The following presentation is an overview of concepts and vocabulary for Outdoor Education. Independent Schools Charter Schools Public Schools Waldorf Schools Montessori Schools
The information contained in this presentation is a an overview of earth science which might be taught on a science based program with Naturalists at Large. The following information is the foundation for basic understanding of natural science education. The expectation is that you, with or without a science degree, should have an understanding of natural processes as well as a working environmental science vocabulary for teaching elementary and secondary age students in the outdoors. Some of the concepts are rendered into NALISM’s and might be slightly foreign to you, such as (ABC’s of an Ecosystem) but will maybe make more sense in context of one of our programs. (So don’t fret). We believe that many of you already know this stuff and a “walk thru” will tell you that. For others, the walk thru will tell you where you might want to spend a bit more time. Should you know everything detailed in this presentation? Maybe. It really depends on the trips you work. But…being prepared for all eventualities makes sense. It’s worth noting that some of the information shared here goes beyond what you would teach a 6 th grade student. Key words and concepts are often highlighted and they are most often the vocabulary that students/schools would expect to be taught. (The last section contains California State Standards for Science (Ecology) and will help you define what’s appropriate for the different grade levels). Your staff preparation day, prior to each trip, will get you focused on the specific science concepts you will be expected to teach for that particular program. The point is, you should be ready to teach some science, even on the retreat type program. Use the teachable moment, always.
Table of Contents Ecology Slides: 5 – 24 Geology Slides: 25 - 52 Plant Slides: 53 – 75 Animal Slides: 76 – 109 Atmosphere Slides: 110 – 117 Water Cycle Slides: 118 - 119 Ocean Intertidal Zone Slides: 120 – 125 Clouds and Weather Slides: 126 – 133 Night Sky Slides: 134 – 173 California’s Classrooms Slides: 174 – 189 California Science Standards Slides: 190 - 198 TO JUMP AROUND: Right-Click Mouse & choose “Go to Slide” to move to specific slides (in slide show mode).
Ecology is usually considered a branch of biology, the general science that studies living organisms. Organisms can be studied at many different levels, from proteins and nucleic acids (in biochemistry and molecular biology), to cells (in cellular biology), to individuals (in botany, zoology, and other similar disciplines), and finally at the level of populations, communities, and ecosystems, to the biosphere as a whole; these latter strata are the primary subjects of ecological inquiry. Ecology is a multi-disciplinary science. Because of its focus on the higher levels of the organization of life on earth and on the interrelations between organisms and their environment, ecology draws heavily on many other branches of science, especially geology and geography, meteorology, pedology, genetics, chemistry, and physics. Thus, ecology is considered by some to be a holistic science. Ecology (from Greek:, "household", logos , "knowledge") is the scientific study of the distribution and abundance of living organisms and the interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment. The environment of an organism includes both physical properties, which can be described as the sum of local abiotic factors such as insolation (sunlight), climate, and geology, and biotic factors, that share its habitat.
Ecosystem The A, B, C’s working together… A biotic – non living things (never were living) B iotic – living things (or were living) C ulture – the human element and it’s interaction with the environment
An ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical factors of the environment. Central to the ecosystem concept is the idea that living organisms are continually engaged in a set of relationships with every other element constituting the environment in which they exist. The human ecosystem concept is the premise that all species are ecologically integrated with each other, as well as with their abiotic constituents.
Pygmy Forest of Sonoma Giant Forest of Sequoia Sonoran Desert Colorado River Catalina Island
Abiotic Sun, Soil, Water and Air – Everything you eat, everything you where, needs Sun, Soil, Water, and Air.
abiotic components are non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment. These may be classified as light, temperature, water, atmospheric gases, wind, soil, and physiographic (nature of land surface) factors. The six major abiotic factors are water , sunlight , oxygen , temperature, soil and climate. The Sun is the primary source of light on Earth. Learning factors could be said to be the definitions for the environmental conditions in which plants will grow. For example, the light needed by a plant can be defined by its quality, intensity, and duration. The latter two factors influence the annual cycles of plant growth. Likewise, the temperatures of the ecosystem can greatly influence a plant's development. An over- or under-abundance of water can change a plant's environment; water requirements can also be described for animals. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen are the most important gases; they are used directly by plants. Wind, soil, and physiographic conditions can also combine in multiple ways to affect organisms.
Properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information. They undergo metabolism, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. They need their W.A.F.S. Water, Air/Area, Food, Shelter
Culture Human impact and interaction with the environment
Cultural Impact, or better yet, social factors include land use, water resources, etc., and most all forms of human activity will have implications on the health of an ecosystem.
The biosphere is the part of the earth, including air, land, surface rocks, and water, within which life occurs, and which biotic processes in turn alter or transform. From the broadest biophysiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. This biosphere is postulated to have evolved, beginning through a process of biogenesis at least some 3.5 billion years ago. A biome is a climate and geographical area of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often referred to as ecosystems. Biomes are defined based on factors such as plant structures (such as trees, shrubs, and grasses), leaf types (such as broadleaf and needleleaf), plant spacing (forest, woodland, savanna), and other factors like climate. Unlike ecozones, biomes are not defined by genetic, taxonomic, or historical similarities. Biomes are often identified with particular patterns of ecological succession and climax vegetation.
In sociology and biology a population is the collection of people or individuals of a particular species. A population shares a particular characteristic of interest most often that of living in a given geographic area. Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect. All systems are related and interdependent. Every action has a consequence. A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. A landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including physical elements such as landforms, living elements of flora and fauna, abstract elements such as lighting and weather conditions, and human elements, for instance human activity or the built environment.
Symbiosis The term symbiosis (from the Greek: sym , "with"; and, biosis , "living") can be used to express the relation of one organism to another from various degrees of close relationship between organisms of different species. It’s defined as: "the living together of unlike organisms". There is no single universally agreed upon definition of symbiosis. Some define symbiosis as a close relationship between organisms in which the outcome for each is highly dependent upon the other. The relationship may be categorized as mutualism (both individuals derive a fitness benefit), parasitism (the parasite, benefits from a prolonged, close association with the other, the host, which is harmed), commensalism (two living organisms where one benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped). , or any biological interaction in which at least one organism benefits. Others define it more narrowly, as only those relationships from which both organisms benefit, in which case it would be synonymous with mutualism. Clown Fish and Sea Anemone
Natural resources are naturally occurring substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form. A natural resource's value rests in the amount of the material available and the demand for it. Thus, mining, petroleum extraction, fishing, hunting, and forestry are generally considered natural-resource industries, while agriculture is not. Renewable resources are generally living resources (fish, reindeer, coffee, and forests, for example), which can restock (renew) themselves if they are not over-harvested but used sustainably. Once renewable resources are consumed at a rate that exceeds their natural rate of replacement, the standing stock will diminish and eventually run out. The rate of sustainable use of a renewable resource is determined by the replacement rate and amount of standing stock of that particular resource. Non-living renewable natural resources include soil and water. A non-renewable resource is a natural resource that exists in a fixed amount that cannot be re-made, re-grown or regenerated as fast as it is consumed and used up.
