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Search for the Missing Sea Otters

Author(s): Mary Allen1, Mark L. Kuhlmann1

Hartwick College

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Summary:
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science- using a progressive disclosure format, this case study teaches students how to apply ecological principles to a real-life ecological problem.

Description

Using a progressive disclosure format, this case study teaches students how to apply ecological principles to a real-life ecological problem, namely, the decline in sea otter populations in Alaska. Students interpret data from graphs and tables and practice developing testable hypotheses as they work in groups to solve the mystery of the “missing” sea otters.  Designed to serve as a framework for teaching an ecology module to first-year biology majors, the case introduces students to basic concepts of population and community ecology.

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