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Assignments

Page history last edited by djaygo@... 16 years, 2 months ago

Assignment grading

  1. Question sets (5%)

  2. Naturalist Guide (10%)

  3. Endangered Prairie Species report / Letter to the Editor (20%)

  4. Midterm Exam: Prairie Ecology (15%)

  5. Conservation/Restoration Plan (35%)

    1. Goals and site study (10%)
    2. Rehabilitation plan (25%)
  6. Essay: Vision of a Sustainable Future (15%)

 

Assignment details

1) Question sets

Due each class

Each class you will answer about 5 simple key questions on the background readings for that class. 

Before each class submit your answers to Geoff via e-mail.

These questions sets will give us quick feedback on what to emphasize in the lecture (and will encourage everyone to do the reading so we can have active discussions!)

 

2) Naturalist Guide

April 5 - First 5 pictures (with date, species name, and site info) due - post on wiki

May 10 - At least 10 pictures from at least 5 sites (with date, species name, site info, and ecological explanation) due - post on wiki.

 

Each picture needs -

Common Name: XXX

Genus Species: XX XX

Family:  XX

Illinois Native? : Yes/No

Description: Eg, White compact flowers in early spring, short shrub, thin green leaves.

Natural History: Native or non-native? Native to where? Agressive? Invasive? Horticultural variety? Endangered? Threatened? Is it food or habitat for an endangered species? Does it have important interactions with other species (pollination, allelopathy, keystone, etc)? What abiotic conditions does it need (precipitation, fire, geology, etc...)?

Link: (to Illinois Wildflowers and Grasses or Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois Guide)

 

1) Take some pictures of native grasses, composites, legumes and their polinators.  Photograph them close up, alone or interacting with insects. Capture some birds and small mammals if you can.  Time lapse series and movies are a bonus. Record when and where you are and who's in the pictures using botanical and ecological descriptions. For example Aquilegia canadensis L. (red columbine). 

 

Here's a good example of spice bush from Fairfax County Public Schools , lets see if we can compete with their site.  The spice bush is emergining now

Here's some clues to keying in your photos Illinois Wildflowers

 

2) Post >10 of >50 pictures from >5 locations, with descriptions, on your student page WE NEED TO ASK PB HOW TO UPLOAD MANY PICTURES

Include time and date, names of species shown, description of the site, and a short (1-3 sentences) explanation of an ecological interaction that is going on with that species.

 

3) Post your best pictures to http://www.panoramio.com/ and we'll fly by with google earth. Put a link to this on your wiki page

 

Its your time to show off your skills.  Then you will all concatenate individual naturalist guides into a nice site.

We'll try and get this published by the univerity, Print some nice flyers or a guide book, and of course the virtual walking tour.  One example that we can outdo is the campus tour

 

Check the field trips page for prairie parks and gardens in Chicagoland, or try Hyde Park spots like Jackson Park (Stony Island/59th), Nichols Park (Kenwood/53rd), Burnham Park (Lake Park/47th), or even our own campus.

 

3) Endangered Species Report/Letter to the editor 

Lets look at some prairie endemic species and how they have faired under "settlement". Find a species that touches your heart that may be in danger of no longer being with us, via direct or indirect environmental disturbances.  Was Homo sapiens involved, and how? Describe the process that was taken to have it or a related species listed as endangered.  What was the conservation plan? How has it performed? Your report will be a letter to the editor, and several blogs, describing what has been and what should be done.

Topic idea due 5/1/07 final report 5/24/07

Ideas?

 

buffalo

wolf

Hine's Emerald Dragonfly (at Lockport Prairie)

 

upland sandpiper (you know at Mediwin)

 

EMAIL BOREVITZ(AT)UCHICAGO.EDU IF YOU WOULD RATHER CALCULATE THE CAMPUS ECOFOOTPRINT (A BUILDING OF CHOICE)

 

4) Midterm exam

April 26

A short answer exam focusing on the ecology of the prairies, covering the text and additional assigned reading.

 

5) Conservation/restoration plan

April 12 - Topics ideas due - post on wiki.

April 26 - Outline (Goals and site info) due - post on wiki.

May 17 - Draft Plan due - post on wiki.

June 1 - Final Plan due - post on wiki.

 

Your major project for this course will be a conservation or restoration plan that integrates your knowledge of prairie ecology.

At the midpoint of the course (April 26) will hand in an outline with the (1) goals of your plan and (2) the site study, explaining the basic facts about your site.

May 17 you will submit a draft proposal, so we can give you comments and suggestions.

Finally, June 1 you will hand in your plan.

Please read the full details on the conservation/restoration plan page.

 

6) Essay: Vision for a sustainable future

June 1 - Final due - post on wiki

 

A short essay (1500 word max.) outlining your personal vision for a sustainable coexistance of humans with the other life in the prairie ecosystem.

It can be a grand vision or a personal commitment, but keep in mind this is an essay, so you should be trying to convince the reader of your worldview as it has been shaped by your learning in this class. This is the opportunity to incorporate what you have learned by reading "Cities in the Wilderness, Omnivores' Dilemma, and Silent Spring"

You must present a thesis - that is, clearly state a position - then defend this position with evidence:

How is it sustainable toward nature and humanity? Why is it good for the prairie, biodiversity and the planet?

 

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