Extinction is the cessation of existence of a species or group. A vulnerable species is a species which is likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction improve. Threatened or endangered species are any species (including animals, plants, fungi, insects, bugs, etc.) which are near to extinction.
Habitat Loss, Overuse, Pollution, Competition, and Catastrophic Events All have played a role in the extinction of species and will continue to do so… but, worth noting, only one in a thousand species that have existed still remain today. Raup, David M. “ Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? “ Newman, Mark. "A Mathematical Model for Mass Extinction”
Biodiversity & Sustainability Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. The term, in its environmental usage, refers to the potential longevity of vital human ecological support systems, such as the planet's climatic system, systems of agriculture, industry, forestry, and fisheries, and human communities in general and the various systems on which they depend.
Geology is the science and study of the solid matter that constitutes the Earth. Encompassing such things as rocks, soil, and gemstones, geology studies the composition, structure, physical properties, history, and the processes that shape Earth's components.
Geologists estimate the age of the Earth at about 4.6 billion years, and have determined that the Earth's lithosphere, which includes the crust, is fragmented into tectonic plates that move over the upper mantle via processes that are collectively referred to as plate tectonics .
The Earth’s tectonic plates are continuosly moving…
Plate Tectonics Plate tectonics (from Greek, tektōn "builder" or "mason") is a theory of geology that has been developed to explain the observed evidence for large scale motions of the Earth's lithosphere. The theory encompassed and superseded the older theory of continental drift from the first half of the 20th century and the concept of seafloor spreading developed during the 1960s.
The outermost part of the Earth's interior is made up of two layers: above is the lithosphere , comprising the crust and the rigid uppermost part of the mantle. Below the lithosphere lies the asthenosphere. Although solid, the asthenosphere has relatively low viscosity and shear strength and can flow like a liquid on geological time scales. The deeper mantle below the asthenosphere is more rigid again. This is, however, not due to cooler temperatures but due to high pressure. The lithosphere is broken up into what are called tectonic plates — in the case of Earth, there are seven major and many minor plates. The lithospheric plates ride on the asthenosphere. These plates move in relation to one another at one of three types of plate boundaries: convergent or collision boundaries, divergent or spreading boundaries, and transform boundaries. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along plate boundaries. The lateral movement of the plates is typically at speeds of 0.65 to 8.50 centimeters per year.
Earthquakes & Volcanoes … are two major events directly tied to plate tectonics and the movement of continental & oceanic crust.
Plate boundaries lock as the plates move past each other, creating frictional stress. When the frictional stress exceeds a critical value, called local strength , a sudden failure occurs. The boundary of tectonic plates along which failure occurs is called the fault plane . When the failure at the fault plane results in a violent displacement of the Earth's crust, energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves, frictional heating of the fault surface, and cracking of the rock, thus causing an earthquake. Earthquake Fault
Earthquakes also often occur in volcanic regions and are caused there, both by tectonic faults and by the movement of magma in volcanoes. Such earthquakes can serve as an early warning of volcanic eruptions. A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanic activity involving the extrusion of rock tends to form mountains or features like mountains over a period of time. Hotspots are not usually located on the ridges of tectonic plates, but above mantle plumes, where the convection of Earth's mantle creates a column of hot material that rises until it reaches the crust, which tends to be thinner than in other areas of the Earth. The temperature of the plume causes the crust to melt and form pipes, which can vent magma . Because the tectonic plates move whereas the mantle plume remains in the same place, each volcano becomes dormant after a while and a new volcano is then formed as the plate shifts over the hotspot.
1. Magma chamber 2. Country rock 3. Conduit (pipe) 4. Base 5. Sill 6. Branch pipe 7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano 8. Flank 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano 10. Throat 11. Parasitic cone 12. Lava flow 13. Vent 14. Crater 15. Ash cloud Volcano
The landforms created by these shifting tectonic plates are made of rock… What's a Rock? rock is a naturally occurring aggregate of minerals such as silicates, carbonates, sulfides, oxides, etc.. The Earth's lithosphere is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic .
Igneous rocks are formed by solidification of cooled magma (molten rock), with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. This magma can be derived from partial melts of pre-existing rocks in either the Earth's mantle or crust. Over 700 types of igneous rocks have been described, most of them formed beneath the surface of the Earth's crust. Igneous rocks make up approximately ninety-five percent of the upper part of the Earth's crust, but their great abundance is hidden on the Earth's surface by a relatively thin but widespread layer of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Igneous Fire Rock
Sedimentary Sedimentary rocks are bits and pieces of rock, sand, clay, or mud, eroded and transported from parent material. When they are deposited they are laid down in layers called beds or strata. Each new layer is laid down horizontally over older ones in a process called superposition. There are usually some gaps in the sequence called unconformities. These represent periods in which no new sediments were being laid down, or when earlier sedimentary layers were raised above sea level and eroded away. Eventually time and natural processes cement these layered particles together. Sedimentary rocks contain fossils, the preserved remains of ancient plants and animals. Layered Rock
Metamorphic Rock Metamorphic rock is the result of the transformation of a pre-existing rock type, the protolith , in a process called metamorphism, which means "change in form". The protolith is subjected to heat (greater than 150 degrees Celsius) and extreme pressure causing profound physical and/or chemical change. The protolith may be sedimentary rock, igneous rock or another older metamorphic rock. They may be formed simply by being deep beneath the Earth's surface, subjected to high temperatures and the great pressure of the rock layers above. They can be formed by tectonic processes such as continental collisions which cause horizontal pressure, friction and distortion. They are also formed when rock is heated up by the intrusion of hot molten rock called magma from the Earth's interior. Heat & Pressure Changed Rock
Weathering is the decomposition of rocks, soils and their minerals through direct contact with the Earth's atmosphere. Weathering occurs in situ , or "with no movement", and thus should not to be confused with erosion, which involves the movement and disintegration of rocks and minerals by agents such as water, ice, wind and gravity. Two important classifications of weathering processes exist. Mechanical or physical weathering involves the breakdown of rocks and soils through direct contact with atmospheric conditions such as heat, water, ice and pressure. The second classification, chemical weathering, involves the direct effect of atmospheric chemicals, or biologically produced chemicals (also known as biological weathering), in the breakdown of rocks, soils and minerals. Weathering
Mechanical weathering is a cause of the disintegration of rocks. The primary process in mechanical weathering is abrasion - the process by which clasts and other particles are reduced in size. However, chemical and physical weathering often go hand in hand. For example, cracks exploited by mechanical weathering will increase the surface area exposed to chemical action. Furthermore, the chemical action at minerals in cracks can aid the disintegration process. Freeze Thaw – Ice forms and expands Thermal – Differential between high low temps creates expansion Pressure Release – Removal of overburden allows expansion Hydraulic – Wave action creates air pressure within rock cracks Biotic – Plants exert pressure as they grow into rocks Mechanical Weathering
Chemical weathering involves the change in the composition of rocks, often leading to a 'break down' in its form. This type of weathering happens over a period of time. Rain – C02 in rain helps form acids that dissolve some minerals Oxidation – Iron in some rock breaks down from water/oxygen combo Biological – Minerals from plants mix with chemicals in rock to create various forms of chelating compounds dissolving irons and aluminums Chemical Weathering
Erosion Erosion is displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) usually by the agents of currents such as, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement in response to gravity or by living organisms. A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example, gravels continuously move downstream in watercourses. Excessive erosion, however, does cause problems, such as receiving water sedimentation, ecosystem damage and outright loss of soil.
