Conservation Reserve Design: Data Analysis Example

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This document contains analyses of data collected by students completing the Frontiers of Science fieldwork activity on Conservation Reserve Design. (A teacher's guide and student guide to this activity are provided in accompanying documents.) These analyses are provided to guide instructors who wish to implement the activity and analyze data collected by their students.

A Seminar Leader's Manual

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This manual, a valuable resource to many Columbia teaching assistants, was compiled by Deborah Mowshowitz, associate professor and director of Undergraduate Programs in Columbia University's Department of Biological Sciences. Mowshowitz has drawn on her extensive experience as a teacher to provide advice and tips on effectively planning and leading discussions in undergraduate science classes.

Divider

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This activity introduces students to experimental design, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of findings. Students gather data on people's sensitivity to touch. This task works especially well as a warm-up in the first meeting of a small class.

Biodiversity Seminar 3

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Lake Victoria

This document serves as a teaching guide for the third of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on invasive species in order to underscore the difficulties of managing and restoring ecosystems and the potential damage of intended or unintended manipulation. As explained in the corresponding lecture, biodiversity theory can explain the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss and provides recommendations for mediating the sixth global extinction event and thus ensuring the availability of ecosystem services, the health of the biosphere, and the quality of human life. The guide includes an overview, reading list, and step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions, activities, and reference to assignments. Related seminar activities and assignment questions are provided in accompanying files.

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of balsam fir growth and moose population in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems, and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Invasive Species and Population Dynamics

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Time series plot of wolf and moose populations in Isle Royal National Park 1959–2003.

In this assignment, students will consider the effects of invasive species on ecosystems and look at population dynamics in predator-prey relationships. In examining data from previous studies, students will apply their understanding of graphical displays of data and of statistical concepts (mean, standard deviation, variance, correlation, significance) to interpret research findings. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Conservation Reserve Design

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This unique field ecology experiment engages students with the processes of scientific research methods and testing hypotheses about conservation reserve design. The activities involved are novel—students will gather data on the relationship between biodiversity and patch size and shape. As designed, this activity takes place in Manhattan; the relationship under investigation has not been studied in a human-dominated urban setting like Manhattan, so the outcome of students' investigations is not known in advance. The activity may easily be adapted to another setting or research questions, and so provides a useful example for instructors wishing to engage undergraduates in original fieldwork. This document is a student guide; a teacher guide and data analysis example are available in accompanying files.

Conservation Reserve Design

Discipline:

This unique field ecology experiment engages students with the processes of scientific research methods and testing hypotheses about conservation reserve design. The activities involved are novel—students will gather data on the relationship between biodiversity and patch size and shape. As designed, this activity takes place in Manhattan; the relationship under investigation has not been studied in a human-dominated urban setting like Manhattan, so the outcome of students' investigations is not known in advance. The activity may easily be adapted to another setting or research questions, and so provides a useful example for instructors wishing to engage undergraduates in original fieldwork. This document is a teacher guide; a student guide and data analysis example are available in accompanying files.

Blackbody

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Radiation emitted by blackbodies of various temperatures.

This activity helps students understand blackbodies and the role of photons in emitted and reflected electromagnetic waves. Students will also analyze graphical displays of data, calculate peak wavelength, and apply their understanding to novel scenarios.

Blackbody

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Intensity of light versus wavelength of the Sun and a blackbody.

This activity helps students understand blackbodies and the role of photons in emitted and reflected electromagnetic waves. Students will also analyze graphical displays of data, calculate peak wavelength, and apply their understanding to novel scenarios.