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Biodiversity Counts

Welcome to Biodiversity Counts! This resource collection takes students into the field and engages them in life science research: the inventory of plants and arthropods outside their own backdoors. Resources in this collection include lesson plans, essays, and Web-based interactives that help students explore, analyze, and apply their field observations.

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What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the spectacular variety of life on Earth and the essential interdependence among all living things. Students can learn about biodiversity at its most through making observations in the field and through mapping activities. 

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Selecting a Site for Field Study

Head outside for an intensive field study and learn how to map a site. Students are introduced to the techniques used by scientists in the field—how to select a site for study; and how to measure, mark, and map it. 

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Curriculum Materials

Plant Identification

What makes a daisy a daisy? And what does a daisy do? Students learn techniques for observing, collecting, identifying, and preserving plants. 

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Plant Ecology

Go beyond the basics of field study—use math and science skills and dig in the dirt! Students learn how to count plants as part of a study of local biodiversity and  calculating biodiversity indexes. 

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Arthropod Identification

What makes a beetle a beetle? How does a beetle behave? And what on Earth does a beetle have in common with a lobster? These activities can help your students develop an understanding of arthropods and learn techniques for observing arthropods in the field.

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Curriculum Materials

What are the Connections?

What makes the world tick for ticks? Students investigate the complex interactions between plants, arthropods, and the abiotic factors with the "Web of Life" game and articles about plant/arthropod interactions.

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