This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:
- team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
- multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
- real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
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- review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.
This page first made public: Apr 20, 2017
Strengths of the Module
This module address macroevolution and extinction from an interdisciplinary perspective. This module is based on an Earth systems approach in which students become familiar with fundamental geological and biological concepts while exploring critical linkages and feedbacks among Earth's major spheres (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere).
This knowledge of the geologic record of biodiversity and how Earth's interrelated systems have responded to past changes in the natural environment will provide an important context for addressing threats to biodiversity facing modern societies.
Module activities will be designed to actively engage students in using scientific data and disciplinary practices while addressing issues of current and historical Earth systems. These activities will require students to go beyond simply comprehending the material by asking them to apply these concepts in novel ways to solve problems.
A great fit for courses in:
- environmental studies
- environmental science
- Earth science
- historical geology
- global change
- introductory paleontology
This module is designed to make students aware that organisms and the environment are intertwined and have been since life began on our planet. The module thus begins with lessons from deep time and brings these ideas forward to provide a long-term perspective on the role of humans in altering our biosphere, both directly and indirectly via alteration of Earth's other major systems.
Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Earth Science Literacy Principles:
- Earth Science Literacy 1.1: Earth scientists find solutions to society's needs.
- Earth Science Literacy 1.2: Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
- Earth Science Literacy 1.5: Earth scientists use their understanding of the past to forecast Earth's future.
- Earth Science Literacy 8.1: Natural hazards result from natural Earth processes.
- Earth Science Literacy 8.7: Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, but can engage in activities that reduce their impacts.
- Earth Science Literacy 8.8: An Earth science-literate public is essential for reducing risks from natural hazards.
Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Ocean Science Literacy Principles:
- Ocean Science Literacy Principle 6 F: Coastal regions are susceptible to natural hazards (such as tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, sea level change, and storm surges).
Supported Essential Principles of Climate Science:
- 7 C: Incidents of extreme weather are projected to increase as a result of climate change. Many locations will see a substantial increase in the number of heat waves they experience per year and a likely decrease in episodes of severe cold. Precipitation events are expected to become less frequent but more intense in many areas, and droughts will be more frequent and severe in areas where average precipitation is projected to decrease.
Addressed community developed, nationally-recognized Atmospheric Science Literacy Principles:
- Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 7.4: Weather forecasts and predictions of future climate assist us in implementing mitigation strategies and adaptation to new climatic conditions.
- Atmospheric Science Literacy Principle 7.5: Citizens need to become educated about Earth's atmosphere to make informed decisions on issues at local, regional, and global scales.
Table of Contents
- Instructor Materials: Changing Biosphere Module
Unit 1Introduction to the Geologic Timeline & Mass Extinctions Unit 2Causes of Mass Extinction Unit 3The Interconnected Nature of the Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere Unit 4Impacts of Environmental Change on Organisms: Horses Unit 5The Sixth Extinction
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