Wednesday, April 30, 2008

B block: Animal Behavior & Communication

B block had a quiz today on sections 51.1 and 51.2. After the quiz we started to watch the Discovery Channel video Birds of Prey.

D block project information

D block has decided that they are each picking a topic to teach the class about for the remaining class periods. Below are the requirements and due dates for the project.

On Friday May 2nd the notes pages are due. This will count as a homework grade.
On Monday May 5th the lesson plan is due. The lesson must include a pre-assessment, involve everyone in the class and be no more than 25 minutes in length. Students have been emailed a lesson plan template. (click the picture to make it larger).
On Wednesday May 7th the activity or demo that you are doing in class is due.

Presentation Schedule:
Monday: Sammy (Tsunami), Jun (Muscles and Steriods)
Wednesday: Dana (?), Nicoya (Drug Controversy)
Thursday: David (photosynthesis), Mike (Jane Goodall's work)
Friday: Andrea (Human Nutrition), Ji (Brain/Nervous System).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Animal Communication

Today we started some notes on animal communication and even tried to "train" each other to perform basic tasks to get a feel for what it is like when two individuals don't communicate in the same way or have the same knowledge.

Homework for B block: read sections 51.1 and 51.2, you will have a reading quiz tomorrow in class. Any notes you take you can use.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Chapter 53 Project Rubric

Wondering how your project is going to be graded? Well here it is:

Content 62 points: 2 points for each word/concept (one point for each image and one point for each explanation)

Bibliography 10 points: all images and text are cited in the proper MLA format

Creativity & Formatting 14 points: the use of color and text style enhances the presentation.

Spelling & Grammar 14 points: there are no spelling nor grammatical errors.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chapter 53 project updates

Some changes to the content for the project have been made. Please see the changes below. I will be on duty in Lindsey this evening and around on Sunday if you need help. Please email me to set up a time.

Here are the terms that you need to include AND have collected evidence (pictures or drawings) from the sites we visited:

species richness
relative abundance
secondary succession
interspecific interactions
cryptic coloration
ecological niche
realized niche
exotic/introduced species

The terms below you need to include along with images and an explanation, however you can find these in your book or on the web.

individualistic hypothesis
interactive hypothesis
aposematic coloration
Batesian mimicry
Mullerian mimicry
interspecific competition
interference competition
exploitative competition
fundamental niche
primary succession

You no longer need to include the following terms:

competitive exclusion principal
dynamic equalibrium hypothesis

You should get satellite and or terrain images from google. You do not need a separate slide for each term.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Last Day Outside

Today was the last for collecting organisms and Nicoya spotted a great newt as we were leaving. Tomorrow students will have another quiz on the terms and concepts for chapter 53 and we'll talk more about the expectations for the project due on Monday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sample Slides for Community Ecology Project

And the results are in...

The quiz that you took on Monday told me that we have some serious work to do in order for you to be prepared for your projects due on Monday April 28th. To recap your projects you need examples of local flora and fauna that fit each of the terms from chapter 53. I will be posting a few slides sample sides later this evening.

Yesterday we had a lot of success catching various organisms (backswimmers, a large newt, a salamander, a tadpole and small fish).

Today we will be going to a new site where yesterday I saw several large frogs and lots of evidence of bacteria.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So what have we been doing this week?

Well, the big news is that you have an additional week to complete your projects, and as such those projects had better FANTASTIC.

Yesterday Nate caught a fish in the Pemi on his first try with the dip nets, we also caught numerous other aquatic insects and learned what not to wear when we go out in the field.

Below are some pictures that Mike took today.

As we pulled up to Burleigh we saw five wild turkeys, some of them were even engaged in displays by ruffling their feathers.
Moose scat (an example of evidence of a herbivore).
Moose Tracks and these were fairly far apart, meaning the moose could be quite large.
Spring is Here! This Red Maple (Acer rubrum) bud burst.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A walk in the woods

Today B block went up to Burleigh Mountain to look for examples of communities, species richness, introduced species and many of the other things for their community ecology project.

Click on the picture below to be taken to the "What Tree is That?" a free website from

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chapter 53 Project:

Chapter 53 Assignment

Working in groups of 2 or 3, you and your partner(s) will need to become familiar with the following terms and find examples of them in the area around New Hampton School and in the Lakes Region. We will be going up to Burleigh and walking around campus (rain or shine) so that you can collect evidence (drawings, samples and photographs) so make sure that you dress appropriately. Terms marked with an asterisk (*) are ones that you do not need to find evidence for in person, but rather can look up on line or in a textbook. You will have one week to complete this assignment and you will present your findings to your peers in class. You can put together a PowerPoint, webpage, photo/sample album, video or use another form of media.

