BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Biological Inventory - Animal ID
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Grade: 9th Grade
Class: Living Environment
Author: Sandy Bureau
Indian Lake Central School
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry and Design
Standard 2: Information Systems
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural History
Performance Indicators:

See Biological Inventory: Nature Trail challenge

Keywords: biodiversity, biological inventory, field identification
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: What small mammals, amphibians and soil invertebrates live on the ILCS nature trail?
Context:

This challenge is part of the Biological Inventory series that also includes: Nature Trail, Lab Report, & Poster Presentation.

I used this project to teach students the basics of ecology and this worked to satisfy all of MST standards #1 and 2#. It did a better job than the “Making Connections”  lab of helping students become competent in the scientific method. I have conducted this project twice and will be doing it again, this time in the Fall of 2009. We plan to try presenting at the Northeast Natural History conference in Albany, April 2010. I have more materials that I have developed than what is included with this project on the Adirondack Curriculum Project website, so please contact me for more information!

Product of the 2008 ACP Biodiversity Workshop, funded by a grant from the New York Biodiversity Research Institute.

The Challenge:

Researchers in the Adirondack region are interested in initiating an All-Taxa Biological Inventory of the region (see attachment #1). Indian Lake Central School Living Environment students have been invited to test a system to inventory small mammals, soil inverts and amphibians that can be used by other high school students or adult volunteers. But in order to conduct an inventory we need to have some idea of what kind of habitat the nature trail provides and then research the possibilities.

Research organisms--You will produce a paper outlining the natural history of an organism with emphasis on field id and habitat preferences. Will we have a chance of finding this critter on the nature trail?  Produce a field identification card. 

Related Files:
Student Handout
Student Handout
Student Handout
Quality Standards:

Your report will be graded for English standards provided by the English teacher which will include a bibliography with at least three references.

For science content in your paper:

Prepare a short paper on one organism, including identification characteristics, habitat, habit, role in ecosystem.

Identification Characteristics: small mammal researchers will have to be able to identify their critters by sight, track and recognize sign left by their animals. Vernal pool researchers must be able to identify their organisms in all their different life stages from egg to adult. For those studying frogs, you will have to be able to identify their call.

Habitat: you will need to do some background reading on what constitutes a habitat. Use your text as a reference or another source of your choice. Your paper must include a short explanation of habitat and the rest of your paper should reflect your understanding of the habitat of the critter you studied.

Niche: you will need to do some background reading on what constitutes niche. Use your text as a reference or another source of your choice. Your paper must include a short explanation of niche and the rest of your paper should reflect your understanding of the niche of the critter you studied.

Recommendation: Based on your understanding of your organisms, recommend where we should look for your organism, what time of year, of day?

Criteria for Report (see attached)

Field ID Card

Your challenge is to produce a field Id card to help you and others to identify your mammal or amphibian out in the field. You will want to include:

  •  a picture of your animal from a couple of angles,
  • tracks,
  • picture or description of egg masses,
  • picture of immature stage,
  • description of call, noises,
  • pictures of scat or feeding signs.
  • Anything that would help people id your critter in the field.
Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

See rubric (attachment #2).

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