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Topics Explored: Trophic Levels, Energy Flows, Food Chain, Food Web, K- and r-Selected Species, Survivorship Curves, Carrying Capacity, How Human Activities Affect Biodiversity, % Change Calculations 
This case study explores the history of the gray wolf in North America. They were hunted close to extinction in the lower 48 States and reintroduced in Idaho and Wyoming in the 90s. November 2020 there was a historic proposition on the Colorado voting ballot to reintroduce the gray wolf in Colorado. How would you vote?   Answer key included.

Case Study: Gray Wolves in Colorado (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.
    HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

    AP® Environmental Science Learning Objectives:
    1.1 Explain how the availability of resources influences species interactions.
    1.8 Explain how solar energy is acquired and transferred by living organisms.
    1.9 Explain how energy flows and matter cycles through trophic levels.
    1.10 Determine how the energy decreases as it flows through ecosystems.
    1.11 Describe food chains and food webs, and their constituent members by trophic level.
    3.2 Identify differences between K- and r-selected species.
    3.3 Explain survivorship curves.
    3.4 Describe carrying capacity. Describe the impact of carrying capacity on ecosystems.
    9.9 Explain how species become endangered and strategies to combat the problem.
    9.10 Explain how human activities affect biodiversity and strategies to combat the problem.

    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:
    2.1.2 Define trophic level.
    2.1.3 Identify and explain trophic levels in food chains and food webs selected from the localenvironment.
    2.1.7 Describe and explain population interactions using examples of named species.
    2.5.1 Explain the role of producers, consumers, and decomposers in the ecosystem.
    2.5.3 Describe and explain the transfer and transformation of energy as it flows through an ecosystem.
    2.5.4 Describe and explain the transfer and transformation of materials as they cycle within anecosystem.
    7.1.6 Justify your personal viewpoint on environmental issues


    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®. 

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