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Ecology Assignments

August-May Assignments  Due:

August 19  begin reading Chapter 19 in text book  see online textbook instructions on website home page

August 21  signature forms/parent permission   see August 19/20 Ecology lesson plans for download forms

August 21 Learning Assessment    see August 19/20 Ecology lesson plans for download forms

August 21   Signature Forms   see August 19/20 Ecology lesson plans for download forms

August 28  Eco Log     see August 25 Ecology lesson plan for download form

August 28  Eco Ads     see August 25 Ecology lesson plan for download forms

September 2  (in class lab)   What did your lunch cost wildlife?     see Sept 2 Ecology lesson plan for download forms

Sept 3-4  in class computer lab  -you will have  computer research time in class on Sept 3-4 to work on this. 

select ONE NGO (non-governmental organization) from Packet in class---the sections entitled Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal (total of 5), research and write one paragraph (minimum 8 sentences) about each organization and how it impacts environmental issues.  Be sure to title each paragraph with the section title--Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, Disposal followed by the name of the NGO.  There will be a total of 5 paragraphs (minimum of 8 sentences each, totaling a minimum of 40 sentences).     Example:     Extraction--Amazon Watch (NGO)--followed by a minimum of 8 sentences explaining their mission and what this NGO does; Production---Clean Production Action (NGO)--followed by a minimum of 8 sentences explaining their mission and what this NGO does;-....and so on for the remaining 3 points of the Materials Economy (Distribution, Consumption and Disposal)

Sept 4  Green Products   worksheet handed out in class Sept 2  Go to your local grocery store, market or large economy store and look on the shelves for “green” products.  You will find most of them in the cleaning products, paint, and laundry aisles.  Complete the chart with no less than six products.  Use the Marketing Claims found on the attached page to assist you when looking for Packaging Claims.   

September 8   Recycling assignment poster and power point presentation --printed out six slides to a page, front to back printing (instructions given out on 9/2) 

Extra Credit opportunity:   Go see "A Walk in the Woods", attach ticket stub to a one page paper on how the movie educates the public about the Appalachian Trail and encouraging people to unplug and get-back-to-nature.  Paper is due by September 20.

Sept. 9     Upcycling Computer Lab worksheet due (see attachment on 9/9 lesson plans)

Sept 15 --- finish reading Chapter 19 in textbook---see online textbook instructions on website home page

Sept 18 -- Upcycle project is due   taking something from trash and making it into something of greater value--see instructions handed out Sept 8

Sept 24--in class computer lab worksheet on Dynamic Earth (see Ecology Lesson Plans Sept 24 for download)

Sept 25--in-class Complete Earthquake Hazard Map page 94 of text book questions 1-5  include question in answer  (On Demand Writing assessment)

Oct 2--Fracking Debate Worksheet  (time to work on in class)  see Oct 1 for download

October 8--Energy House completed (see Sept 28 attachments)

October 9--Acid Rain worksheet (handed out in class on October 6--see Ecology Lesson Plans for download)

October 21   pg 118-119  questions 1-12.  Write the letter answer next to the question number (time in class to do)

November 2  Examining the Stages in Ecological Succession--completed in class  (writing on demand assignment)

November 3   Nitrogen, CO2, Phosphorus cycles worksheet (assigned October 30--download from lesson plan)

November 6  The Cycling of Materials-Nature's Way  (On Demand Writing Assessment)

November 10   How Ecosystems Work puzzle and Nutrient Cycles (assigned Nov. 2--download from lesson plan)

Nature Preserve--your opinion  Due November 11. Your family is considering buying a house near a nature preserve that has been established to maintain a portion of the orginial ecosystem. You attended a meeting in which the developer is explaining the plans for the project. One woman in the audience complains that she does not like the natural prairie grasses on the nature preseve because they look unkept. She wants the grasses removed and replanted with an imported exotic grass. A man at the meeting suggests that exotic animals on the preserve would make it more beautiful and a good economic resource for the community--like a drive through zoo. One woman proposes that the developer construct a playground in the center of the preserve and build a paved road to it so that the younger children can play. She wants picnic tables set up throughout the preserve for family picnics.

1. What would be your repsonse to the woman who wants to replace the native grasses?

2. What would be your response to the man who wants exotic animals placed on the site?

3. What would be your reponse to the woman who wants to put a playground on the site?

Be sure to include the question in your answer (if not included 10 pts).

November 16     Carbon Sinks and Sources  (handed out in class 11/10)

 November 17--completed in class   Identify Your Local Biome page 180-181

December 3   Glacial Flow Lab and Lab write up

December 6  ANWR Debate 

ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) Research and Debate

ANWR should be opened up for oil and gas drilling.  You will only have today to work on your research as a team.  The short report is homework---to be completed at home over the weekend.   Be prepared to turn it in at the start of class on Monday.

Teams (you and a partner—2 only)—you will be assigned a topic number (#1-4)

  1. Geography and Petroleum
  2. Environmental Impacts
  3. Energy Needs
  4. Native Culture and rights


In preparation for the debate, your team of two will address one of these four topics. Responses should take the real-world position when possible (i.e., environmentalists are against drilling). The teams are responsible for assigning a specific topic to a specific team member.

