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Additional Case Studies: Materials Contributed by Teachers

Here you will find lesson plans, activities and other materials created by educators, and which apply the Ecology Disrupted pedagogical strategy—using the environmental impacts of everyday human behavior to illuminate ecological principles.

More materials will be added, and more descriptive information about the materials will be added to help educators find what's most useful to them.

If you have lesson plans or other curriculum materials created from the Ecology Disrupted materials that you would like to share with other educators, please send them to Dr. Yael Wyner.

Data Analysis Activities

This section contains data analysis worksheets created by teachers. Use them as data analysis assessments or to illustrate ecological functions.


CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith

Hantavirus and Human Health
How does human-caused habitat loss unintentionally lead to human health threats by reducing community biodiversity?
Data Format: Bar and Line Graphs
Keywords: Habitat, Community, Biodiversity, Human Health

Hantavirus is a rodent borne disease of the heart and lungs that is very deadly when passed onto people. Since some rodent species are more efficient carriers of the virus, scientists thought that the reduced biodiversity brought on by forest loss may increase the prevalence of the disease. To test this hypothesis, scientists compared the prevalence of hantavirus in rodents in forest plots that they manipulated to have few rodent species (experimental) to forest plots that they did not touch, i.e. with many rodent species (control). The data presented in the two graphs the students analyze demonstrate their findings.

See the Science Bulletin: Biodiversity Boosts Human Health


Hantavirus and Human Health worksheet

Algae Diversity and Clean Water
How does algae species diversity reduce water nitrogen levels and contribute to clean water?
Data Format: Line Graph
Keywords: Biodiversity, Nitrogen Cycle

Recently scientists conducted a lab study that showed that a more biodiverse community of algae is more efficient at removing excess nutrients from water. Changing stream environments can make streams less hospitable to some algae species, leading to fewer algal species that are less efficient at removing excess nutrients.

See the Science Bulletin: More Species, Better Water?


Algae Diversity and Clean Water worksheet

White Nose Syndrome

White-Nose Fungus and Bats
How an invasive parasite is disrupting predator-prey relationships.
Data Format: Maps (appropriate map reading assessment)
Keywords: Predator-Prey, Invasive Species 


A new fungus has been spotted that is harming bats. Bats with this white fungus on their noses show uncharacteristic winter behavior. Normally, bats hibernate in winter to survive the season when very little food is present. Bats with this fungus have been found flying during the day and during winter. They also have low body fat, making survival difficult. It seems to be responsible for declining bat populations across the United States.

See the Science Bulletin: Bat Sickness Spreads to New States


White-Nose Fungus and Bats worksheet


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