Step-by-Step Instructions

Your goal is to recreate a balanced ecology from another time period in today’s world. Why? It’s cool and kind of sci-fi but more importantly it’s the kind of challenge you face in the real world. You have to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate with others. Often, to create something whose value you question. By engaging in the process you can shape it and make it work for you.

Here’s the play-by-play of what you’ll need to do.

Logistics:
1. You will need to register on several sites.

  • This one, in order to comment or post, a key component of your grade.
  • Voice Thread, which is what your final presentation will be in
  • Alternatively, you may choose another online presentation program that you feel more comfortable with. It needs to support multimedia.

Research:
2. You will need to research several topics such as:

  • geological time periods: their biota (plants and animals) and climate characteristics
  • plate tectonics and paleoclimatology: what the Earth was like at that time?
  • contemporary climatology and geography: where in today’s world can we find a similar habitat?
  • ecological relationships and food webs: what do we need to have to sustain the population?
  • adaptations and natural selection: what adaptations do you think might arise in the new environment? What traits and reproductive strategies are likely to succeed?
  • competitive analysis: what are the key features of safari theme parks and conservation areas?

I have provided some helpful links under Resources on the right side of the page. If you discover other useful sites please share the information in a comment. It will be most efficient if you divide up the research amongst your team.

3. Once you have compiled the research, you should know:

  • What life-forms are suitable representatives of my period?
  • Where in today’s world can I find (or create) a suitable environment for them?
  • How do I set up a balanced ecology where the biota are a good fit?
  • What services can I provide visitors and still have minimum interference with natural selection processes?

Implementation and Assessment:
4. You will be graded on the following:

  • Your research into your chosen period or epoch and its environment. You will have to recreate this and describe it in all your materials.
  • Your group presentation to the class, the U.S. Wildlife Board, in which you explain to us why we should approve your crazy idea. What is the science behind it and why do you think it will work? This is a role-playing exercise. We will all remain in character.
  • Participation on the blog: either through your personal comments or through research and articles that you post
  • Your online group presentation and your model or map will communicate your findings. Creative presentations are encouraged.

Blog participation is individual. The other components are group projects. Grading rubrics will be posted online and at the back of the class.