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Senior Capstone Project: Monitoring Saltmarsh Restoration as a bio-regional community service. (see attachment from http://www.ibo.org/)

Basics

  • Project TitleSenior Capstone Project: Monitoring Saltmarsh Restoration as a bio-regional community service.
    (see attachment from http://www.ibo.org/)
  •  /project264_5674/Slide1.JPG/project264_5674/Slide2.JPG/project264_5674/Slide3.JPG

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Environmental systems and societies aims.doc

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Senior Capstone Project Background Preparation.doc

  • ThemeStudents work to monitor changes in estuaries to increase awareness of the public and encourage their participation in conservation. The project specifically addresses Comparing/ contrasting hydrological, biological and chemical parameters of a diked, proposed mitigation site with a free flowing tidal saltmarsh. Involvement encourages understanding of the importance of estuaries to human health, economy and the ecology of Cape Cod.
  • Submitted ByRobert Byrnes
  • OrganizationHarwich High School
  • Brief DescriptionStudents work toward a holistic understanding of the dynamics of saltmarsh restoration by studying planning documents, interacting with scientists and conducting various field studies to determine the impact of tidal restriction of a saltmarsh ecosystem. The project follows changes in hydrology, biology and water chemistry before and after the mitigation process begins. After mastering the basics of systems thinking and saltmarsh ecology, students work on field studies on the estuary and then design their own study.
  • Materials / ResourcesGPS, GIS, Identification keys and field guides, chemical test kits, System dynamic software (STELLA).
    APPC, NOAA (Waquoit Bay), Friends of Herring River (Welfleet)
  • Team membersRobert Byrnes,
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeGeneral Biology, Ecology and Chemistry

Key Questions

  • Key Questions1. What is the ecological and human value of a salt marsh estuarine system?
    2. What are the physical, biological, hydrological features of a healthy salt marsh?
    3. What are the indicators of salt marsh health?
    4. What methods may be used to mitigate a degraded salt marsh system?
    5. What are the dynamics of salt marsh restoration including ecological, human and public policy concerns?
  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?Wetlands have many values. The stems and leaves of wetland plants trap eroded soil washing from the land and absorb the energy of storm waters. Nutrients that might over enrich the waterways are trapped and used by wetland plants for growth. When these plants die, they enrich the waterways with decaying matter called detritus, a vital food source for microscopic organisms near the base of the food chain. Countless aquatic animals find food and shelter in wetlands including juveniles of many commercially valuable fishes, such as striped bass, and crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters. An array of wading birds, song birds, waterfowl and birds of prey are attracted to wetlands for food and nest sites. Salt marshes are among the most productive natural plant communities on earth. Numerous saltmarshes throughout the east coast have been degraded and will require monitoring and restoration in order to restore their ecological integrity. Students involved in the project increase public awareness of these ecosystems to the quality of life and the economy of Cape Cod.
    New England
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?Herring River Restoration Project Update (Town of Wellfleet MA) www.wellfleetma.org/Public_Documents/WellfleetMA_WebDocs/Brochure.pdf

    Safe Harbor Environmental
    www.safeharborenv.com/salt-marsh-restoration/

    http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/protocols/caco_marshveg.pdf

    A Protocol for the Long-term Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring Program
    at Cape Cod National Seashore, J.Roman
    http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/protocols/caco_marshveg.pdf

    Estuaries 101 curriculum, NOAA, NERR, TERC
    http:// www.estuaries.gov
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?The project is in its third year. Data sets have been developed for use by future classes. Students are encouraged to photographically document their involvement. Individual classes have seen presentations through Environmental Studies and the HHS environmental club. A video and school wide display are planned for the upcoming academic year.
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    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Herring River Project2.ppt

