Lab 2: Drawing Connections

Part A: Annotate a Photograph of Your Study Site

Example annotated photograph from a local study site in Greenville, PA. Click image to enlarge.
To annotate means to describe with short notes. Work with a partner or in small groups to annotate your study site photograph in the following way.
  1. Writing directly on the photograph of your study site, label the four major components of the study site system: atmosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere, and biosphere.

  2. Using the list of interconnections you developed in the previous activity, write short descriptions of the interconnections among the components of the system that you can see in your photograph. Follow these guidelines:
    • Use phrases or short sentences with verbs.
    • Make sure you are describing connections or relationships between components of the system, just as in the list of interconnections.
    • Write as clearly as possible. Remember that other students must be able to understand your work.
    • If you run out of space for your annotations, put a number next to the feature in the photograph that you're writing about, draw a small circle around the number so that it will be easy to see, and write the annotations on a separate piece of paper. Attach the piece of paper to your photograph.
    • If your photograph does not show important features that you know about at the study site, you can include them in your annotations in the same way as suggested above.

  3. As you work on your photograph annotations, here are some things to consider:
    • Heat is one way that energy is transferred from one place to another. What happens during the day at your local study site when the sun is shining?
    • Biological process like eating, moving, and dying also help transfer energy. Do you see any of those here? Where is the energy going?
    • What things at this location are capable of moving from one place to another? Trees? Leaves? Soil? Rocks? Water? Some of these things might be moving really slowly, but they are still moving. Can you find anything like that?

Checking In

  • Describe at least two interconnections at your study site that you never thought about before doing this activity.

Stop and Think

1: Which features of your study site are permanent (always there) and which are transient (temporary)?