Biodiversity of Pollinators

Discipline:

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

Discipline:

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.

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 an instructor guide; student handouts are provided in an accompanying document.

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 student guide; a teacher guide and data analysis example are available in accompanying files.

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.

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.

Outrageous Fortune

Discipline:

In this activity, students will learn a little about string theory and will consider debates about the place of string theory in science. This discussion engages students with a current issue in astrophysics and with ideas about the nature and practice of science.

Galaxy Evolution

Discipline:

In this activity, students will explore types of galaxies, the evolution of galaxies with respect to their stellar populations, and where metals reside in different types of galaxies. Students will also relate their learning about galaxies to the HR diagram.

Galaxy Evolution

Discipline:

In this activity, students will explore types of galaxies, the evolution of galaxies with respect to their stellar populations, and where metals reside in different types of galaxies. Students will also relate their learning about galaxies to the HR diagram.

How Do You Measure the Mass of a Star?

Discipline:

Inclination of the orbital plane.

In this activity, students will work through the equations used to calculate the mass of a star. This document may be used as a lesson plan or handout and will spark group discussion and practice problems.