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  • Snapshot Wisconsin
Animal Alphabet
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The animal alphabet is a series of slides that introduces students to Wisconsin wildlife species and other basic ecology vocabulary. Each slide has a letter of the alphabet and associated animal or ecology term. Educators can use this as a daily activity, introducing one slide each day, or present all in one sitting. The activity utilizes photographs from Snapshot Wisconsin trail cameras (except where noted) and can be used to assist in introducing the Snapshot Wisconsin program.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Colorful Critters
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The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the advantages behind the colors and patterns displayed on Wisconsin critters using a collection of photos from Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen science project utilizing a statewide network of trail cameras. This lesson plan includes an optional outdoor activity.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships
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In this hands-on activity, students will identify producers and consumers their own state of Wisconsin. Using a set of “Snapshot cards,” they will then create a food chain to show the flow of energy in that system, introduce an ecological force or disturbance (e.g., flooding), and predict how that force would impact energy flow. Lastly, students will construct a more complex model of the flow of energy by depicting multiple relationships in a food web and again make a prediction about the impact of introducing an ecological force.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Ecology
Environmental Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Making Observations
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This activity complements Snapshot Wisconsin, a volunteer-based wildlife monitoring project involving a statewide network of trail cameras. In this activity, students will use the trail camera photos to make observations and ask scientific questions. Students gain experience with the scientific process by making detailed observations and using these observations to pose questions that can be answered by further observations and/or experiments to gain insights into important ecological processes.

Students are first introduced to the practice of making observations and posing questions using a single trail camera photo taken at a unique place and time. Students then make observations based on groups of photos taken at various locations or during different time periods to identify trends across space and time. This lesson plan includes an optional activity that takes students outside to make observations.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Ecology
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Measuring Biodiversity
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In this activity, students will learn about different measures of biodiversity: richness, Shannon diversity index, and evenness. Students will begin by calculating these indices by hand using a very small sample data set. Students will then read an overview of the Northern Lakes and Forests and Southern Wisconsin Till Plains, two different Wisconsin ecoregions, and use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to calculate and compare biodiversity from a Snapshot Wisconsin database

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Schoolyard Stewards
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A key component of wildlife management is understanding the impact that humans have on their surrounding environment. In this activity students will begin to explore the human impacts that their school yard is experiencing from air, soil, and water pollution.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Ecology
Environmental Science
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Snap-a-thon
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Snap-a-thons are a fun way to learn about Wisconsin wildlife and about the Snapshot Wisconsin program. The lesson plan is also an opportunity to bring community members or students together for a positive experience. We (the Snapshot team) use Snap-a-thons as an outreach tool to get people involved with classifying animals on Zooniverse, and if you host an event there is the added bonus of helping us!

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Trophic Cascades
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This activity reviews the concept of trophic cascades. Trophic cascades occur when predators reduce the abundance or change the activity of their prey, thereby allowing species in the next trophic level to increase in number. These indirect effects by the predator can trickle down (or cascade) to many lower levels of the food chain. In a classic example, sea otters protect kelp forests, sea otters protect kelp forests by controlling the abundance of urchins that graze upon the kelp. In the absence of otters, urchins consume most of the kelp and negatively affect other organisms that live in the kelp forests.
Trophic cascades have been described in numerous ecosystems ranging from kelp forests of the Pacific Ocean to arctic islands, to Central American jungles, to salt marshes. In this activity student use organism cards to build examples of trophic cascades based in different ecosystems, including several in Wisconsin!

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Wildlife Detectives
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Students will have the opportunity to learn about animal signs, including tracks, sounds and coats and how to infer that information through a series of “mystery scenes.” Each mystery scene incorporates a basic biology concept appropriate for early elementary.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Wisconsin Critter Count
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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources uses a variety of tools and techniques to monitor wildlife, and to produce population estimates to better inform management decisions. Population estimates are used to look at long term trends, as well as setting harvest limits during hunting seasons for potentially vulnerable species. There are two count methods for generating population information: sample counts and total counts. In total counts, every individual of an intended geographic area is counted. For sample counts, a smaller fraction of individuals are counted and the data is used to interpolate population information for the entire geographic area. In this activity, you will create a model for these two different count methods and explore the advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019