The rate of erosion is based on many factors, including the amount and intensity of precipitation, the texture of the soil, the gradient of the slope, ground cover from vegetation, rocks, land use,how much water there is, and possibility of erosion from speed of a stream. The first factor, rain, is the agent for erosion, but the degree of erosion is governed by other factors. The first three factors can remain fairly constant over time. In general, given the same kind of vegetative cover, you expect areas with high-intensity precipitation, sandy or silty soils and steep slopes to be the most erosive. Soils with a greater proportion of clay that receive less intense precipitation and are on gentle slopes tend to erode less.
Mechanical Chemical Differential Mass Wasting Wind Erosion Coastal Erosion
So…Once rock has eroded into it’s finer particles & Minerals, they are then joined by… Organic Material provided by plants and animals. Now, add a nice portion of Water and Air from the earth and sky…and voila! you have SOIL ! Those 4 things make up soil
Plants are a major group of life forms and include familiar organisms such as trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. Green plants , sometimes called metaphytes , obtain most of their energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organisms. The raw materials are carbon dioxide and water , the energy source is sunlight , and the end-products include glucose and oxygen . It is arguably the most important biochemical pathway, since nearly all life depends on it. It is a complex process occurring in higher plants, phytoplankton, algae, as well as bacteria such as cyanobacteria. Photosynthetic organisms are also referred to as photoautotrophs. The word comes from the Greek photo- , light, and synthesis , putting together. Photosynthesis
The stamen (plural stamina , from Latin stamen meaning "thread of the warp") is the male organ of a flower. Each stamen generally has a stalk called the filament (from Latin filum , meaning "thread"), and, on top of the filament, an anther (from Ancient Greek anthera , feminine of antheros "flowery," from anthos "flower"), and pollen sacs, called microsporangia . Plant Parts
Ovule literally means "small egg." In seed plants, the ovule is the structure that gives rise to and contains the female reproductive cells. It consists of three parts: The integuments forming its outer layer, the nucellus , and embryo sac in flowering plants) produces the egg cell for fertilization. After fertilization, the ovule develops into a seed. Pistil , the central female reproductive organ around which the other flower parts are arranged. At the base is the ovary , where the seeds develop. A long style extends from this. The tip is swollen and flared to form the stigma. The stigma receives the pollen.
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to 6 m; some authors set a minimum of 10 cm trunk diameter. Woody plants that do not meet these definitions by having multiple stems and/or small size, are called shrubs. Compared with most other plants, trees are long-lived, some of them getting to be several thousand years old and growing to up to 115 m (375 ft) high. Trees
Trees Evergreen vs Deciduous Reasons for being evergreen or deciduous Deciduous trees shed their leaves for a reason--usually as an adaptation to a cold season or a dry season, when carrying leaves may become a liability. Most tropical rainforest plants are evergreens, replacing their leaves gradually throughout the year as the leaves age and fall, whereas species growing in seasonally arid climates may be either evergreen or deciduous. Most warm temperate climate plants are also evergreen. In cool temperate climates, fewer plants are evergreen, with a predominance of conifers, as few evergreen broadleaf plants can tolerate severe cold below about -30 °C. In areas where there is a reason for being deciduous (e.g. a cold season or dry season), being evergreen is usually an adaptation to low nutrient levels. Deciduous trees lose nutrients whenever they lose their leaves, and they must replenish these nutrients from the soil to build new leaves. When few nutrients are available, evergreen plants have an advantage.
In warmer areas, species such as some pines and cypresses grow on poor soils and disturbed ground. In Rhododendron , a genus with many broadleaf evergreens, several species grow in mature forests but are usually found on highly acidic soil where the nutrients are less available to plants. In taiga or boreal forests, it is too cold for the organic matter in the soil to decay rapidly, so the nutrients in the soil are less easily available to plants, thus favoring evergreens. In temperate climates, evergreens can reinforce their own survival; evergreen leaf and needle litter has a higher carbon-nitrogen ratio than deciduous leaf litter, contributing to a higher soil acidity and lower soil nitrogen content. These conditions favor the growth of more evergreens and make it more difficult for deciduous plants to persist. In addition, the shelter provided by existing evergreen plants can make it easier for other evergreen plants to survive cold and/or drought. Trees Evergreen vs Deciduous
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae Herbs are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual usage. The green, leafy part of the plant is often used, but herbal medicine makes use of the roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes other portions. General usage differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. A medicinal herb may be a shrub or other woody plant, whereas a culinary herb is a non-woody plant, typically using the leaves. Herbs
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae Bushes / Shrubs A shrub or bush is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of woody plant, distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, usually less than 5-6 m (15-20 ft) tall. A large number of plants can be either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience. Shrubs in common garden practice are generally broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as Mountain Pine and Common Juniper are also shrubby in structure. Shrubs can be either deciduous or evergreen.
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae Grasses are typically non-woody and vascular. The term 'grass' is sometimes used to describe related plants in the rush and sedge families, that resemble grass somewhat. It may also be used to describe completely unrelated plants, sometimes of similar appearances to grass, with leaves rising vertically from the ground, and sometimes of dissimilar appearance. A single piece of grass is called a blade. Grasses
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae Certain plants always grow as vines , while a few grow as vines only part of the time. For instance, poison ivy and bittersweet can grow as low shrubs when support is not available, but will become vines when support is available. A vine is a growth form based on long, flexible stems. This has two purposes. A vine may use rock exposures, other plants, or other supports for growth rather than investing energy in a lot of supportive tissue, enabling the plant to reach sunlight with a minimum investment of energy. Ferns are vascular plants differing from the more primitive lycophytes by having true leaves, and they differ from seed plants (gymnosperms and angiosperms) in their mode of reproduction - lacking flowers and seeds. Fern species live in a wide variety of habitats, from remote mountain elevations, to dry desert rock faces, to bodies of water or in open fields. Ferns in general may be thought of as largely being specialists in marginal habitats, often succeeding in places where various environmental factors limit the success of flowering plants. Vines & Ferns
trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae Mosses & Algae Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm (0.4-4 in) tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. At certain times mosses produce spore capsules which may appear as beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks. Algae have conventionally been regarded as simple plants. Algae range from single-cell organisms to multicellular organisms, some with fairly complex differentiated forms, the marine examples of which are called seaweeds. All lack leaves, roots, and other organs that characterize higher plants. They are distinguished from protozoa in that they are photosynthetic.
