Topic: Ecology

Mud

Science Middle School

What is Being an Ecologist Really Like?

Life Science Ecosystems Ecology

Some jobs such as doctor, lawyer and teacher, are easy to imagine and define. Other jobs, like being a shellfish and wetland ecologist is a bit harder for young people to understand. Help your students understand what an ecologist does by hearing from ecologist Danielle Kreeger. Kreeger is the science director for a group that works to protect and improve the Delaware River and Bay.

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Seed diversity

Science Middle School

Heirloom Seeds Bring Back Diversity

Life Science Ecology Plants

Heirloom seeds are more than 50 years old and are not genetically modified. Jere Gettle, author of "The Heirloom Life Gardener," is particularly fascinated by heirloom seeds and he noticed they were being dropped by seed catalogs in the 1980s. The plants they produce are typically different from what we see in the grocery store. Listen to learn more about Gettle’s fight to bring heirloom plants back to our dinner tables.

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Energy of ecosystems

Science Middle School

Industrial Scale Composting

Life Science Ecosystems Physical Science Energy Ecology

Students in Bellingham, Washington, pushed to introduce composting programs at their high schools and these programs proved successful. This public radio story also gives an insider's view of industrial scale composting from multiple perspectives. It follows food from the school cafeteria to the compost site where it is transformed by microorganisms and eventually to home gardens and nurseries where compost is applied as fertilizer and mulch.

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Sea slug animal or plant

Science Middle School

Sea Slug: Animal or Plant?

Life Science Genetics Ecosystems Oceans DNA Ecology

The little green sea slug is a puzzle to scientist because it can live in fresh water. Scientists discover the sea slug uses photosynthesis like a plant and has the DNA of a slug and algae.This audio story raises the question of whether the sea slug is an animal or a plant.

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Mimicking a beetle

Science Middle School

Biomimicry and a Desert Beetle

Life Science Earth and Space Science Engineering Physical Science Ecology

Copying the way a desert beetle gets water, scientists have designed a membrane that can extract water from the air. Since all air contains water, even in the desert, this could provide a very inexpensive way to supply drinking water. This audio story describes an application of the idea of “biomimicry,” or using ideas from nature to solve technological problems. Listen to learn how this idea can help solve the problem of scarce drinking water.

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Somethings in the water hole

Science Middle School

Low

Microbes in the Water Hole

Life Science Environment Ecosystems Human Impacts Ecology

While popular swimming holes are commonly tested for bacteria, few are tested for protozoans. This audio story discusses the problem of protozoan-caused illnesses for swimmers in rivers, lakes and ponds. The story distinguishes between different types of microbes, and is an excellent introduction to classification of microorganisms and/or classification in general.

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Japanese knotweeds strange superpowers

Science Middle School

Japanese Knotweed's Invasive Superpowers

Life Science Ecology Plants

Even beautiful plants can sometimes be detrimental to the environment. This public radio story takes place in Michigan where the sale of Japanese knotweed has been outlawed following unchecked growth of the large ornamental plant. Japanese knotweed is fast-growing, aggressive and hard to control. It can destroy pavement and even houses and it is unlikely to be eradicated any time soon.

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Losing linnaeus

Science Middle School

DNA Changes the Linnaean Classification System

Life Science Ecosystems Ecology Plants

The naming of every living thing has it's place because of a Swedish biologist. This public radio story is about the system we use to organize life called Linnean system, named after Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. But now new DNA technology is changing the way to think about the classification system.

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