|San Pedro Creek Work||Audio Files|
|What is environmental Science?||Requirements for life||
Intro to Watersheds and Topographic mapping
Notebook: Your notebook should be set up in the following way.
Notes & handouts
Test and quizzes
Rubrics and work in progress
Please keep your notebook in the classroom so that you always have it and it does not get lost!
Accuracy is like hitting your target, right on the bull's eye. To measure accurately means to get the actual or true measurement.
Precision is getting the same result over and over again (even if it is not correct!) Although if you are precise and get the same results it is more likely that you will be accurate, whereas if you get a different result each time you know that only one of them could be right!
"measure Twice, Cut once."
nA variable is a factor that can change. A variable can change other factors when it changes.
Examples of variables:
- Open vs. Closed container
nA quantitative Variable is one that is measured using numbers.
Examples: temperature is measured in degrees, length can be measured in centimeters.
nA qualitative variable is one that can not be measured in numbers, but by its qualities, such as bright, green, hot, cold, pain.
Could life exist on other planets?
To explore this questions we must first ask ourselves what are the basic requirements of life.
Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Calcium
These six elements are important components of cells, together they make up molecules such as carbohydrates (Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen), Proteins (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Phosphorus), Phosphorus is an important part of DNA, the molecular blue print in every living thing. Water is made of of Hydrogen and Oxygen.
- Many other elements are required in trace amounts such as Iron, sodium, Potassium, nickel, copper and many others.
-Atmosphere, gives us air to breathe and protects us form harmful UV rays
-gravity, helps hold us and our atmosphere on the planet, also creates air pressure, with out it we might explode
-Earth's magnetic field, deflects some of the suns harmful energy
-Sunlight - Plants use sunlight in photosynthesis to create food to be used by the plant, that can be eaten by animals, who can be eaten by other animals. (only Chemosynthetic bacteria could survive without the sun's energy)
-Water-(H20) it makes up around 70% of the human body!
-Shelter- All organisms need protection from the weather and the sun.
Practice using this website: http://janus.astro.umd.edu/cgi-bin/astro/scinote.pl
How is thermal energy transferred?
First we need to understand the three states of matter: Solid, Liquid and Gas
The Phase or state that mater is in depends on the amount of kinetic energy it has. Kinetic Energy is how fast the particles in an object are moving.
In a gas the particles known as molecules or atoms are moving very fast, move freely about in all directions and are very spread out. (High Kinetic Energy)
In a liquid the molecules move freely but not as fast as in gas. Molecules are more condense and are close enough to touch other molecules. (Medium Kinetic Energy)
In a Solid the atoms or molecules can not move freely, rather they are stuck next to their neighboring atoms or molecules and can only move in place, vibrating. As a solid is heated the atoms move in place faster and can bump their neighbor molecules or atoms.
Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of a group of particles or of an object.
Heat is a measure of the total kinetic energy in an object. This depends on the mass of an object. Two objects could have the same mass (sometimes on earth referred to as weight, different amounts of heat. The object with the greater mass would have more heat.
The heat in one litter of boiling water could be less than the heat in 20 litters of cold water. Just because it has a higher temperature does not mean it has more heat.
3 methods of Energy transfer: Conduction, Convection and Radiation.
Conduction is the transfer of thermal energy though solids when the particles are in direct contact with one another. Particles do not move from place to place, the vibrate in place and bump their neighboring particle causing those particles to move faster.
Example: The handle of a cast iron pan gets hot as the pan sits in direct contact with the heating element on the stove. The heat travels through the iron as particles in contact with the element get bumped by the particles in the element and get "excited" and move faster and bump their neighboring particles.
Radiation is the transfer of thermal energy when subatomic particles move in waves through space. When the particle hits and object it gains energy or heats up, meaning the molecules that it is made of move faster. Some type of radiation can travel through solid objects, like X-rays for example.
Examples of radiation include: The sun, fire, tanning beds, gamma rays, all visible light, ultra violet light, infrared, and radio waves. Depending on the frequency and size of the wavelengths, different type of radiation transfer different levels of heat. All type of radiation are part of the electromagnetic spectrum as shown below.
Convention is the transfer of thermal energy when particles or molecule move from place to place in a liquid or a gas. This can not occur in solids because the particles can not move around! Hot air or water rises because the particles are more spread out and it is less dense than cooler air or water. air or water that is cooler than the surrounding air or water sinks because it is more dense (has a greater mass per unit volume) than the warmer air or water. This process can cause convention current in water or air.