Units / Activities

  • System characteristics (3-4 weeks)Basic system characteristics are explored through working with models of natural systems and their behavior. Concepts addressed include system structure, stability, change, complex systems, and tipping points. Computer simulations, work with models and assigned reading are employed to explore conceptshttp://www.clexchange.org/ Problem Based Learning: Environmental Science on Chesapeake Bay, School Science Review, March 1997, 78(284)
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    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Intro to systems thinking.doc

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/OverviewSTarticle.pdf

  • Ecological dynamics and modeling (2-4 weeks)Estuaries.gov -a series of computer based labs on the structure and function of estuaries. Estuaries.gov
  • project design (2-3 weeks)After some background reading and visits to the study sites, student researchers develop projects that relate to saltmarsh ecology, policy, public opinion, computer modeling, interconnections and others. Projects must be approached from a "systems thinking" perspective and demonstrate connections to community service and sustainability. See project proposal attachments.
  •  

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/ES Proposal summary.doc

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/senior_capstoneproj2011-12.doc

  • Instrumentation and fieldwork (open ended, times vary with project focus.Work may be conducted in the field or lab. or interacting with environmental professionals. See project proposal attachments.
  •  /project264_5674/Slide8.JPG/project264_5674/Slide10.JPG/project264_5674/Slide15.JPG

Instructional Techniques

  • Systems diagrams and mappingA perceived set of relationships showing multiple causal loops (including feedback loops)are sketched out and the tweaked as they are discussed. The concept of scale is explored so that variables can be "weighted" depending on the magnitude of their impact on the model. While differences in salinity may have an effect on dissolved oxygen, temperature is a more significant impact.
  • Field studiesSite overview as well as various chemical water and soil tests, transects and quadrat studies over elevations and time are conducted by students.
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    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Rapid transect.doc

  • Readings, presentations and activities like system dynamic modelingSTELLA software can be purchased from the Creative Learning Exchange. Various tools can be used to run system configurations over time. Variables in the models may be tweaked to investigate cause and effect relationships based on the assumptions inherent in the model.
    Readings and presentations explore both systems such as "the mystery of Mahenjo Daro" and the dynamics of "the parachuting Cats of Borneo" and research on estuaries (attached).
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    View/Download File: /project264_5674/Saltmarsh Ecology ch2.pdf

    View/Download File: /project264_5674/saltmarshguide.pdf

  • Problem Based LearningThe central focus of the project involves simultaneously understanding problems at hand, developing strategies and extending or deepening them into related studies .

