Lab 7: Future of the Forest: Climate Patterns and Life

The lab activity described here was created by Betsy Youngman of TERC for the EarthLabs project.

Summary and Learning Objectives

Students return to the issue of the declining maple syrup production. Using their knowledge of the relationship between climate patterns and biomes, they predict how climate change will alter the maple syrup industry and use modeled temperature and precipitation data to select an ideal habitat range for sugar maple trees. Students will then examine other plant suitability maps and explore how climate change is impacting all plant life and what that change means for ecosystems.

After completing this investigation, students will be able to:

  • describe how the climate has changed in the recent past (since 1950) and how it is predicted to change in the future; and
  • describe how tree (and plant) species may change in response to changing climate.
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Overview and Teaching Materials

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Printable Materials

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Teaching Notes and Tips

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Student Notebooks

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Assessments

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Science Standards

Lab 7 supports following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Additional Resources

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