Please enable JavaScript to view this page.

Ecology and Natural History of the Appalachia Region

BIO 126AW

Ecology and Natural History of the Appalachia Region

BIO 126AW

Course Description

Prerequisite: READING LEVEL 2, WRITING LEVEL 2 AND MATH LEVEL 2. Introduces a unique area of ecosystems. Discusses key native and introduced species of plants and animals. Emphasized keystone species and interdependency of organisms. Highlights the Riparian Flora and Fauna, including the reintroduced red wolf species. Requires a three day trip to the Appalachian area at student's 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 date.
  • 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 my laboratory and feld equiment.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate the use of sound recording devices
  • Read compass and follow maps of details in the region.

Competently communicate about environmental topics.

Objectives:

  • Read critically.
  • Write effectively.
  • Listen actively.
  • Speak effectively.
  • Develop and intepret 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.
  • Distingish between simple correlation and cause-and-effect.

Demonstrate appropriate preparation to participate in outdoor field activities involving sampling, observing, and characterizing local Appalachia 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 skills.
  • Report the results of outdoor studies conducted during the class.

Describe how living and non-living factors interact.

Objectives:

  • Identify the abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem.
  • Describe the niche concept.
  • Differentitate 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 the 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, espcially regarding local Riparian species and the introduced Red Wolf.

Objectives:

  • Recognize the key species of plants and animals in the area.
  • Understand how severe weather through the year affects the abundance and activity of various species.
  • Identify the reasons for the population fluctuations of the introduced red wolf.
  • Explain how man has affected the habitat of the region.
  • Project future of plant and animal interactions in the region.