Assessment Techniques

Frameworks / Skills

  • CDE Benchmarks
    A1-1
    Flexible, higher order thinking skills (e.g., project management, leadership, problem solving)
    (CDE Benchmarks)
  • CDE Benchmarks
    A1-2
    Technical and technological skills (e.g., blueprint reading and computer software management)
    (CDE Benchmarks)
  • CDE Benchmarks
    A1-3
    Skills in locating and using information resources for research (e.g., libraries, Internet)
    (CDE Benchmarks)
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    3.14
    Give formal and informal talks to various audiences and for various purposes using appropriate level of formality and rhetorical devices.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    3.17
    Deliver formal presentations for particular audiences using clear enunciation and appropriate organization, gestures, tone, and vocabulary.
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • 21st century
    Civic Literacy
    Participating effectively in civic life through knowing how to stay informed and understanding governmental processes. Exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national and global levels. Understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions.
    (21st century)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Collecting and Organizing Information
    Using systematic approaches to collecting and organizing information in a workplace, community or school setting. May include use of technology, print materials, electronic materials, surveys, experiments, and other information sources.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Computer Technology
    Effectively using computer software for tasks in a workplace, community or school setting.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Critical Thinking
    Gathering background information and analyzing various points of view about an issue related to a workplace, community or school setting. Using an analytical approach to raise relevant questions and draw conclusions about the topic.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Equipment Operation
    Understanding, using and maintaining the tools and equipment related to a profession.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Mathematics and Numeric Analysis
    Using mathematical thinking to analyze problems related to a workplace, community or school setting. Includes using the tools of arithmetic, business math, algebra, geometry, statistics and other mathematical tools.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Project Management
    Using effective strategies and tools to manage the flow of work on a project in a workplace, community or school setting.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Research and Analysis
    Gathering and analyzing information for a project for a workplace, community or school setting.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Teaching and Instructing
    Teaching and instructing others formally and informally in a workplace, community or school setting.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Time Management
    Using effective strategies and tools to manage one`s own time.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • Work-Based Learning
    Writing
    Writing in a workplace, community or school setting in order to communicate information and ideas.
    (Work-Based Learning)
  • ELA Frameworks (HS)
    24.6
    Formulate original, open-ended questions to explore a topic of interest, design and carry out research, and evaluate the quality of the research paper in terms of the adequacy of its questions, materials, approach, and documentation of sources.For example, as they study the modern history of Native American groups, students analyze the difference between open-ended research questions and
    (ELA Frameworks (HS))
  • 21st Century
    Creativity and Innovation Skills
    Demonstrating originality and inventiveness in work. Developing, implementing and communicating new ideas to others. Being open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives Acting on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the domain in which the innovation occurs.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
    Exercising sound reasoning in understanding. Making complex choices and decisions. Understanding the interconnections among systems. Identifying and asking significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions. Framing, analyzing and synthesizing information in order to solve problems and answer questions.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Communication and Collaboration Skills
    Articulating thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively through speaking and writing. Demonstrating ability to work effectively with diverse teams. Exercising flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal. Assuming shared responsibility for collaborative work.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Information Literacy
    Accessing information efficiently and effectively, evaluating information critically and competently and using information accurately and creatively for the issue or problem at hand Possessing a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Media Literacy
    Understanding how media messages are constructed, for what purposes and using which tools, characteristics and conventions. Examining how individuals interpret messages differently, how values and points of view are included or excluded and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors. Possessing a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Flexibility and Adaptability
    Adapt to varied roles, jobs responsibilities, schedules and context. Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities. Incorporate feedback effectively.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Initiative and Self-Direction
    Manage goals and time; Work independently; Be self-directed learners. Go beyond basic mastery of skills and/or curriculum to explore and expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise.
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Productivity and Accountability
    Setting and meeting high standards and goals for delivering quality work on time. Demonstrating diligence and a positive work ethic (e.g., being punctual and reliable).
    (21st Century)
  • 21st Century
    Leadership and Responsibility
    Using interpersonal and problem-solving skills to influence and guide others toward a goal. Leveraging strengths of others to accomplish a common goal. Demonstrating integrity and ethical behavior. Acting responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind.
    (21st Century)
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.5.2
    Describe species as reproductively distinct groups of organisms. Recognize that species are further classified into a hierarchical taxonomic system (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species) based on morphological, behavioral, and molecular similarities. Describe the role that geographic isolation can play in speciation.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.5.3
    Explain how evolution through natural selection can result in changes in biodiversity through the increase or decrease of genetic diversity within a population.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.6.1
    Explain how birth, death, immigration, and emigration influence population size.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.6.2
    Analyze changes in population size and biodiversity (speciation and extinction) that result from the following: natural causes, changes in climate, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.6.3
    Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers, and explain the transfer of energy through trophic levels. Describe how relationships among organisms (predation, parasitism, competition, commensalism, mutualism) add to the complexity of biological communities.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )
  • 2006 Science and Technology/Engineering
    B.6.4
    Explain how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in an ecosystem, and how oxygen cycles through photosynthesis and respiration.
    (2006 Science and Technology/Engineering )

Tags = environment | service-learning | community | salt-marsh | wetlands | Subject = ELA, Mathematics, Science, History, Arts, Technology, CVTE, Service_Learning | Grade Level = HS | Time Period = School Year | Program/Funding = |
Direct website link to this project: http://resources21.org/cl/contextual.asp?projectnumber=264.5674