The presentation focuses on biodiversity, how invasive species affect biodiversity, who is involved in detecting invasive species, and plant biosecurity. It also features other plant biosecurity issues such as those that affect our food supply, the USDA Select Agents and Toxins list, and agroterrorism events of the last century.
Students then complete an independent research activity in which they choose an animal, plant, or disease that is not currently found in the US and create a report and "Un-Wanted" poster about potential effects if it becomes established here.
Students will gain an understanding of how invasive species affect natural ecosystems and agricultural systems and that there are several agencies and individuals that monitor for invasive species.
In the activity, they will become familiar with some basic determinants of invasibility and use these to draw conclusions about potential effects of their chosen organism.
National Science Education Life Science Standards
- Grades 9-12: Human beings live within the world's ecosystems. Increasingly, humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.
Sunshine State Standards
- SC.912.L.17.8: Recognize the consequences of the losses of biodiversity due to catastrophic events, climate changes, human activity, and the introduction of invasive, non-native species.
- The scripted presentation can be downloaded from www.protectingusnow.org. Be sure to go over the text ahead of time, tweaking it as you need to for your audience. In addition, all 3 activities are included in the presentation, so be sure to remove the ones you do not wish to do.
- Download and make copies of student handout “Un-Wanted” Poster from www.protectingusnow.org.
- Be sure to reserve the computer lab (with internet) and library space. Listed below are several good websites for your students to use. Make sure your school does not have the sites blocked.
The activity can be found on Page 5 of the PDF linked below.
- The students will need access to computers (with internet and PowerPoint) and the library to complete this activity.
- They will also need access to a printer (preferably a color one).