Plant Adaptations Thorns, Sharp Points, Size, Shape, Color, Texture, Taste, Seed Dispersal Adaptations are traits that have been selected for by natural selection. The underlying genetic basis for the adaptive trait did not arise as a consequence of the environment; the genetic variant pre-existed and was subsequently selected because it provided the bearer of that variant some advantage. Adaptations enable living organisms to cope with environmental stresses and pressures.
Desert Plant Adaptations Some plants, called succulents, store water in their stems or leaves; Some plants have no leaves or small seasonal leaves that only grow after it rains. The lack of leaves helps reduce water loss during photosynthesis. Leafless plants conduct photosynthesis in their green stems. Long root systems spread out wide or go deep into the ground to absorb water; Some plants have a short life cycle, germinating in response to rain, growing, flowering, and dying within one year. These plants can evade drought. Leaves with hair help shade the plant, reducing water loss. Other plants have leaves that turn throughout the day to expose a minimum surface area to the heat. Spines to discourage animals from eating plants for water; Waxy coating on stems and leaves help reduce water loss. Flowers that open at night lure pollinators who are more likely to be active during the cooler night. Slower growing requires less energy. The plants don't have to make as much food and therefore do not lose as much water.
Temperate Deciduous Forest Plant Adaptations Wildflowers grow on forest floor early in the spring before trees leaf-out and shade the forest floor Many trees are deciduous (they drop their leaves in the autumn, and grow new ones in spring). Most deciduous trees have thin, broad, light-weight leaves that can capture a lot of sunlight to make a lot of food for the tree in warm weather; when the weather gets cooler, the broad leaves cause too much water loss and can be weighed down by too much snow, so the tree drops its leaves. New ones will grow in the spring. Trees have thick bark to protect against cold winters Plant Adaptations in Water Underwater leaves and stems are flexible to move with water currents some plants have air spaces in their stems to help hold the plant up in the water. Submerged plants lack strong water transport system (in stems); instead water, nutrients, and dissolved gases are absorbed through the leaves directly from the water. Roots and root hairs reduced or absent; roots only needed for anchorage, not for absorption of nutrients and water. Some plants have leaves that float atop the water, exposing themselves to the sunlight. In floating plants chlorophyll is restricted to upper surface of leaves (part that the sunlight will hit) and the upper surface is waxy to repel water. Some plants produce seeds that can float.
Plants have many adaptations to fire . In chaparral communities in Southern California, some plants have leaves coated in flammable oils that foster an intense fire. The heat will cause their fire-activated seeds to germinate and capitalize on the lack of competition in the burnt landscape. Other plants have smoke-activated seeds and/or fire-activated buds. Lodgepole pine cones are sealed with resin until fire melts it away and releases the seeds. Many plant species, including shade-intolerant giant sequoia, require fire to make light gaps in the vegetation canopy. This allows their new seedlings to compete with more shade-tolerant seedlings of other species and establish themselves in a process known as “recruitment”.
Because their stationary nature precludes fire avoidance, plants span the range from fire-intolerant species to fire-tolerant to fire-resistant species.
Gymnosperm The gymnosperms (Gymnospermae) are a group of (spermatophyte) seed-bearing plants with ovules on the edge or blade of an open sporophyll, the sporophylls usually arranged in cone-like structures. The term gymnosperm comes from the Greek word gymnospermos , meaning " naked seeds " and referring to the unenclosed condition of the seeds, as when they are produced they are found naked on the scales of a cone or similar structure. Gymnosperms are heterosporous, producing microspores that develop into pollen grains and megaspores that are retained in an ovule. After fertilization (joining of the micro- and megaspore), the resulting embryo, along with other cells comprising the ovule, develops into a seed.
Angiosperm The flowering plants or angiosperms are the most widespread group of land plants. The other major group of seed-bearing plants, the angiosperms, have ovules enclosed in a carpel, a sporophyll with fused margins.
Seed Dispersal Seed dispersal refers to those processes by which a plant maintains or expands the distribution of a population. Dispersal implies movement—movement away from an existing population (population expansion) or away from the parent organism (population maintenance). Dispersal relieves pressure for resources in an ecosystem, and competition for these resources may be a selection factor for dispersal mechanisms. Dispersal may simply involve replacement of the parent generation by the new generation, with only minor changes in geographic area occupied. More significantly, dispersal enables the species population to occupy much of the available habitat, thereby maximizing resources in its favor and providing a hedge against local adverse events. In most cases, plants have evolved adaptations for dispersal that take advantage of various forms of kinetic energy occurring naturally in the environment: water flow, wind, falling (response to gravity) and attachment (to animals).
Animals are a major group of multicellular organisms, of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan becomes fixed as they develop, usually early on in their development as embryos, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile - they can move spontaneously and independently. Animals are heterotrophs - they are dependent on other organisms (e.g. plants) for sustenance. The word "animal" comes from the Latin word animal , of which animalia is the plural, and is derived from anima , meaning vital breath or soul. In everyday colloquial usage, the word usually refers to non-human animals. The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the Kingdom Animalia. Therefore, when the word "animal" is used in a biological context, humans are included.
