animal interactions on the island