Educator Resources: Ecology

Backyard Bark Beetles

This citizen science project provides a rare opportunity for the public to participate in real-world scientific research. Participants help to advance our understanding of bark and ambrosia beetles, which will help us to protect forests and the species that depend on them. This project has been designed as an easy and fun activity to teach kids and adults about these amazing and important creatures.

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Sponsors

University of Florida

Biodiversity PEEK STEAM Curriculum

Biodiversity PEEK students spend time outside observing and wondering about the wild plants and animals we often overlook. Biodiversity PEEK kids do real, meaningful citizen-science using digital photography and an international database. Through a guided nature journal students develop their own questions, investigate/research some of these questions, share their findings and develop a feasible biodiversity project.

Sponsors

The Biodiversity Group

BirdSleuth K-12

BirdSleuth K-12 creates innovative resources that build science skills while inspiring young people to connect to local habitats, explore biodiversity, and engage in citizen science projects. With an inquiry-based approach to science curriculum, kids are engaged in scientific study and real data collection throught the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s exciting citizen science projects.

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The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Bugs In Our Backyard

Bugs In Our Backyard is an educational outreach and collaborative research program, providing project-based learning opportunities for K-12 students– or anyone! The core activity for BioB takes advantage of the bugs in your own backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood. Students can become citizen-scientists by surveying this diversity of insects and plants.

Sponsors

National Science Foundation, Colby College

Building a Bat House

Building a bat house is a great way to help these threatened animals. Once you’ve built your bat house, identified suitable habitat to install it, and it is successfully inhabited, join WDNR’s roost monitoring project. Through this project you can let bat researchers know about what kinds of bats inhabit your bat house, and how many bats you get each year.

*Supports Wisconsin Bat Program

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Program

Caterpillars Count!

A major goal of the Caterpillars Count! project is to provide a structured way for students and other interested individuals to learn more about the caterpillars and other insects that play a crucial role in our ecosystem.

Sponsors

The University of North Carolina

Damsels and Dragons

“Damsels and Dragons” describes the physical and behavioral characteristics of
dragonflies and damselflies. Eighty-six species of dragonflies occur throughout
Minnesota. Students also learn about a dragonfly’s life cycle as it metamorphoses
from egg to adult, and about a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
naturalist, Mark Carroll, who has done research on dragonflies.

*Supports Minnesota Odanata Survey Project

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Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Dragonfly Society

International Crane Foundation Activity Packets

Activity packets for ages preschool through high school, along with select activities in Spanish, for use in your classroom. Packets include information about cranes and a variety of activities.

*Supports Annual Midwest Crane Count

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International Crane Foundation

Invasion of the Exotic Earthworm

With a roll of the die, students simulate the movement of nutrients in a forest ecosystem both before and after earthworms invade to see how & why change can occur in ecosystems as a result of exotic species invasion. Lessons are aligned to standards.

*Supports Great Lakes Worm Watch

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Ladybug Learning

Ladybug biology, biodiversity, conservation, and sampling are addressed. Younger students contruct replicas of ladybug life stages out of recycled materials and learn about ladybug diversity playing “ladybug bingo”. Older children play food web and ladybug sampling games. The core of the Lost Ladybug Project, where we actually go outside to search, is the same for both age groups. The toolkits allow for two collecting trips to two habitats for comparison, and then submission of data on the Lost Ladybug website.

Sponsors

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/