Conservation and Restoration in a Local Ecosystem
In this field-based activity, students are introduced to a local ecosystem. Students observe three sites within the ecosystem paying close attention to community interactions and factors that either promote or inhibit healthy ecosystem functioning. Students use their observations to assess overall health of the ecosystem and prepare recommendations for effective ecosystem management.
This activity introduces students to the challenges faced by a local ecosystem. Connecting students with local organizations that are working to conserve or restore the ecosystem being studies will provide opportunities for ongoing involvement.
- Engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions
- Improves understanding of local ecological challenges
- Advances student literacy around sustainability issues
- Encourages self-reflection and personal development of their voice for solving societal challenges
Higher-order thinking skills developed by this activity include critical thinking and synthesis of ideas.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Preparation: Select a nearby ecosystem (preferably within walking distance) for students to study. Within the ecosystem, identify three observation sites that vary in structure, diversity, degree of disturbance, etc. The attached document, Conservation and Restoration in a Local Ecosystem, has placeholders for ecosystem name, travel directions, and a map. Students, working in teams of 3-5 students, visit each observation site and consider the questions provided on the attached document. The instructor should spend some time at each site, asking questions and helping students to identify key features of the site. Upon completion of the observation portion of the exercise, students will complete the reflection/recommendation questions found at the end of the attached document. If time allows, student teams can share their recommendations with their classmates and discuss rationale for varying management strategies.
Conservation and Restoration student handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 29kB Jul25 13)