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Bark Beetle Outbreaks

National Science Foundation, NBC Learn, Science 360 Network

In this video, the mountain pine beetle problem is explained by two scientist. Their research investigates the beetle and how climate change is impacting its spread.

Video length 5:14 minutes.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
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Climate impacts ecosystems and past species extinctions
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Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
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Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
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Climate change has consequences
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Use as part of an ecosystem or climate science unit or lesson.
  • Extension suggestions: research how the mountain pine beetle infestation has affected ecosystems (bear habitats) and changed laws. How big is the area affected? What effect does a changing climate have on the beetle infestation?
  • Have students sketch out how mountain pine beetle infestation affects different spheres.

About the Science

  • Drs. Raffa and Blomquist study the mountain pine beetle and how climate change is impacting its spread. Their research focuses on mountain pine beetles' pheromones – which attract other beetles to the infested trees thereby overwhelming and killing the trees – in order to prevent further outbreaks of these beetles.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Excellent explanation of some of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) ecology, including a good primer on pheremones and mass attack. Good illustrations, and the people interviewed truly are experts in the field. Makes mechanistic links between MPB and climate change.

About the Pedagogy

  • Very clear and concise explanation of the life cycle of mountain pine beetles.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A good selection of graphics and images are used.

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