Place Based Education Unit Planning Sheet

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Exemplar Title: Place Based Ed Unit Planning Sheet
Grades: 6 - 8
Discipline: Science
Submitted By: Chris Wyland
Affiliation: Cottonwood School of Civics and Science


Animal and Environment Interdependence: Ecosystem Survey

Student perform an ecosystem survey of a local wildlife refuge before a major change is implemented to the ecosystem. The reservoir in the ecosystem will change from 30 acres to 10 acres effectively becoming 1⁄3 the size. See the letter from Portland Parks and Recreation to understand more about the situation. This will happen as a result of replacing a smaller culvert with a much larger one. The local Audubon society voiced concerns on the impact on waterfowl. The intention of the change is to increase biodiversity of the refuge by increasing the size of a culvert that connects this ecosystem to the larger river ecosystem it was separated from 50 years prior by a railway. This culvert is large enough for salmon to stop off for reading on their annual run, deer and larger mammals to swim through etc.This project has been 10 years in the making. The data generated by the first student group will provide a based line of where the ecosystem is at before the project. A later student group will come back and look at where the ecosystem is at after the change.

History of changes to this area:
- Used by First Peoples the area to grow crops (very fertile)
- Railroad installed: Cuts the ecosystem off from the large river ecosystem
- Used as a landfill
- Invasive species overtook the area
- Covered over and converted to wildlife refuge: Restoration work began

Final Product is a presentation displaying the data and findings where the students draw hypotheses about the impacts of the change.