Each member will individually write a separate short report that addresses their topic. You may

discuss your short report with your fellow teammates but all of the writing must be yours.

Short Report format & Grading

  • No more than 2 pages but a minimum of at least 1 page per person---single spaced, 1 inch margins top, bottom and sides, typed, with references (at least 2) of websites used.
  • You will be graded in two parts:  #1on your research effort, your written argument, how well your report represents your assigned topic, and #2 how well your group does during the debate.

Short Report Topics

For each of the topics, I have listed several potential questions you may want to address. You

are required to answer these particular questions, and more that you discover, in your written report.

(1) Geography & Petroleum Geology

Where is ANWR? Is all of ANWR being considered for drilling, if not, which part and why is that part available? How much oil does your team think might be at ANWR? If your team has no official position, what are the ranges of volumes being discussed? What kind of oil traps exist in ANWR? What about natural gas?  How would infrastructure to support drilling impact the area?  Does the cost of constructing the infrastructure still permit for profit margin on oil found?

(2) Environmental Impacts

What are some of the key species in ANWR? How likely is it that drilling will disrupt their migration? What are some of the possible effects near the drilling pads? Far from the pads? What does the data from Prudhoe Bay suggest? Will the effect of drilling at ANWR be the same as Prudhoe? How clean have the oil companies been during their drilling at Prudhoe?

 (3) Energy Needs

How much of US daily energy consumption does the expected oil from ANWR represent? Six

months? More? Less? Should Alaskans have more say about ANWR than other states? Should there be a mandate on selling this oil only to USA citizens? Presently, oil companies can sell to the highest bidder.  Is drilling at ANWR a key component of a solid national energy policy?  What happens when the oil in ANWR runs out?

(4) Native culture & rights--Inupiat Eskimo of Kaktovik, Alaska and the Gwich'in Indians of Alaska and Canada

What native groups live in and near ANWR? Do they have the same position with regard to

drilling? If not, why? Has their position changed with time? If so, why? If a native group

prefers to live a native lifestyle that excludes drilling, should they be allowed to do so even if it

means less oil for all Americans?  How will the drilling impact their sustainable living off the land?

Potential Sources of Information:

There are many potential sources of information, including newspaper articles and special

websites. To give you a start, I have listed several web sources below.  You can also Goggle search eachof the topics to find additional resources.

Web pages

Page for supporters of oil drilling

Pro/Con re drilling in ANWR

Page showing many sides to the issue, including that of the native peoples of the region

Critical Thinking about Energy

List of web sources for differing views

Using a search engine such as, search for "ANWR", etc

Newspaper articles

New York Times: do searches on "Alaska drilling", "Arctic refuge" etc


Boulder Daily Camera: do searches on "Alaska drilling", "arctic refuge"etc

Debate Format

The "debate" will consist of a series of questions asked by Ms. Scribner and responses from each

of the teams. Some of the questions will resemble those suggested for the short reports. After

the question is asked, each team will have a few moments to discuss their answer and elect a

representative to give their oral argument.

January 7  Calculating Land Area worksheet—given out in class on Jan 5 (see lesson plan for download)

January 8  Greenhouse Gas Calculation Game worksheet (see lesson plan 1/7 computer lab for download)

January 8--computer lab; go to:  complete both the short and tall grasses simulation and the burning of the prairie.  Then work on cinquain, puzzle, biomes worksheet & questions, vocab handout and ID Your Local Biome homework assignments.  see lesson plan for 1/7

January 8--grasslands cinquain :  A cinquain is a five-line poem without rhyme or rhythm that is witten using the following rules:  Line #1-write a two-syllable title; Line #2-describe the titled in 4 syllables; Line #3-describe the actions of the title in 6 syllables using verbs; Line #4-describe a personal feeling about the title in 8 syllables; Line #5-write a word picture of the title in two syllables then locate a photo on the internet to show the mood of your Cinquain.  Example:  Rangeland; fragile grasslands; carbon sequestration; grateful for the wide open spaces; vast plains.

January 12   World Food Supply and Sustainable Agriculture worksheets—see Jan 6 lesson plan for download

January 13--LAND ETHIC paper  read an pages 237-264 in Sand County Almanac (avaiable for download from Jan 6 lesson plan), then answer the following questions:

  1. How would you characterize your own conservation philosophy?How did you come to hold these beliefs?(minimum of 8 sentences)

  2. Consider the statement:“A land ethic changes the role of humans from conqueror of the land community to plain members and citizens of it.It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”How would you apply this ethic in practice?

  3. Leopold wrote in the 1940’s, “The land-relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but not obligations.”What would you say is our land-relation today? (hint:“I believe” statements)

  4. Leopold says the land ethic is extending a community’s sensibilities to all members of the community, nonhuman as well as human.  What would that mean in your life or community?

  5. Do you agree with the passage from the “Land Ethic” essay:“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community?It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”Was Leopold suggesting that the integrity of the biotic community supersedes the concerns for its individual members?What are the implications of this concept for you?

