EDUCATION: Ecology Class Goes Afield

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Science  09 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5655, pp. 149b
DOI: 10.1126/science.303.5655.149b

The local cemetery might not seem like an obvious place to learn about demography, but students can gather life-span data from tombstones and compare survival patterns in different historical periods. High school and college teachers looking for ideas such as this one can check out EcoEdNet from the Ecological Society of America. The growing collection of resources includes links to useful Web sites, background reports, fact sheets, and primers on writing papers. EcoEdNet also offers many lab and field experiments. They provide step-by-step instructions for everything from measuring population growth in duckweed to comparing how birds respond to foul-tasting “insects” made of dough and their tasty look-alikes. Entry requires free registration, and visitors can contribute their own labs or other activities.

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