Learning Goals

Through this rotation we will be able to:

  • Develop an appreciation of how human societies depend on sustainable ecosystems but cause habitat change, overexploitation, pollution, introduce invasive species, and climate change
  • Give explanation and examples of the different interactions that occur between animals
  • Understand the intricacies of human impact on soils and aquatic ecosystems due to agriculture and other activities.

Activity One: Interactions Videos

Please watch and learn… take a few jot notes when you need to for the first two videos.

Shark and Turtle

How does the turtle protect itself?

What relationship is held between the tiger shark and the loggerhead turtle?

Unlikely Travel Companions

List three ways in which being near a shark might be beneficial to a fish.

What is one way that a shark might benefit from a fish (other than as prey)?

Classify each shark-fish relationship shown in this video segment as commensalism, mutualism or parasitism.

Collapse of the Sharks

Why are shark populations in danger of collapse?

How has the relationship between sharks and humans changed over time?

What might happen if the shark fin trade continues unchecked?

Sharks in Our Future

Describe the type of tourism seen in this clip.

What benefit do these businesses provide to: sharks? To local populations? To tourists?

How might these businesses help prevent the collapse of shark populations?

    Activity Two: Soil Characteristics and Aquatic Systems

    This activity will be done on the smartboard

    1.  Go to the following Soils: Characteristics and Human Impact interactive. Work through the flash lab to answer the following question…
    • Why are soils important?
    • What are the impacts humans have on soils?
    • Why are the nutrients, water, pH, and porosity important for plant growth?
    • What is the difference between inorganic and organic fertilizers?
    • Include a data table for all of your results.
    • Construct two graphs to compare the yield and nutrient availability for the organic versus inorganic fertilized fields.
    • What impact will the differences in fertilizer use have on the long-term sustainability of the soils?

     2. Go to the following Disrupting Aquatic Ecosystems  interactive.  Work through the flash lab to answer the following question…  

    • What are the various dangers that threaten the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems?
    • Describe at least three different threats to the ecosystem including the process of eutrophication.
    • Define and describe the importance of the abiotic factors Alyssa investigated on the lake ecosystems.
    • Make conclusions regarding the impact of the abiotic factors on the fish populations using the data you collected to support your answer. Explain the results and the potential impact of the agricultural area.
    • Answer the following: Is eutrophication a global problem? Justify your answer. Research and describe the potential effects of eutrophication (positive and negative) as well as any efforts aimed at reducing the impact.

    Activity Three: Predation Simulation

    Lynx are members of the cat family that live by preying on snowshoe hares. In this activity, you will simulate the predator-prey interactions between these two animals using a model in which a desk represents a forest and cardboard and paper squares represent the lynx and hares in that forest.

    Turn to page 44-45 in the textbook.  Complete 1-11 (‘Procedure’, and ‘Analyzing and Interpreting’).

    Activity Four: Deforestation and Desertification

    Read through the article provided – Deforestation and Desertification.

    Be mindful as you read that you do not need to make notes but you need to pay attention to details that will support you to complete the assignment.


    1. Create 10 Questions for this article. Make the questions in-depth and more then the obvious (where you can).  You must provide the answer to each question in full sentences.
    2. Knowing about the Holocaust in the Second World War, explain why the term “Forest Holocaust” has been used.
    3. Does this article leave you with a feeling of “hope” about our future? Explain your answer and use points to back it up.  It should be a well constructed paragraph (5-10 sentences).


    Activity Five: Human Impact

    Please read 52 to 68

    If you do the ‘Learning Checkpoint’ questions it will focus your note taking!!

    Summary of what you will learn in this reading:

    • All human societies depend on sustainable ecosystems characterized by maximum biodiversity.
    • Managing the world’s ecosystems means achieving sustainable use, preventing sudden irreversible changes to ecosystems, and addressing the impact of poverty on society and sustainability.
    • Habitat change, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change are the main factors influencing loss of biodiversity.

    Activity Six: Feeding the People

    Please grab the reading and question set – Feeding the People

    Complete all questions.  Remember that some questions may not be directly answered in the reading but questions you need to THINK about :o)