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Agents of change: Determining effects of pollution on marine environments through data interpretation

Author(s): Eilea Knotts1, Rachel Leads2

1. University of South Carolina 2. Michigan State University

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Summary:
In this lesson, students discuss the effects of disturbance in marine environments with a focus on pollution. They also evaluate the anthropogenic causes and consequences of pollution on a variety of marine ecosystems. Students then interpret a…

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In this lesson, students discuss the effects of disturbance in marine environments with a focus on pollution. They also evaluate the anthropogenic causes and consequences of pollution on a variety of marine ecosystems. Students then interpret a graph of oil pollution on tissue apoptosis in larval Red Drum. Finally, students view and reflect on an interview with Dr. Rachel Leads, the biologist who collected the data that they interpreted.

Description

This lesson was designed for a 75-minute class period with in-person delivery. The target student level is advanced marine biology or marine ecology for majors. The materials here include an instructor guide (1_LessonGuide_AgentsofChange), an in-class presentation (Google slides; 2_PresentationSlides_AgentsofChange), a summative assessment (3_SummativeAssessment_AgentsofChange), and a link to the interview with Dr. Rachel Leads, (BioGraphI Interview with Dr. Rachel Leads)

Content learning objectives

  • Describe the ecological role of disturbances in marine environments.
  • Evaluate the anthropogenic impact of pollution on marine ecosystems and identify the consequences on the composition and diversity of biological communities. 
  • Compare the connection between pollution and human-induced factors in different marine environments.

Quantitative learning objectives

  • Interpret graphs and/or data figures related to the concepts from this lesson.
  • Reflect on your perceptions about using graphs or figures in biology.

Diversity/equity/inclusion learning objectives

  • Reflect on your perceptions of people who do biology.
  • Compare your own interests and/or identities to those of people who do biology.

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