Grade Level: 9-12
Introduction: Students will learn about methods that can be used to measure biodiversity, and determine an appropriate method for measuring biodiversity at different elevations within the cloud forest ecosystem. Students will create their own hypotheses, experimental designs, and collect data to answer the scientific question: How does epiphyte biodiversity in the canopy differ across a climate gradient? This lesson can be used as a continuation to the Canopy In The Clouds lesson “Measures of Biodiversity.”
Objectives: One computer with internet access per group and Canopy In The Clouds canopy panoramas #1-3. If multiple computers are not feasible, each group can work with printed photographs of panoramas #1-3 (preferably color). Overhead sheet of data table (optional), graph paper, and student handouts provided.
National Science Standards: Science as inquiry, Populations and ecosystems
Time: 60 minutes (5 minutes for opening, 10 minutes for handout and discussion, 10 minutes for media and methods selection, 20 minutes for data collection, 10 minutes for media review, 5 minutes for closing)