Topics Explored: Biodiversity, Population,Ecosystems, Biomagnification, Scientific Notation, Dimensional Analysis, Percent Change, Rule of 70

This case study explores the concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification and their impact on bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Answer key included.

Case Study: Bald Eagles (Teacher & Student Edition)

  • ZIP file containing 2 PDF files 
    (1 Teacher Edition and 1 Student Edition)

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): 
    HS-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
    HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
    HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    8.3 Describe endocrine disruptors. Describe the effects of endocrine disruptors on ecosystems.
    8.8 Describe bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Describe the effects of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. 

    AP® Environmental Science Practices:
    Practice 1: Explain environmental concepts, processes, and models presented in written format. 
    Practice 2: Analyze visual representations of environmental concepts and processes. 
    Practice 3: Analyze sources of information about environmental issues.  
    Practice 4: Analyze research studies that test environmental principles.  
    Practice 5: Analyze and interpret quantitative data represented in tables, charts, and graphs.
    Practice 6: Apply quantitative methods to address environmental concepts.
    Practice 7: Propose and justify solutions to environmental problems.

    IB® Environmental Systems Learning Objectives:
    2.1.3 Identify and explain trophic levels in food chains and food webs selected from the local environment. 
    2.1.5 Discuss how the pyramid structure affects the functioning of an ecosystem.
    2.7.2 Describe and evaluate methods for measuring changes in abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem due to a specific human activity. 
    3.1.2 Calculate and explain, from given data, the values of crude birth rate, crude death rate, fertility, doubling time and natural increase rate. 
    5.3.3 Evaluate the costs and benefits to society of the World Health Organization's ban on the use of the pesticide DDT. 


    AP® is a registered trademark registered by the College Board®. IB® is a trademark registered by the International Baccalaureate Organization®. This work/product/service has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the College Board® or the International Baccalaureate Organization®.