Vertebrates-(backbone) Fish - Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are cold-blooded, covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. Lays eggs, cold blooded, scaly skin Amphibian - an animal capable of living and operating on land and in water. Lays eggs (born in water), cold blooded, smooth skin Reptile - a creeping animal, such as the snake, lizzard, crocodile, etc. Lays eggs, warm blooded, scaly skin Bird - any feather-covered vertebrate animal whose forelimbs form wings. lays eggs, warm blooded, feathers Mammal - an animal whose young feed upon milk from the breast. Live birth, warm blooded, fur Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal
Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal Fish The term "fish" is most precisely used to describe any non-tetrapod chordate, i.e., an animal with a backbone that has gills throughout life and has limbs, if any, in the shape of fins. A typical fish is cold-blooded; has a streamlined body that allows it to swim rapidly; extracts oxygen from the water using gills or an accessory breathing organ to enable it to breath atmospheric oxygen; has two sets of paired fins, usually one or two (rarely three) dorsal fins, an anal fin, and a tail fin; has jaws; has skin that is usually covered with scales; and lays eggs that are fertilized internally or externally. (1) - operculum (gill cover), (2) - lateral line, (3) - dorsal fin, (4) - fat fin, (5) - caudal peduncle, (6) - caudal fin, (7) - anal fin, (8) - photophores, (9) - pelvic fins (paired), (10) - pectoral fins (paired)
Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal Amphibian Amphibians (class Amphibia ; from Greek "both" and "life") are a taxon of animals that include all living tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) that do not have amniotic eggs, are cold-blooded, and generally spend part of their time on land. Most amphibians do not have the adaptations to an entirely terrestrial existence found in most other modern tetrapods (amniotes). There are around 6,200 described, living species of amphibians. The study of amphibians and reptiles is known as herpetology. Amphibians are able to breathe through their skin. After hatching,the gills are replaced by other respiratory organs, i.e., lungs. The skin changes and develops glands to avoid dehydration. The eyes develop eyelids and adapt to vision outside the water. An eardrum is developed to lock the middle ear. In frogs and toads, the tail disappears. Salamanders, Newts, Frogs, and Toads
Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal Reptile Reptiles are air-breathing, cold-blooded vertebrates that have scaly bodies as opposed to hair or feathers; they represent an intermediate position in evolutionary development between amphibians and warm-blooded vertebrates, the birds and mammals. They are tetrapods and amniotes whose embryos are surrounded by an amniotic membrane, and members of the class Sauropsida inhabiting every continent with the exception of Antarctica. The majority of reptile species are oviparous (egg-laying) although certain species of squamates are capable of giving live birth. This is achieved, either through ovoviviparity (egg retention), or viviparity (offspring born without use of calcified eggs). Many of the viviparous species feed their fetuses through various forms of placenta analogous to those of mammals with some providing initial care for their hatchlings. Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, Tortoises, Alligators, Crocodiles
Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal Bird Birds (class Aves ) are bipedal, warm-blooded, vertebrate animals that lay eggs. There are around 10,000 living species, making them the most numerous tetrapod vertebrates. Modern birds are characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton. All birds have forelimbs modified as wings and most can fly, with some exceptions including ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Birds also have unique digestive and respiratory systems that are highly adapted for flight. External anatomy of a bird: 1 Beak, 2 Head, 3 Iris, 4 Pupil, 5 Mantle, 6 Lesser coverts, 7 Scapulars, 8 Median coverts, 9 Tertials, 10 Rump, 11 Primaries, 12 Vent, 13 Thigh, 14 Tibio-tarsal articulation, 15 Tarsus, 16 Feet, 17 Tibia, 18 Belly, 19 Flanks, 20 Breast, 21 Throat, 22 Wattle
Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, Mammal Mammal Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including milk producing sweat glands, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in the brain. Most mammals also possess specialized teeth and utilize a placenta in the ontogeny. The mammalian brain regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, including a four-chambered heart. Most mammals give birth to live young (vivipary), but a few, such as the monotremes lay eggs. Live birth also occurs in some non-mammalian species, such as guppies, snakes, and hammerhead sharks; thus it is not a distinguishing characteristic of mammals. Bats and Rodents make up over 60% of all mammal species
Herbivore Omnivore Carnivore Insectivore They are what they eat & the Scavenger This one eats what the others were
Predator and Prey All animals must eat to survive. With predators always on the lookout for a meal, prey must constantly avoid being eaten. Any adaptation the prey uses adds to the chances of survival for the species. Some adaptations are defense mechanisms which can give the prey an advantage against enemies. These linkages are the prime movers of energy through food chains. They are an important factor in the ecology of populations, determining mortality of prey and birth of new predators. Predation is an important evolutionary force: natural selection favors more effective predators and more evasive prey. "Arms races" have been recorded in some snails, which over generations become more heavily armored prey, and their predators, crabs, which over generations develop more massive claws with greater crushing power.
Instinct is a series of rigid and predictable actions and behavioral schemes which go under the term of fixed action patterns . Such schemes are only acted when a precise stimulating signal is present. When such signals act as communication among members of the same species, they go under the name of releasers. Notable examples of releasers are, in many bird species, the beak movements by the newborns, which stimulates the mother's regurgitating process to feed the chick. If behavior were only made of fixed action patterns it would be particularly rigid and inefficient, reducing the probabilities of survival and reproduction. The learning process has therefore a great importance, as the ability to change the individual's responses change based on its experience. It can be said that the more the brain is complex and the life of the individual long, the more its behavior will result "intelligent" (in the sense of being guided by experience rather than rigid FAPs). Instinct vs Learning
Habitat & Niche A habitat is the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the physical environment that surrounds (influences and is utilized by) a species population. This is where a critter can find it’s WAFS. Water, Area/Air, Food, Shelter In ecology, a niche (pronounced nich, neesh or nish) is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in its ecosystem. The ecological niche describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors (e. g., by growing when resources are abundant, and predators, parasites and pathogens are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (e.g., limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey). What’s it’s role in the community? (Who it eats & What eat’s it?)
Mating and the fight for supremacy The individual reproduction is with no doubt the most important phase in the proliferation of the species: for this reason, we can often observe complex mating ritual, which can reach a high level of complexity even if they are often regarded as FAPs . Often in social life, males are fighting for the right of reproducing themselves as well as social supremacy. Such behaviors are common among mammals. A common example of fight for social and sexual supremacy is the so-called pecking order among poultry. A pecking order is established every time a group of poultry co-lives for a certain amount of time. In each of these groups, a chicken is dominating among the others and can peck before anyone else without being pecked. A second chicken can peck all the others but the first, and so on. The chicken in the higher levels can be easily distinguished for their well-cured aspect, as opposed to the ones in the lower levels. During the period in which the pecking order is establishing, frequent and violent fights can happen, but once it is established it is only broken when other individuals are entering the group, in which case the pecking order has to be established from scratch.
Animal Adaptations & Defence Mechanisms Animals depend on their physical features to help them obtain food, keep safe, build homes, withstand weather, and attract mates. These physical features are called called physical adaptations. Physical adaptations do not develop during an animal's life but over many generations. The shape of a bird's beak, the number of fingers, color of the fur, the thickness or thinness of the fur, the shape of the nose or ears are all examples of physical adaptations which help different animals to survive. Animals also depend on learned or instinctual behavior. Grazing animals often feed in herds. When a predator attacks, the animals scatter in different directions, often confusing the predator and allowing most, if not all, of the prey animals to escape. Some animals never venture too far from their home in underground dens or thick vegetation and can quickly hide when danger approaches. Some animals are active only at night (nocturnal) when it is harder to find them Some vocal creatures will shout to scare predators, or to warn others of danger.
Invertebrates We will spend a little extra time with these critters. Many of us outdoorsie types spend little time learning about the critters that we have the easiest time seeing while out with students.
