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Synopsis (short description of the tidbit):


The purpose of the activity is to make students consider several factors (discussed in lecture and lab during the semester) when it comes to selecting a location for conservation.



Context:  Biology 1114. Background in ecology and evolution. Ideal class size: 24 (recitation)



Learning Goals and Intended Outcomes:


Goals:   Our main objective is to challenge students to come up with an argument about allocating funding to a potential national park/reserve using information they had just been provided, and applying what they have learned in previous lectures and laboratory activities.


Intended Outcomes:  After learning about population genetics, the species concept, and ecology, they should be able to connect what they have learned throughout the semester and realize how people can use different arguments from distinct perspective to protect what is important to them.



Summative Assessment: (aligned to intended learning outcomes)


At the end of the activity, instructor will open the floor to discussion and ask the following questions: Why is population size important?  Does the number of species matter?  How is biodiversity related to ecosystem services?  What are the challenges that biologists face when proposing conservation programs? Is the perception of the public towards species important (protecting butterflies & bees vs. mice and worms)?



Formative Assessments/Activities:  (aligned to intended learning outcomes)

How will students be engaged in activities that help them achieve the learning goals?  How will the instructor and student gauge the student progress during the learning process?


Students will have 5 minutes or so to brainstorm and discuss ideas with their teams. Instructor will suggest what lectures and lab exercises they should refer to.



Scientific Teaching:  How does the activity address scientific teaching with respect to the following themes? 


Active learning:

-Team work

-Team discussion

-Standing in front of the classroom to present their plans


Backward Design:

-This is a recitation activity that takes place before the actual lab so that they start their lab activity with a better understanding why that particular lab is important.

-The goals and outcomes stated above where designed before creating the activity.



-The activity was designed from different perspectives including those who care about a park from a human perspective, and those who find nature to have an intrinsic value.



-Get into a brief discussion about the challenges of defending their conservation plan (see PowerPoint TA instructions).





Instructions for TA: (see PowerPoint)

  1. Form four groups of six students each. 3 groups represent a location, and 1 group is the stakeholders aka ‘decision makers’.
  2. Students will attempt to persuade stakeholders to allocate $10M to the conservation program they represent.
  3. Provide each group with one sheet that consists of all biomes and all six questions they need to address (print slides 4-6)
  4. Provide one score sheet to each stakeholder (print slides 7-9)
  5. Display general instructions in projector.
  6. After working in groups for approximately 8 minutes, each group has 5 to 6 minutes to present in front of the class, facing the stakeholders
  7. Open excel file Final Scores and display results at the end
  8. Activity assessment:  ask students:

Why is population size important?  Does the number of species matter? And how this is related to ecosystems services?  What are the challenges that biologists face when proposing conservation programs?  Is the perception of the public towards your species relevant?


Instruction for students: (see PowerPoint)

  1. Choose one biome (habitat) and read its facts
  2. Each letter represents one species, two locations with the same letter means species is not unique
  3. Spend 3 minutes brainstorming as a group
  4. Each group member chooses one question and spend 4 minutes working on your answer
  5. Available budget is $10 million dollars
  6. Each member has 45-60 seconds to persuade stakeholders (6 minutes max per group)
  7. You can use your notes, computers, cell phones, etc.
  8. Lecture/Lab: Population genetics, Animal diversity, Island biogeography, Biodiversity, & Ecosystems


Conservation Biodiversity Recitation PPT

Recitation FINAL Scores Excel Sheet

Creative Commons License
Conservation and Decision-Making by Yvan Delgado de la Flor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.