Summer SAVY Session 5, Day 4, Aquatic Ecology
The day started with computer research investigating four components of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem: physical characteristics, water properties and geographic variability, human interactions, and change over time. We incorporated this information into the map we started yesterday, and also the organisms that we researched yesterday. A food web was created showing the connections between species.
The students put a lot of effort into the map. While we had been learning about the effects of adding nutrients to aquatic systems, we finally gave the process a name and further discussed eutrophication before departing for lunch.
In the afternoon we analyzed a document on fertilizer run-off and lakes using the reasoning wheel. You’ll notice an example on the lower right of the attached document. While using the reasoning wheel we had to define the meaning of reasoning, assuming, and inferring. Next, we analyzed documents more specific to the problem of the missing sea trout. First was a newspaper ad paid for by a community group that accused entities in the community of polluting the bay. The second was a data sheet about a farmer listed in the first document. We discussed why someone would publish such a document, whether there were biases, and what additional information we would need to accept the claims being made. Close examination revealed that the farmer listed in the ad was related to people included in the original problem statement. At this point, the students have run several experiments, done research, and analyzed relevant documents. They are almost ready to write up a report on missing sea trout and make suggestions for mitigating the causal effects.
This evening you could ask your child about the organisms they studied, the connections between species, and the nature of food chains/webs. See if they can tell you why food chains have a limited number of links, usually 3 to 5.