GRADUAL METAMORPHOSIS EGG NYMPH : look like miniature adults LARGER NYMPH : feeds until exoskeleton becomes tight, molts 4 or 5 times before coming an adult ADULT : full grown
Decomposers the FF.B.I. Fire, Fungus, Bacteria, Insects
Decomposers (or saprotrophs) are organisms that consume dead organisms, and, in doing so, carry out the natural process of decomposition. Like herbivores and predators, decomposers are heterotrophic, meaning that they use organic substrates to get their energy, carbon and nutrients for growth and development. Decomposers use deceased organisms and non-living organic compounds as their food source. The primary decomposers are insects, bacteria and fungi. And fire (though not an organism)
When a plant or animal dies, it leaves behind nutrients and energy in the organic material that comprised its body. Scavenger and detritivores can feed on the carcasses or litter, but they will inevitably leave behind a considerable amount of unused energy and nutrients. Unused energy and nutrients will be present both in the unconsumed portions (bones, feathers or fur in the case of animals, wood and other indigestable litter in the case of plants) and in the feces of the scavengers and detritivores. Decomposers complete decomposition by breaking down this remaining organic matter. Decomposers eventually convert all organic matter into carbon dioxide (which they respire) and nutrients. This releases raw nutrients (such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and magnesium) in a form usable to plants and algae, which incorporate the chemicals into their own cells. This process resupplies nutrients to the ecosystem, in turn allowing for greater primary production. Decomposition
Atmosphere Climate Weather Thin envelope of gases that surrounds the planet. The state of the atmosphere at a given place and time Weather conditions at a locality averaged over a specified time period
Atmosphere is divided into four distinct zones of contrasting temperature due to differential absorption of solar energy. There is little mixing between layers. As you move higher in altitude the atmosphere thins out.
Troposphere contains about 75% of the earth’s air mass, but is only about 17km thick. Most weather events occur here. It’s composition is uniform due to mixing caused by winds. Temperatures drop with altitude. The sharp boundary in temperature at the tropopause limits mixing with upper layers
Stratosphere extends to about 50km thick. Similar in composition to the troposphere except in two ways. It contains1000 times less water and is 1000 times higher in ozone. Ozone is produced by lightning and solar irradiation of oxygen molecules. The Stratosphere is relatively calm, volcanic ash or human caused pollution can remain in suspension in the stratosphere for many years.
Oxygen produced by photosynthesis builds up in the atmosphere. This turns into ozone due to solar radiation.
Present composition of the lower Atmosphere Water vapor varies depending on the location. From 0.01% to 5% 99% Almost 1% And the rest
5% of earth’s water is freshwater. 3/5ths of the freshwater is locked up in the Arctic and Antarctic as ice. Of the 2% of Earth’s water that is available for consumption, ½ is contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
Oceans and Intertidal Zones Though generally recognized as several 'separate' oceans, these waters comprise one global, interconnected body of salt water often referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean. This concept of a global ocean as a continuous body of water with relatively free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography. The major oceanic divisions are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria: these divisions are (in descending order of size) the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean (which is sometimes subsumed as the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans), and the Arctic Ocean (which is sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic). The Pacific and Atlantic may be further subdivided by the equator into northerly and southerly portions. Smaller regions of the oceans are called seas, gulfs, bays and other names. This presentation will skip most marine biology (you will get that during Catalina training) but instead will focus a bit on Intertidal Zones.
The intertidal zone, also known as the littoral zone, in marine aquatic environments is the area of the foreshore and seabed that is exposed to the air at low tide and submerged at high tide, for example, the area between tide marks. Organisms in the intertidal zone are adapted to an environment of harsh extremes. Water is available regularly with the tides but varies from fresh with rain to highly saline and dry salt with drying between tidal inundations. The action of waves can dislodge residents in the littoral zone. With the intertidal zone's high exposure to the sun the temperature range can be anything from very hot with full sun to near freezing in colder climes. Some microclimates in the littoral zone are ameliorated by local features and larger plants such as mangroves. Adaption in the littoral zone is for making use of nutrients supplied in high volume on a regular basis from the sea which is actively moved to the zone by tides. Edges of habitats, in this case land and sea, are themselves often significant ecologies, and the littoral zone is a prime example. Intertidal Zone
High tide zone (upper littoral) The high tide zone is flooded during high tide only, and is a highly saline environment. The abundance of water is not high enough to sustain large amounts of vegetation, although some do survive. The predominant organisms in this subregion are barnacles, chitons, small gastropods, isopods, limpets, mussels, starfish, snails, whelks and some herbivores. The high tide zone can also contain rock pools inhabited by small fish and larger. Life is much more abundant here than in the spray zone. Barnacles Chiton Sea star
Low tide zone (lower littoral) This subregion is mostly submerged - it is only exposed at the point of low tide and for a longer period of time during extremely low tides. This area is teeming with life; the most notable difference with this subregion to the other three is that there is much more marine vegetation, especially seaweeds. There is also a great biodiversity. Organisms in this zone generally are not well adapted to periods of dryness and temperature extremes. Some of the organisms in this area are abalone, anemones, brown seaweed, chitons, crabs, green algae, hydroids, isopods, limpets, mussels, nudibranchs, sculpin, sea cucumber, sea lettuce, sea palms, sea stars, sea urchins, shrimp, snails, sponges, surf grass, tube worms, and whelks. Creatures in this area can grow to larger sizes because there is more available energy in the localised ecosystem and because marine vegetation can grow to much greater sizes than in the other three intertidal subregions due to the better water coverage: the water is shallow enough to allow plenty of light to reach the vegetation to allow substantial photosynthetic activity, and the salinity is at almost normal levels. This area is also protected from large predators such as large fish because of the wave action and the water still being relatively shallow.
Tide pools (also tidal pools or rock pools ) are rocky pools by oceans that are filled with seawater. Tide pools can either be small and shallow or large and deep. The small ones are usually found far back on the shore and the large ones are found nearer to the ocean. Tide pools are formed as a high tide comes in over a rocky shore. Water fills depressions in the ground, which turn into isolated pools as the tide retreats. This process, repeated twice a day, replenishes the seawater in what otherwise might be a stagnant pool.
Most of the animals that live in the tidepools, or intertidal zone, are invertebrates; they have no backbone--they are spineless. Instead of a backbone, some animals have rigid exoskeletons that protect them from drying out, being eaten and being smashed to pieces by the pounding surf. Barnacles, sea stars, limpets, crabs, chitons and sea snails all have hard shells for protection. Anemones, sponges and nudibranchs have very soft and flexible bodies that absorb wave impact. When the waves crash it's not certain death, it's mealtime! Marine algae have developed similar characteristics as land-dwelling plants. They photosynthesize light and nutrients into sugar and oxygen. Many types of algae grow in the tidepools: green, brown and red. The color of the algae gives away their name. Marine algae contain a gummy substance, called agar, which allows them to be very flexible as the tides change. The leaf-like blades sometimes have small attached air sacs which allow the blades to float to the surface facilitating photosynthesis.
The Universe The Universe is everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and physical constants that govern them. Scientific experiments have yielded several general facts about the observable universe. The age of the universe is estimated to be 13 - 14 billion years . The universe is very large, possibly infinite, being at least 93 billion light years across , and consisting mainly of matter, rather than antimatter. Only 4% of the matter and energy in the universe is luminous, that is, directly observable from its emitted electromagnetic radiation ("light" in its most general sense); the remainder consists of dark energy (73%) and dark matter (23%). The nature and composition of dark energy and dark matter are unknown.
