SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > Who Goes There? Estimating Ocean Populations in Chincoteague Bay

Who Goes There? Estimating Ocean Populations in Chincoteague Bay

This page authored by Maria Hernandez, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and Itnuit Janovitz-Freireich, Saint Augustine's University.

Summary

In this activity students use data to rank species on the food chain and compute energy flow ratios. Then students use their calculations to estimate fish populations in the Chincoteague Bay. Finally, students discuss the impact of the ecosystem and humans on this system. An extension activity presents the Simpson's diversity index and gives students the opportunity to discuss the biodiversity of the system represented by the data.

Learning Goals

This activity introduces the topics of food chain, ocean populations and the dependence of species. The extension discusses biodiversity. Both sections provide the opportunity for further study of related topics.

Additionally, it engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions and advances student literacy around sustainability issues.

Mathematical Concepts: Critical thinking, data analysis, synthesis of ideas, model development, graphing.

Context for Use

This activity is suitable for an algebra, precalculus or beginning calculus course for high school or college students. The activity is structured as follows: first, a brief introduction discussion to the topic is done and students are assigned a homework exercise. The next class period, the activity sheet is completed in groups of 3-4 students and a whole class discussion ends the main activity. The extension section can be done in one additional 50mn class period.

Description and Teaching Materials

The attached files include:

-Instructor Notes with for the main activity, which include relevant data, background information and suggestions for implementing the activity.

Instructor Notes Main Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 263kB Jun17 14)

-Homework and Activity Sheets: this file include both handouts for the main activity.

Homework and Activity Sheets (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.6MB Jun11 14)

-Instructor Notes for the extension activity.

Instructor Notes Extension Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 298kB Jun17 14)

-Extension Activity: Students handout.

Extension Activity: Students handout. (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 133kB Jun11 14)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Please refer to the Instructor Notes for this information.

Assessment

Please refer to the Instructor Notes for this information.

References and Resources

Please refer to the Instructor Notes for this information.