Biodiversity Unit Matrix

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This "matrix" outlines the content and main ideas in the Frontiers of Science unit on biodiversity. The document maps out the goals, lecture themes, readings, activities, assignments, and discussion topics for each of the weeks or sessions that together comprise the unit.

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 2

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Diana fritillary on wild quinine.

This document serves as a teaching guide for the second of three seminars in a unit on biodiversity. This seminar focuses on the concept of "ecosystem services" and the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem function. The guide includes an overview, reading list, and step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions. Related seminar activities and assignment questions are provided in accompanying files.

Biodiversity Seminar 1b

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Depletion of fish stocks.

This teaching guide provides ideas for an alternative or additional seminar to include in a unit on biodiversity. The topics included in this guide are related to species decline in aquatic ecosystems. The guide contains an overview of the seminar, a reading list, and a step-by-step seminar plan, including suggested discussion questions, activities, and references to associated assignments. The related assignment questions are provided in an accompanying file.

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.

Population Ecology

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Expected decline without TEDS.

In this assignment, students will consider models for managing populations of sea turtles and fish. For the first question, students will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (means, standard deviations, t tests, hypothesis testing) to the results of a model simulation and use their analysis to make a policy recommendation about turtle conservation. In the second question, students will calculate and compare the survival rates resulting from two strategies of fish population management. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Population Ecology

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Population trajectory for species X in the Atlantic.

In this assignment, students will consider models for managing populations of sea turtles and fish. For the first question, students will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (means, standard deviations, t tests, hypothesis testing) to the results of a model simulation and use their analysis to make a policy recommendation about turtle conservation. In the second question, students will calculate and compare the survival rates resulting from two strategies of fish population management. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Biodiversity of Pollinators

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Median pollen deposition per visit.

In this class activity, students will analyze data from an investigation of the relationship between bee diversity and pollen deposition in farms and natural areas. Students will learn about the effects of biodiversity in a given ecosystem, and will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (mean, median, standard error). This document includes student handouts; an instructor guide is provided in an accompanying document.

Biodiversity of Pollinators

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Cumulative estimated mean pollen deposition.

In this class activity, students will analyze data from an investigation of the relationship between bee diversity and pollen deposition in farms and natural areas. Students will learn about the effects of biodiversity in a given ecosystem, and will apply their understanding of statistical concepts (mean, median, standard error). This document serves as an instructor guide; student handouts are provided in accompanying documents.

The Birds and the Bees

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Blue orchard bee.

In this handout, students are introduced to a study by Claire Kremen, Neal M. Williams, and Robbin W. Thorp that explores the role of biodiversity in crop pollination—an essential ecosystem service that is threatened by the decline of natural pollinator species. Students engage with these concepts in depth through the accompanying activity on pollination.