Time and Distance Light Speed The great equalizer for understanding distances in space. 186,000 miles per second (7 times around the earth) or 11,160,000 per minute (420 times around the earth) Light Year Distance light travels in one Earth year (6 million-million miles) AU – Astronomical Unit Distance from Earth to the Sun = 93 million miles = 8.3 light minutes The moon is 250,000 miles from earth = 1.34 light seconds
The Ellipse & Orbit Most all celestial bodies travel a path (orbit) in the form of an ellipse (egg shape). Gravity (the force that attracts one mass to another) pulls and holds objects in a path circling around a central point/area. The elliptical path can be extremely elongated carrying the object (planet, moon, comet, etc.) within a few million miles of center and out again billions of miles (Some objects are knocked from orbit and are flung in a straight trajectory until captured by another objects’ gravitational pull. It may impact the object or begin a new orbit centered on it’s captor.)
Galaxies A galaxy (from the Greek root galaxias , meaning "milky", a reference to our own Milky Way) is a massive, gravitationally bound system consisting of stars, planets, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and dark matter. Typical galaxies range from dwarfs with as few as ten million stars up to giants with one trillion stars, all orbiting a common center of mass. The three main types of galaxies can also contain many multiple star systems, star clusters, and various interstellar clouds. Galaxies are the largest observable forms in the universe. Spiral Lenticular Elliptical
Our Milky Way Galaxy The disk of the Milky Way galaxy is approximately 100,000 light years in diameter, and about 1,000 light years thick. It is estimated to contain at least 200 billion, and up to 400 billion, stars. A Spiral Galaxy
Solar System A planetary system consists of the various non-stellar objects orbiting a star such as planets, moons, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and cosmic dust. The Sun together with its planetary system, which includes Earth, is known as the Solar System .
Stars A star is a massive, luminous ball of gases. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth. Other stars are visible in the night sky, when they are not outshone by the Sun. A star shines because nuclear fusion in its core releases energy that traverses the star's interior and then radiates into outer space. Almost all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium were created inside the cores of stars. Star Cluster They vary in size, mass and temperature, diameters ranging from 450x smaller to over 1000x larger than that of the Sun. Masses range from a twentieth to over 50 solar masses and surface temperature can range from 3,000 degrees Celcius to over 50,000 degrees Celcius. The color of a star is determined by its temperature, the hottest stars are blue and the coolest stars are red. The Sun has a surface temperature of 5,500 degrees Celcius, its color appears yellow.
Star Sequence All stars begin forming from clouds of interstellar gases that begin to gather, through gravitational force, into a Nebula (star nursery). A region of condensing matter will begin to heat up and start to glow forming Protostars. If a protostar contains enough matter, the central temperature reaches 15 million degrees centigrade. At this temperature, nuclear reactions in which hydrogen fuses to form helium can start.
The star begins to release energy, stopping it from contracting even more and causes it to shine. It is now a M ain Sequence Star . Here’s where the life of stars begins to diverge. And it’s the mass/size of the star which determines it’s fate. Some protostars of very low mass (20 plus times smaller than our sun) do not reach main sequence and burn out relatively quick. They are called Brown Dwarfs .
If the star mass is enough, the main sequence continues and the star begins to grow in size and becomes a Red Giant . It will burn for billions of years if it is an average size star like our sun. Red Giant In 4-5 billion years our Sun will reach the Red Giant stage and will consume Mercury and possibly Venus.
Eventually the average size star will deplete it’s helium and begin to collapse in size. It’s outer gaseous layers blow off in clouds (called planetary nebula) and its core (80% of mass) will cool and dim becoming a White Dwarf . Finally, burning out and becoming a Black Dwarf .
The story is different for the Massive Star. Those stars with a mass of 9 to 100’s of times larger than our own sun, will continue to expand through their main sequence (past the Red Giant stage) until reaching Super Giant status. They will not burn for billions of years but for only millions. Eventually, as it expends it’s energy, a sudden collapse takes place. The Super Giant explodes in what is called a Supernova . An explosion so bright that it may outshine it’s home galaxy. What remains will be a neutron star (which sometimes manifests itself as a pulsar or, in the case of the largest stars (large enough to leave a stellar remnant greater than roughly 4 solar masses), a black hole .
A black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing can escape after having fallen past the event horizon. The name comes from the fact that even electromagnetic radiation (e.g. light) is unable to escape, rendering the interior invisible. However, black holes can be detected if they interact with matter outside the event horizon , for example by drawing in gas from an orbiting star. The gas spirals inward, heating up to very high temperatures and emitting large amounts of radiation in the process. Black Holes Scientists believe there may be one at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy
Our sun is the size of a pinhole in comparison.
The moon is about 238,900 miles from Earth on average. At its closest approach (the lunar perigee) the moon is 221,460 miles from the Earth. At its farthest approach (its apogee) the moon is 252,700 miles from the Earth. The moon revolves around the Earth in about one month (27 days 8 hours). It rotates around its own axis in the same amount of time. The same side of the moon always faces the Earth; it is in a synchronous rotation with the Earth. The Moon's orbit is expanding over time as it slows down (the Earth is also slowing down as it loses energy). For example, a billion years ago, the Moon was much closer to the Earth roughly 130,000 miles and took only 20 days to orbit the Earth. Also, one Earth 'day' was about 18 hours long (instead of our 24 hour day). The tides on Earth were also much stronger since the moon was closer to the Earth. Mare (plural maria) means "sea," but maria on the moon are plains on the moon. They are called maria because very early astronomers thought that these areas on the moon were great seas. Maria are concentrated on the side of the moon that faces the Earth; the far side has very few of these plains. Scientists don't know why this is so.
Pluto was the smallest planet and usually the farthest from the sun. (no longer considered a planet)
Pluto is now recognized as the largest member of a distinct region called the Kuiper belt.
I am not a planet !
Comets A comet is a small body in the Solar System that orbits the Sun and, when close enough to the Sun, exhibits a visible coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail — both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comet's nucleus. The nucleus itself measures a few kilometers or tens of kilometers across, and is composed mostly of rock, dust and ice. Comets originate in the outer solar system; they are thrown inwards towards the Sun by gravitational perturbations from planets or nearby stars. They have a variety of different orbital periods, ranging from a few years, to 50 or 100 years, to thousands of years, while some are believed to pass through the inner Solar System only once before being thrown out into interstellar space.
Meteors A meteoroid is a small sand to boulder-sized particle of debris in the Solar system. Larger than that, the object is an asteroid; smaller than that, it is interplanetary dust. The current official definition of a meteoroid from the International Astronomical Union is "A solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom or molecule." A meteorite is a portion of a meteoroid or asteroid that survives its passage through the atmosphere and impact with the ground without being destroyed. The visible path of a meteoroid that enters Earth's (or another body's) atmosphere is a meteor, commonly called a "shooting star" or "falling star". During the entry of a meteoroid into the upper atmosphere, an ionization trail is created, where the molecules in the upper atmosphere are ionized by the passage of the meteor. Meteoroids are entering the atmosphere constantly, essentially every few seconds in a given region, and thus ionization trails can be found in the upper atmosphere more or less continuously.