Example: When the sun strikes an area of land it heats up, as the air above the land heats up, the molecules get "excited" move faster and spread out more. This cause the air to become less dense than the surrounding air. The warmer air rises. (This is called a thermal and is important for migrating birds and hang gliders!) When warm air rises it leaves a void, and creates an area of low pressure, like a vacuum. Air from some place else has to come and take its place. (This is what causes the wind!) Eventually the warm air may travel horizontally, away from the area of land being heated by the sun, and cools. As it cools the molecules slow down and move closer together. This makes the air more dense than the surrounding air and it sinks. The result is a convention current. Convention currents in the earth's mantle are responsible for the Rio Grande Rift, causing to pieces of the earth's crust to move in opposite directions!
The coriolis effect is caused by Earth's rotation on its axis. This effects the ocean and wind currents. In the Northern Hemisphere currents travel in a clockwise direction, and in the Southern Hemisphere currents travel in a counter clockwise direction.
Upwelling is important for fisheries world wide. 50% of the fish caught in the ocean are harvested in areas where upwelling occurs. The Cold Nutrient rich water that comes up from the bottom supports algae and plankton that provide food for fish and other marine life.
El Niņo is a momentary change in the Earth's Climate. When there is an El Niņo the upwelling to the west of Peru Stops. Warm water that was pushed away by the wind comes back and the fish leave to find cooler water. During El Niņo Years, wet climates tend to become drier and dry climates tend to get more precipitation.
To answer these questions visit: The Links Below:
This graph shows above and below average annual rainfall. Reconstruction of annual rainfall from El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico, based on tree-ring analysis showing long-term (more than 100 years) climatic trends. (Adapted from Grissino-Mayer 1997).
Paleoclimate map animation (may take a minute to load)
Watershed- an area of land that drains into a body of water
Example – east and west America- Continental Divide- Water on the west side drains to the Pacific Ocean-Water on the East side drains to the Atlantic Ocean.
Closed Basin- A watershed where the water never reaches the sea/ocean.
Intermittent stream- does not flow all the time. (maybe only after a storm)
Perennial stream- Stream that flows year round.
In order to understand watersheds we need to learn to read topographic maps.
Topographic Maps: Maps that show land features and elevation with contour lines.
Elevation: The vertical distance above sea level, usually measured in Meters or Feet.
Contour lines: Lines on a topographic map that represent the same elevation. Contour lines Never EVER Cross! If there is a drop off, like a cliff the lines may touch, but the never cross. When Contour lines are close together that means the area is very steep!
Contour Interval: The vertical distance between contour lines.
The study of organisms, their interactions with the environment and each other.
The biotic and abiotic factors that interact and function as a unit.
Biotic (Living) Abiotic (Non-Living)
Bacteria Minerals, Nutrients
Protista Climate / Weather
(dead plants, animals and their parts or waste)
Predation is when on animal hunts another animal for food. The Predator does the hunting and the prey is the hunted.
Competition occurs when two organisms compete for the access to same limited resource. Competition is energetically expensive for both organism and is negative for both species.
Parasitism is the relationship between a parasite, and a host. The parasite takes its nourishment for a host. Parasites usually don’t kill their hosts unless there are too many. Parasites may make their host weaker and more susceptible to predation.
Mutualism is a relationship where both species involved benefit. Our bodies are hosts to many beneficial bacteria which help us digest our food and produce nutrients.
Commensalism is a relationship in which one species benefits and the other is neither harmed nor helped. A bird using a tree to build its nest does not hurt the tree, but the tree gives the bird a home.
Energy flow in an ecosystem
The energy that drives most ecosystems comes form the sun. (One exception to this are chemotropic bacteria that can get their energy from Hydrogen sulfide from deep sea vents)
Photosynthesis is the process plants use to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and sugar,
using energy from the sun.
CO2 + H2O + energy from the sunā C6H12O6 + O2
The opposite of this process is used by plants at night and by most other organisms.
Cellular respiration if the process of breaking down sugar to yield energy, releasing carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere.
C6H12O6 + O2 ā CO2 + H2O + Heat
Producers: Organisms that make their own food. Such as plants using the process of photosynthesis.
Consumers: Organisms that get their energy from other organisms. Animals must eat plants or other animals as a source of energy.