One of the goals of this project is for you to become more familiar with your surroundings and even to be able to identify various local plant and animal species.

species richness

relative abundance

species diversity


individualistic hypothesis*

interactive hypothesis*

secondary succession

interspecific interactions







cryptic coloration*

aposematic coloration*



Batesian mimicry*

Mullerian mimicry*





interspecific competition

interference competition

exploitative competition

competitive exclusion principle*

ecological niche

fundamental niche


realized niche

resource partitioning

character displacement*




keystone species

exotic species



ecological succession

primary succession


dynamic equilibrium hypothesis

intermediate disturbance hypothesis

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cemetery Data Analysis

Today we went to the ARC and many students used excel for the first time (and realized what a nightmare it can be). Rather than use our data we will be using sample data which will be much easier to work with. You should use the paper I gave you in class for the data.

Please make graphs in excel comparing the following populations, all graphs will have age class on the X axis and survivorship on the Y axis. When you select the type of graph, make sure you choose scatter and then you can choose to have the points connected by lines. If you select line graph, it will not work!

Graph 1: Post-1900 females & Post 1900 males (this most closely resembles our cemetery)
Graph 2: Post-1900 females & pre 1820 females
Graph 3: Post 1900 males & pre 1820 males
Graph 4: The summary of both sexes comparing pre-1820 & post 1900.

In addition you will need to analyze this data and write in terms of any patterns or trends that you see. What type of surviorship curve (I,II or III) does each time period most closely resemble etc...

You will be graded on the following:
1. Whether or not the graphs are correct
2. Having a title and labels for each graph
3. How detailed, insightful and accurate your analysis of the graphs is.
4. There should be two graphs per page and your analysis should be no more than one page.

If you have lost the data I gave you in class you can see me tonight when I am on duty in Moore.

Class in the ARC today

Meet in the ARC today!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dall Mountain Sheep

Today students learned how to interpret and graph a life table as well as make inferences about a population in a 15 year study. Learning about the Dall Sheep population was the first part of the lab on population ecology, in the second part of the lab students will gather data from a local cemetery to compare life expectancy in modern and historical populations.

The Dall Sheep we learned about in class today were studied on Mt. McKinely (also known as Denali). This summer while hiking in the Healy Range (across from Denali) we ran into several groups of Dall Sheep where we had set up camp. Click on the pictures to below to make them larger and you will be able to get a better look at the sheep.

Katie is in the lower left corner making dinner while the sheep had finally moved on from where we wanted to set up camp.A second group of sheep easily moved along higher on the ridge.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Population Growth

How many people are in the United States? How many people are in the world? Today we started to think about how populations are distributed, what factors limit population growth and various types of survivorship curves.
At the start of class we checked out the U.S. and World Population Clock. The population numbers were written on the board while students worked independently on a summary packet for Chapter 52. At the end of class students predicted how the numbers changed, needless to say there was some surprise. Try it for yourself while you're watching your favorite TV show. Check the clock at the beginning of the hour and then at the end. While you are watching TV so many things are happening in the world that you aren't aware of. Pretty mind blowing.

Homework for both classes:
1. Finish the packet.

2. Find an article that talks about world population growth, the population policy of a country of your choice or something along those lines. Write a summary of your article and your reaction to it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Test on the Biosphere & Climate Change

Today both classes had a test on the biosphere and climate change.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In Hot Water

Today B block watched the video "In Hot Water" on the impacts of sea water rise and how that impacts not only plants and animals, but humans too.

In addition, students created acted out advertisements for products that can help reduce CO2 levels (like light bulbs, recycling, solar panels etc...)

Reminder: You will have a test on Friday, so study! I am on duty on Thursday night, if you need help.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Climate Change Part II

Today we continued our discussion on climate change and its consequences. On Friday students will have a test on climate change, basic weather patterns and an introduction to the biosphere.

Check out the Goddard Flight and Space Center for amazing satellite images and videos of ice melting, hurricanes, and more.

Click on the picture to see the video we watched in class today of the thermal satellite shots of Katrina. Look closely and you'll see the areas of cool water the hurricane left in its wake (note: this video may take a while to load).