Asteroids Asteroids , also called minor planets or planetoids, are a class of astronomical objects. The term asteroid is generally used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies in the solar system that orbit around the Sun. 'Asteroid' (Greek for "star-like") is the most commonly used word in the English literature for minor planets, which has been the term preferred by the International Astronomical Union; some other languages prefer planetoid (Greek: "planet-like"), because it more or less describes what they are. Carbon, Silica, and Metallic are the most common material types forming Asteroids.
California has a variety of great Outdoor Classrooms from which to TEACH
Possible Topics and Themes Exploration of fresh water streams & tidepooling. Introduction to comparative ecosystems. Plant identification and their uses. Local wildlife observation and animal behavior.
Understanding the dynamics of an ecosystem. Regional geology and watershed studies. Exploring the relationship between humans and their environment. Star studies and the night sky. Marine biology and earth’s oceans.
Catalina Island North Coast Beaches South Coast Beaches
So… You got all that? As was stated at the beginning, this info is an overview of what MIGHT be taught on NAL programs. A five day science program would possibly hit on many of the main topics. Reality teaches us that a student’s brain will retain little of the facts you may throw out there into a lesson. So keep the lessons short and focused. One or two key concepts, a couple key vocabulary words, and a variety of approaches (a game, a directed observation task, a journal sketch, etc.) will create a chance for UNDERSTANDING. You don’t need to know every plant name or rock type that you see. But, your own, on the spot observations, may offer you and your students some interesting topics for discussion. Why might it look like that? How does that characteristic help it survive? What might be it’s role in this environment? Guide your students in their exploration. Nudge them into taking a closer look. Imagine what it would be like to have each of your students understanding the relationship between a mountain stream and the water from their tap at home. And from that point forward, every time they drink water, they remember what they learned…from you! So… You got all that?
Now What ? To take advantage of the basic info contained in this presentation and to get yourself even more prepared for teaching, here’s a suggestion. Since you will be teaching in and around California, pick a couple plants and animals that would be easily found among the major biomes of the state. You could base your decisions on the sites you are scheduled to work. A few examples that you might choose from: Coyote, Black Bear, Mule Deer, Red Tail Hawk, Stellar Jay, Western Rattlesnake, etc. And/Or Yellow Pine, Giant Sequoia, Oak, Sycamore, Manzanita, Sage, Prickly Pear, etc. Learn a bunch about each you choose. Maybe learn about how the Native Americans viewed or used the resource. (Take notes on 4x6 note cards that you can add to your “NAL Brain” that you will receive at training). Once you figure out all the relationships your animal or plant has with it’s community, many natural processes make much more sense. Also sharing fun and interesting facts about particular plant or animal types will encourage you and your students to continue learning. As you move about the state of Nalifornia, NAL will make available to you many resource materials that will help you grow as a Naturalist at Large.
California Science Framework Concepts Ecosystems K-12 Grades And just so you know…
L iving things need special kinds of food and a special place to live. L iving things get things they need from each other and the environment. A ll animals eat plants and/or other animals. T he same kinds of living often live together in a group. U sually, several kinds of living things live with or near each other. Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing M atch pictures of different foods with pictures of the plants or animals from which these foods come. Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing P repare a list of sets that describe animals living; e.g. herd, pride, flock Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing O bserve and describe a variety of organisms living together in communities. K-3
A ll the individuals of one species that live in a limited area are called a population. Populations can be counted, and their size can be estimated using sampling techniques. T he effect on other populations needs to be considered along with other costs and benefits when human activities that affect the environment are evaluated. E ach species needs a particular physical environment. A ll living things that share a particular environment are called a community. A n ecosystem consists of a community of living things interacting with each other and with the physical environment. M ost ecosystems derive their energy from the sun through photosynthesis in green plants (producers). Animals and some plants (consumers) derive their energy from plants and/or other animals. Decomposers (usually microorganisms like bacteria and fungi) get their energy from dead plant and animal matter and animal waste products, breaking them down into simple substances such as carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, water, and mineral salts. 3-6
F ood chains and food webs indicate the eating patterns of the members of an ecosystem. Predators are animals (and a few plants) that kill and eat other animals (prey). Scavengers are animals that eat dead plant and animal tissue. Parasites are animals or plants that feed off other animals or plants called hosts. Knowledge of food chains and webs is used in biological control of pests. Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing S elect three topsoil samples, count the insects, group them into similar kinds, and estimate the number of each in a square meter plot Observing, Communicating, Comparing Compare the aspects of the physical environment of different ecosystems; e.g. temperature, moisture, and light. Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing Prepare and label a chart illustrating the living things in a particular environment. 3-6
Observing, Organizing, Comparing Organizing U se library reference materials to illustrate and describe the succession of a pond or lake into a wooded area. Observe and describe examples of succession; e.g. intrusion of weeds into a parking lot. Observing, Communicating, Comparing Organizing, Relating P repare, maintain, and record the interactions (both biological and chemical) in a balanced aquarium. Adjust the balance as necessary over time. Observing, Communicating, Comparing, Organizing, Relating I llustrate a food web of an ecosystem, including at least one of each of the following: producers, primary consumers, predators, scavengers, parasites, and decomposers. 3-6
F ood chains and food webs indicate the flow of energy that maintains an ecosystem. H uman activities as well as natural phenomena affect weather and climate conditions. L ong-term population changes occur as climates change. grass, ivy, and other ground covers. S uccession is a process in which some ecosystems change over time. As changes occur in physical features of the system, new species move in, population sizes change, and so forth. Observing, Organizing, Comparing Organizing Use references to develop a food pyramid for a carnivore and an omnivore, relating the ultimate energy source to the sun. Observing, Organizing, Comparing C ompare and record temperatures above asphalt, concrete, bare soil, Discuss which ground covers reflect and which absorb heat. 6-9
Because of the intricate relationships that exist among the living things and because of the abiotic features of an ecosystem, a change to one part of the system may have far-reaching consequences to the system that are difficult to predict or control. T he human species poses special problems for ecosystems because of the recent rapid increase in human population; depletion of resources; widespread use of technology to alter the environment; widespread manipulation of populations of other species; and pollution of air, water and land. Land use, pollution, energy use and application of technology all involve ethical considerations for individuals and society. Understanding of life cycles, predator- prey relationships, metabolism of organisms, and so forth make possible the control or eradication of populations of destructive organisms. Such activity always has some effects on the rest of the ecosystem. 9-12
Observing, Communicating, Comparing , Organizing, Relating, Inferring, Applying P redict the results of introducing a living organism that preys on one component of an ecosystem and has no predators there. Observing, Communicating, Comparing , Organizing, Relating, Inferring, Applying P repare an essay on the topic, "The Impact of Humans on the Environment of the North American Continent During the Last 500 Years." Predict the impact of human behaviors on particular local environments; e.g. smog, landfill, logging, and water depletion. Observing, Communicating, Comparing , Organizing, Relating, Inferring, Applying P repare to debate the topic, "Pests Can Be Controlled Without Damage to the Ecosystem." 9-12