Our planet has mired plants, animals and abiotic factors. THe study of the way that all these species interact with each other is called an ecosystem. Most living things consume other living things and are intern consumed by other living things. With the exceptions being plants. At this point in time the most important variable is arguably the human race and the way we interact within an ecosystem. The effects are simply what we choose them to be, negative or positive depending on the whim of humanity.
Please work through this activity before viewing the video.
Please view this Introductory Video on the California Desert Ecosystem.
Depending on what energy the living thing needs, it chooses different things to eat. There are different types of producers and consumers in an ecosystem and a food web can help biologists represent the way that these consumers and producers interact with each other in an ecosystem. Humans introduce whatever variable we want with no care as to the consequences of this variable.
If you have humans in an ecosystem and they change something in that ecosystem, understanding the food web and food chains can help a biologist or student understand the impact of the human changes on the ecosystems.
An example of this human interaction with the ecosystem could be adding chemicals or killing animals or plants. Building structures, removing natural formations, changing the direction of rivers, moving lakes, etc. We have a much greater effect than most people think. I hope that this activities allows you to engage with the idea that we are much more powerful than we think, and that can be detrimental or supportive in many different ways.
The the people in a community in a classic California Desert Ecosystem want to continue to use the desert expanse as a way to increase quality of human life. This includes building into the desert, using natural habitats as grounds for off roading, poor land management, mining, artificial water systems, and many other harmful activities that destroy the delicate balance of the desert ecosystem.
Explore the characteristics of the California Desert Ecosystem using the following resources, then determine some ways in which human activity in the desert can be incredibly harmful to the Ecosystem, be specific. After you have done that, determine ways in which humans can use the power they wield to help stop the destruction of the delicate desert ecosystem.
Make a PowerPoint detailing what you learned and how it has effected the way you view ecosystems and human intervention
As you begin searching through the resources given, pay attention to the slant that may be present in these articles and websites. Bias exists within all media, so take your time to find out what point of view the information is coming from and whether or not it can be trusted. This also may include personal bias that you hold yourself. Look through the posted resources and learn about the consequences humans have on the desert ecosystem. Make sure you think epistemically as you move through each of the websites, videos, and articles. Think about what the articles purpose is, why the author speaks and writes in the way they do, cui bono? Who benefits?
Because this assignment involves subjective research and is meant to get you thinking about the ways humans interact with an ecosystem, the rubric is quite loose.
You must demonstrate adequate knowledge of the ways humans effect the desert ecosystem, whether they be positive or negative. You must demonstrate that you have spent time reading through a good amount of the websites and articles posted in the process section. You must demonstrate the ability to concentrate what you have learned into a concise easy to disseminate format to share what you now know with the rest of the class.
I hope that the information and resources provided in this webquest have given you a new perspective on the way humanity has had an impact on the world around us. Take what you have learned here regarding how you process information and use it in the rest of your assignments. I hope that you have a better idea of the ways you can positively or negatively effect the world around you. In addition to this I hope that you embraced epistemics and really thought about how each article approached its purpose.. If you feel the need, share what you now know with others, learning is a lifelong process and we do it all of the time