North Shore Region
One-Week Institute for Middle and High School Educators
Research and Resiliency: Investigating the Local Effects of Global Changes
This year, participants explored coastal and inland habitats along the North Shore and investigated the ecology of theseenvironments as they experienced and designed inquiry-based investigations for their students using the Science and Engineering Practices. They learned how scientists and land managers work together to protect and preserve the resilience of local ecosystems and communities. Local habitats and communities are threatened by increased frequency and intensity of storm events, drought, sea level rise, invasive species and road impediments that block the flow of water. Teachers learned how to determine and evaluate the health of an ecosystem, explored engineering solutions that could minimize the negative human impacts to local habitats and communities, and investigated how organisms’ ranges are shifting in response to a warming climate. Participants ventured into the field with local scientists and used a variety of tools and techniques to collect, analyze, and communicate field data.
How are human activities impacting our planet’s climate, water cycle, and the balance and distribution of species and ecosystems? How are scientists investigating these questions in Massachusetts, and what steps are citizens taking to help have a more positive impact? Teachers assessed their own ecological footprints, and considered the most effective ways we can make a difference.
Participants learned how to use data collection and analysis to engage their students and introduce them to scientific research and potential career opportunities. Each day was filled with field studies, “hands-on, minds-on” investigations and discussions aimed to highlight the resiliency of our local habitats. During the course teachers also built and took back to their classrooms research equipment to use during field studies with their students.
Collaborators: Mass Audubon Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary, Plum Island Ecosystems LTER, Ipswich River Watershed Association, US Fish & Wildlife Services, Ipswich High School, Boston University, Salem Sound Coastwatch