  6. In the “Land Ethic” essay, Leopold said, “It is inconceivable to me that an ethical relationship (with land) can exist without love, respect, admiration, and a high regard for its value.”Which is more motivating for your:beauty (aesthetics) or duty (ethics) and explain why.

  7. In thinking about your “land ethic,” does it emanate primarily from self-interest, or from a true interest in non-human elements?State your reasons why (e.g. does it have a purpose and why).

 January 13, 2015--Complete the data collection section for this mathematical simulation model of predator/prey populations.  Graph your results, answer the questions under Analysis and Conclusion AND complete the extension (writing a new lab using this lab as a model).    Value:  150 points  (50 points graph, 50 points questions, 50 points extension)

January 14--Computer Lab Hunger 101    Go to:   and complete the interactive Hunger Decisions   Go to:   complete Hungry Decisions interactive

January 22 homework assignment, due January 28 2015----You are to write a paper in response to viewing the film "A Place at the Table" in class .  The paper must be typed single-spaced in Times Roman Font 12 with one inch margins and in paragraph form with an introductory paragraph, 3 supporting paragraphs and a concluding paragraph (5 total paragraphs). Please place 2 lines between each paragraph.  This is a persuasive paper about how your topic either impacts hunger or how it can be used to help eliminate hunger.  Don't forget to include elements like creation of job, nutrition and creating a different "system" with your ideas.  Remember, you must have a clear position, organized and relevant information, and address counterarguments--citations should be listed on a second page.

Choose one the following topics (or choose your own and have it approved by me no later than January 22) and take a side to the argument.  Have at least three main points to support your case and be sure to address any counterarguments others may have.

Possible Topics:

  • industrialization of food production

  • labeling of food

  • influx of corn and soybeans in food

  • availability of healthy food to all people

  • organic food

  • voting with your dollars

  • the patenting of life (genetic manipulation of food)—for example there is currently a ban on genetically altered corn being sold outside the USA

  • the unjust laws that protect food companies

  • What we can do to change the current system.

    How to get started:  brainstorm and outline, created a rough draft, complete final draft with corrections made.

Due February 4---Forest Puzzle (see Feb 3 lesson plan to download)

Due February 6--Deciduous and Confierous worksheet packet (see Feb 4 lesson plans to download)

Due February 10--Fire Wars--The Growth of Growth (see Feb 9 lesson plan to download)

Due February 8  Wildfires: To Burn or Not to Burn?  Wildfires are now allowed to burn in places such as Yellowstone National Park, but this was not always the case. Until 1995, it was the policy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to suppress all wildfires. Most ecologists now understand the importance of wildfires to the ecosystem, though some are still fearful of the dangers involved.  You task will be to research the controversy that exists with regards to this current policy.

Consult the following website:  then click on Fire Ecology and Landscape Analysis of Wildfires  to complete your research  On this web site you will get to learn more about the branch of ecology that focues on the origins of wildland fire and it's impact on the environment that surrounds it, both living and non-living.

You may also consult the Bureau of Land Management's Web site at  once there, click on topics in the far right box that interest you and provide you with information regarding the assignment below.

Assignment--choose a side and list six thoughts whether the dangers of wildfires outweigh their benefits and the reasons why (more than just a quick bullet point) AND your website source(s)--(value 20 pts of the 80pts)-- from which you obtained this information.

Due February 10   inclass assignment--computer lab worksheet

Due February 16   Rainforest Worksheet

Due February 16  (in class assignment)   Page 160-161  Deforestation and Climate Change  include critial thinking questions in your answers for questions #1 and #2

Due February 18   Rainforest computer lab worksheet  (time in class to complete)

Due February 19  Pen Pal Letter:  Imagine you're in class and I have read you an article about a U.S. company (Lumber Inc) which is deforesting a rainforest in Brazil.  Using the information you have learned in our deforestation lecture, from your textbook and the attached file, write a letter to convince the company to STOP the deforestation.  Use the facts you have learned to support and provide evidence for your position.  You must use your own words---no cut and pasting of information from the attached article or web sites.  

Your letter needs to include the date, company's name & address (you make one up), a salutation (Dear Sirs) and a letter made up of at least two paragraphs with 7-10 sentences in each paragraph stating your case with supportive information, a "sincerely" line and your name and hour.

February 20   Page 164, questions #1-6 in textbook.  Include the question in your answer.  

March 4      Rainforest computer lab worksheet and puzzles

March 11    Freshwater worksheets and puzzles

March 25    Watershed Vocabulary Review (handout)

March 25    Hazardous Water Run off Who Dun It?  worksheet

April 6   (assgnment and time given in class 4/2)  Page 192-193 Chesapeake Bay Case Study questions and Is There Kelp in your Cupboard? and Marine puzzles worksheet  (see ecology documents 2 under "I" listing).

April 9  Oceans and Climate Change worksheet.  (worksheet handed out in class on April 6).

April 23  Earth Day Puzzle   (available for download from April 20 ecology lesson plans)

April 24  The Great Energy Hunt (available for download from April 20 ecology lesson plans)

April 24  Paying at the Pump (available for download from April 20 ecology lesson plans)