Climate Change in The Arctic
ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Review paper & group project assignment
In this class, two of your assignments for your discussion section include participating in a group presentation on 1 of 6 pre-selected ecological issues and, individually, writing a review paper that discusses how your group issue is relevant in an ecosystem of your choice. This project will involve working with several of your classmates to research an ecological issue, and to then construct a written report and an oral presentation on the issue. Each person in the class is responsible for producing and turning in an original written research paper. The presentation, however, is given jointly with the members of your group.
Ecologists today recognize that humans are altering the world’s habitats and affecting biodiversity in many ways. Human activity has been linked to rapid declines in the Earth’s biodiversity; there is evidence that we are currently in another mass extinction event. Consequently, many ecologists tailor their research programs and apply their research results to the conservation of species, communities, populations, or ecosystems. This research is critical in at least three ways: (1) we need to understand how “natural” communities function if we are to understand how our actions disrupt them; (2) we need to understand how heavily altered communities have been affected; and (3) we need to develop priorities and strategies for conserving and restoring communities and ecosystems that have been damaged through our actions.
One of the most important steps that we can take to help reverse the loss of biodiversity is to raise awareness of the problem and the solutions that can help reverse the damage. Therefore, in this class you will be responsible for writing a report and giving an oral presentation on the ways in which humans threaten the world’s biodiversity, and potential solutions to these problems.
For this assignment, you will collaborate with your group members to select a threat to biodiversity that interests you. Each individual will pick a different ecosystem to write his/her paper about. The paper will discuss how that threat is currently affecting the organisms, trophic interactions, nutrient cycles, and subsequent biodiversity in the selected ecosystem. The focus of the paper is not how humans cause or influence on the threat to biodiversity.
Some example ecosystems (there are many more you could choose) that are threatened by one or more of these factors are:
* arctic tundra
For example, you could choose to research the effects of CO2 increases on the arctic tundra or how introduced species affect island habitats.
For this assignment you will do the following: