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The nose knows: How tri-trophic interactions and natural history shape bird foraging behavior. Introduction to data visualization.

Author(s): pamela scheffler

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Students investigate the role of olfaction and infochemicals on bird foraging behavior.. In this module students learn to analyze and present graphic data in ways that simplify interpretation.


In this module, students work in groups to analyze King Penguin reaction to dimethyl sulphide (DMS).

This module is designed for students with no math or science prerequisites in a general education environmental science class.  The student groups work with a modified graph, that shows the DMS production by photoplankton over time, with the data presented as a single population.  The students determine any patterns they see in the data and develop a hypothesis on what is happening.  The groups present their findings to the class in a discussion-style format.  After the presentation, student groups are given the same data, but labeled with a control population and a population that is being grazed by zooplankton.  Students re-examine their hypotheses and class discussion centers around the importance of background information to scientific study and the importance of controlling for all known variables.  furthermore, students discuss how scientists know the variables in field studies and the importance of basic science and natural history to developing a more complex understanding of biological processes. 

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