Teaching Notes

Example Output

Example Output
Map displayed on the RSIS website. Click on image for a larger view.

By using Ramsar Site Information Services (RSIS), students will identify and locate wetlands sites. The map here shows the location of the wetlands site Parc National du Banc d'Arguin in Mauritania, Africa, displayed by using the WebMapper feature of RSIS.

Grade Level

This chapter is appropriate for students in grades 9-12.

Learning Goals

After completing this chapter, students will be able to:

  • describe characteristics of wetlands and why they are important natural resources;
  • set criteria for selecting wetlands from an international wetlands database;
  • locate protected wetlands on an international map; and
  • compare and discuss wetlands based on their characteristics.


Students will use the RSIS to identify a site for their "environmental club" to focus on. They will use different criteria in selecting their sites, as well as determining what information is important to them when creating and comparing reports on various sites. By analyzing the reports and locating the sites on a world map, students will be challenged to prepare an argument supporting their fact-finding as to why the wetland site they have chosen should be "protected."

Learning Contexts

This investigation can lead students in many directions. Students will largely rely on the information regarding internal and external threats to the wetland site when making the determination on which site their environmental club wants to protect. They may then be led to further discussion and analysis on the physical and/or human factors and influences on the site.

Science Standards

The following National Science Education Standards are supported by this chapter:

8ASI1.3 Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.

8ASI2.4 Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations.

8CLS4.4 Relationship of ecosystem features to number of organisms.

8FSPSP2.3 Causes of environmental degradation and resource depletion vary.

Geography Standards

The following U.S. National Geography Standards are supported by this chapter:

1. How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

8. The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.

Time Required

1-2 hours