Herbivore: An animal that eats only Produces or plants. (like vegetarians)
Carnivore: An animal that eats only other consumers or animals. (meat only)
Omnivore: An animal that eats both producers and consumers. (Plant and animal eater)
Decomposer: an organism that breaks down dead organisms in an ecosystem, returning the nutrients to the soil or water. Bacteria and Fungi are examples of decomposers.
A tropic level is a step in the energy pyramid. For example Producers make up the base of the pyramid while primary consumers or herbivores sit right above them.
The reason we have an energy pyramid is because energy is lost at each level. Much of the energy is used up and released as heat. Some of the energy is wasted. Less than 10% of the energy (measured in calories) is available to the next trophic level. There will never be as many carnivores as there are herbivores because energy is lost at each tropic level as heat. There is not as much energy available to them.
Habitat- Where an organism lives. A habitat has to provide an organism with everything it needs to live including food, water, shelter and space.
Niche- A niche is an organisms role in the ecosystem. A niche is what an organism does, what its purpose is. Plants are producers part of their role is to provide food to herbivores.
The Rock Cycle
The Carbon Cycle
The Nitrogen Cycle
The Water Cycle
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,
Welcome to East Mountain High School! I hope you all had a great summer break! Below you will find a description of the course, a list of rules, policies and a wish list of materials for the class. Also I want to let you know that information about this class can be found at www.nmt.edu/~klathrop. I will try to update this site with assignments, and notes on a regular basis.
Let me take a moment to introduce myself. This is my fourth year at EMHS. Three years ago I moved to New Mexico from Vermont. I bring with me experience in field biology. I have studied avian ecology with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Institute, the Forest Service and with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Roswell. Also I have volunteered for water quality monitoring groups. I have also worked for a non-profit wildlife conservation organization called Keeping Track, as an educator leading tracking workshops as a way of teaching youth about wildlife biology and conservation. Currently I am working on my Masters in Science Teaching at New Mexico Tech. This summer I had the opportunity to study geology in the Southwest and in New Zealand. What a great experience!
There are many exciting opportunities at EMHS. Our class has been invited to work with Talking Talons and the New Mexico Watershed Watch program on monitoring and restoring a section of the San Pedro Creek not too far from the school. Help from parent volunteers as chaperones during labs and field trips will make this and other experiences possible for our students. You can e-mail me at email@example.com.
I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.
Labs and other field experiences are opportunities for experiential learning and are an essential part of the curriculum in this course. Labs can be time consuming so it is crucial that we stay focused on the work at hand. We are very lucky at East Mountain High School to have access to 27 acres of pinon-juniper woodlands right out our back door. Also we have been invited to work on a stream monitoring and restoration project on the San Pedro Creek. We will be going “into the field” on a regular basis and for safety’s sake there are some basic guidelines that need to be followed:
We need to approach labs like real scientists; detectives looking for clues to better understand our environment. Thus like real detectives it is important not to disturb the evidence. This means being alert and focused on the environment.
All students need to be dressed to go outside. Students should have at hat, sunscreen and a water bottle. Students must have CLOSED TOED SHOES, like tennis shoes or boots. No heals over one inch high. Students should have old clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty or worn. (Students might want to keep field clothes in my classroom, or their locker that they can change into on lab days in case they forget or don’t want to wear them all day.) I will not require, but will recommend wearing long pants to avoid getting scraped by the brush and cacti. Skirts are not appropriate for work in the in the field.
Students must show respect for plants and animals. Unless we are collecting specimens, plants and animals should not be disturbed. Since soil erosion is a huge problem here in the Southwest, we need to avoid stepping on steep banks and other areas where the soil might be exposed. Students must not wander out of sight of the teacher or a chaperone. Students who cannot follow the above guidelines will not be allowed to participate in future outdoor lab activities, and will receive a zero on the lab.
I am certified in Wilderness First Aid, but I hope that I never have to use it.
Lab topics and field trips may include:
ˇ A comparison of Biodiversity in different areas on campus.
ˇ The ecology of the Sandia Mountains.
ˇ Water quality monitoring and restoration on the San Pedro Creek.
ˇ Designing and building passive solar house models.
ˇ Monitoring transects for tracks and sign of mammals.
Student Work 50% of grade
Individual Projects and Group Projects. For each unit students will individually or in a small group complete a project that demonstrates understanding of the topic. 20-50 points each.
Lab Reports. After each lab we do students will do part or all of a formal lab write up. Up to 100 points each.
