Living in an Alkaline Environment

A WebQuest Exploring the Life and Ecology of Mono Lake

Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion Teachers


Cover of Mono Lake Field Guide

The Mono Lake Conservation Commission has hired you to illustrate the life and ecology of Mono Lake by creating a few pages for their new Mono Lake Field Guide.

Your field guide pages will include images and descriptions of organisms living in and around Mono Lake. They will also contain information of ecological importance, including a detailed food web and additional facts about the organisms and their interactions. Your pages will be compiled with the findings of other naturalists and bound into a complete field guide, to be published by the Mono Lake Conservation Commission. This will be the primary reference literature for tourists and other naturalists visiting the area, so it should be well written and graphically interesting.

Before you begin the writing process, you might want to look at other published field guides for reference. You can find them at your local library or online.

Questions for Thought...

As you research the Mono Lake ecosystem, keep the following questions in mind:

  • What are the characteristics of an alkaline environment?
  • What are the physiological challenges of living in an alkaline environment?
  • What adaptations do alkaliphiles have that help them tolerate an alkaline environment?
  • How are alkaliphiles similar to all other life on Earth?
  • What can alkaliphiles teach us about life on and beyond Earth?
  • How does the Mono Lake food web compare/contrast to those you've studied in the past?