web site explores the concept of ecological synergism. Consider
like diseases, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes, all occur naturally.
They play an integral role in ecosystem development and evolution
of all living organisms. Some of these natural disturbances occur
frequently, while others happen only periodically. Natural disturbances
can also take place on a local scale, as well as impact the entire
world. In each case, the earth and its inhabitants respond and
adapt in order to survive.
happens when these natural ecological disturbances are compounded
by each other and by human activities? How has the synergistic effects
of the individual events impacted the ecosystem and its inhabitants?
Which factors are responsible, and how is that determined?
TO USE THIS SITE
are four case studies featured here that explore the concept of
ecological synergism. Each case focuses on the declining population
of a marine organism at different locations around the world, and
arises from real scientific research.
for you is to:
the major factors that contributed to the population decline,
how these factors compounded each others' impact, and
actions for restoration, prevention, or management.
is a "situation" scenario for the four case studies to
help put each investigation into context. The challenge is the same
for each case study, but the information and outcomes vary considerably.
Data on potential factors are provided for each case study. Use
the information to help make your connections and formulate your
line of logic. There will be "connecting
prompts" throughout each case study to help
stimulate the thinking process. These will be indicated in orange.
website contains more than just pages of information. There is an
overall task for students to do while they explore the concepts
and contents presented here. The design and structure of this website
is based upon learning theories from Benjamin Bloom, Jean Piaget,
David Ausubel, and Joseph Novak.
work in pairs or teams to accomplish the task. Each case study is
placed within a real life context. The challenge is for students
to read the information, analyze the data, synthesize their thoughts,
and make evaluations and judgements based on their constructed understanding.
Graphs and tables give students a chance to conduct real scientific
research. The connecting prompts are provided to help facilitate
by the concepts and contents presented in this website. There is
a lot of information presented here. Don't just read through the
information like a textbook. The purpose is not for you to memorize
the contents, but to understand the concepts by making connections
between the information provided.
of the data is presented as text, while others are in the form of
graphs, tables, and diagrams. Use the information provided to come
up with your own understanding and line of reasoning. The connecting
prompts are provided to help you make connections and to get you
thinking. There may be more than one answer to those prompts, so
be inquisitive in your thinking.
website was designed to address the competency goals in the
following science strands for Grades 9-12 in the state of
The learner will develop an understanding of ecological relationships
Students will develop an understanding of the behavior of organisms,
resulting from a combination of heredity and environment.
& Environmental Sciences
The learner will build an understanding of the hydrosphere and
its interactions and influences on the lithosphere, the atmosphere,
and environmental quality.
Evaluate environmental issues and solutions for North Carolina's
wetlands, inland, and tidal environments:
* Fresh and brackish water marsh.
The learner will build an understanding of alternative choices
facing human societies in their stewardship of the earth.
ecological relationships among organisms and their environment.
real environmental issues and generate solutions.
- Learn to
analyze and interpret graphs and tables from scientific research.
- Paine, T.,
M. Tegner, & E. Johnson (1998). Compounded perturbations yield ecological
surprises. Ecosystem, 1: 535-545.
J. et al. (2001). Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of
coastal ecosystems. Science, 293: 629-636
site was created by Lynn Tran at the North Carolina State University, Department
of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education on 7/12/03. Faculty advisor
Dr. David Eggleston, NCSU, Department of Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences.
December 29, 2003