Science News I will hand out an article once a week for us to discuss, alternatively students can download news stories from the internet. Students will write a summary and identify connections to what we are studying in class. 10 points each
Midterm and Final Exams. Each will be worth 10% of the final grade.
Journal Writing. Students will be given a prompt to write about at the beginning or end of a class period. Students’ entries will be graded on depth of thought and effort. 5 % of Grade
Tests and Quizzes. Every week or two we will have a quiz or test to review what we have covered in class that week. Open Notebook Tests: At the end of some units students will take an open notebook test that requires students to apply the knowledge they have gained. 20% of Grade
Class Participation and Attitude. Students who are disruptive or refuse to participate will lose points. 5 % of Grade
Notebook and Material Checks. Periodically I will check to see if students are prepared for class and organized. 10 points each (part of participation)
Homework & Tests: Class assignments and homework may be corrected and for full credit if a student unsatisfied with his or her grade. Tests may be corrected for half credit for each missed question. Corrections must include the complete question re-written and the corrected response. Corrections must be stapled to the original test or assignment. Corrected assignments must be re-submitted within a week of being handed back.
Late work: For each day an assignment is late it will lose a letter grade, or 10% of its value.
Late work will not be accepted after a week.
Absences: When a student is absent it is his or her responsibility to obtain the information and work that they missed. Students will be given and extra day on the assignment for each day they are absent.
Tardiness: For each two incidences of tardiness the student will be referred to the office for a lunchtime detention.
The Science of Map Making: How we see and depict our environment.
Read about early map makers
Learn to read topographic maps
Use GPS units and GIS to map their homes.
Watersheds: Water quality, use and conservation.
Use topographic maps to understand watersheds boundaries
Experiment and learn about water quality measures such as:
Turbidity, temperature, conductivity, pH, flow rates
Take monthly field trips to San Pedro Creek to measure watershed health
Measure their personal water use for a week
Ecosystems: How living creatures interact with their environment.
Research different local species and make field guide pages about them
Look for interactions between species and each other and the environment
Design and experiment to measure the health of the piņons behind the school
Research different ecosystems around New Mexico
Oceans and Atmosphere: Patterns and processes of our environment
Map the wind and ocean currents of the world
Model el Niņo, read about its effects worldwide
Research global warming and the greenhouse effect
Use a computer model to study actors the effect ozone and air quality in cities
Living in our Environment: Resources use and conservation.
Research the sources of resources used in everyday life
Look at the environmental impacts of resource use
Design a home that is resource efficient technology
1- 1 Ŋ ” 3 Ring binder with dividers
Zippered pouch with Pencils, eraser, Pen and Highlighter
Folder with pockets for homework assignments to take home
Headphone for listening to news stories
Highly Recommend Materials
A book to read if you finish an assignment before the rest of the class
USB Jump Drive
Field clothes and shoes for days when we work outside
Please have the above materials by the end of the first week of class.
- White board Markers
- Wax Paper
- Glue Sticks
- Masking Tape
- Hot Glue Guns and Hot Glue Sticks
- Boxes of Tissues
- "D" & "AA" Duracell Batteries
- Science and Nature Magazines
- Art and craft supplies for Projects
- Small Plastic Totes for Organization
-Hair Dryer, Turntable
-Interesting Natural Objects: Feathers, Stones, Skulls, etc.
|- Flat Baking sheets|
Your help in supplying the above materials is much appreciated and makes hands-on activities in the classroom possible! Thank you.
Be on time. Coming in late to class is disruptive to the learning of other students.2 instances of tardiness result in a lunch detention.
Come to class prepared with a pen, pencil, notebook and assignments completed.
Be honest. Cheating, plagiarism and lying will not be tolerated.
Respect the teacher and your classmates. Give your undivided attention to the teacher and your classmates when they are speaking to the class.
Respect the property of others. Do not write on tables or any other surface in the classroom besides paper.
Ask for permission before leaving the room and using the phone.
Treat others with dignity and respect.
No soda in the classroom, and no food or drink near computers or other equipment.
Stay on task.
All rules in the student handbook apply in my classroom so be sure to read it.
1 st offense-Student will get a reminder warning.
2 nd offense-Student will stay after class to discuss the behavior with the teacher.
3 rd offense- Student will call their parent during class and explain to their parent why they are calling.
4 th offense-Referral to the office. ISS or lunch detention.
If there continues to be problems I will schedule a meeting to discuss the problem with the parents.
Mistreatment of other students, or animals will result in immediate referral to the office.