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.

Biodiversity Seminar 1

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This document serves as a teaching guide for the first of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on global issues affecting biodiversity, including land and water use, greenhouse gases, decline of species, and emerging infectious diseases. The guide includes an overview, reading list, step-by-step seminar plan, and suggested discussion questions. The main seminar activity (an interrupted case study about bird populations in fragmented habitats) and assignment questions, which are described in the guide, are provided in related files.

Wombats and Bees

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Butterfly, bird, and plant declines.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Wombats and Bees

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Fruit-set effect sizes of pollen-supplementation experiments, North America.

This assignment requires students to consider data related to diversity in local animal populations. Students will apply their understanding of samples, populations, and statistics to data from several different published studies of biodiversity. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Bird Conservation

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Relationship between persistence and species-specific levels of mobility.

In this interrupted case study, students will play the role of conservation biologists interested in the ecology and population viability of birds in a fragmented habitat. In addition to engaging with ecological concepts, students will consider research methods and will analyze data from a previous study. This document serves as an instructor guide; student handouts are provided in an accompanying document.

Bird Conservation

Discipline:

Relationship between persistence and species-specific levels of mobility.

In this interrupted case study, students will play the role of conservation biologists interested in the ecology and population viability of birds in a fragmented habitat. In addition to engaging with ecological concepts, students will consider research methods and will analyze data from a previous study. This document serves as a student handout; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Light, Blackbodies, and Parallax

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Spectrum of emission from a perfect blackbody at a temperature of 5800 K.

This assignment consists of two multipart questions. The first question asks students to apply their understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, properties of light, opacity, and blackbody radiation to make predictions. The second question asks students to apply their understanding of parallax, the period-luminosity relationship, and distance to complete a set of calculations and predictions. This assignment further allows students to practice identifying their assumptions, plotting data, and making quantitative comparisons.

Light, Blackbodies, and Parallax

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Atmospheric opacity.

This assignment consists of two multipart questions. The first question asks students to apply their understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, properties of light, opacity, and blackbody radiation to make predictions. The second question asks students to apply their understanding of parallax, the period-luminosity relationship, and distance to complete a set of calculations and predictions. This assignment further allows students to practice identifying their assumptions, plotting data, and making quantitative comparisons.