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Inland Fish and Warming Waters
http://pie-lter.ecosystems.mbl.edu/content/inland-fish-and-warming-waters-curriculum

Massachusetts Audubon, Plum Island Ecosystems LTER

This activity relates water temperature to fishery health within inland freshwater watersheds as a way to explore how environmental factors of an ecosystem affect the organisms that use those ecosystems as important habitat.


Activity takes about one to two hours.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 8 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 2 Performance Expectations, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 8 Science and Engineering Practices

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

  • Educators can use parts of the lesson that are best for their grade level.
  • Consider using the extension activity.
  • Potential to make more inquiry-based by having students take more ownership of the activity and completing tasks such as making their own data table for the graph.

About the Science

  • Activity explores the impact of temperature and dissolved oxygen on 4 species of inland fish, illustrating interdependent relationships in an ecosystem, including the impacts of human actions.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The study presented here has established the relationship between water temperature, dissolved oxygen and fish biota. The major strength is: establishing direct relationship between certain fish species with impacts of climate change. Each fish has its own comfort zone, and this study addresses each fish type and how they are influenced by change in temperature and DO.

About the Pedagogy

  • Overall protocol is not region-specific, but the activity is tied to a specific region - Plum Island, Massachusetts.
  • Activity has clear and well-scaffolded procedures for teachers and students to follow.
  • Activity includes explanation of the NGSS addressed, how the lesson meets the Massachusetts science and technology /engineering curriculum frameworks, and applicable climate literacy principles.
  • Sampling water from local sources may be problematic with respect to temperature unless there is a river, stream, or lake on site or close by as water temperature can change drastically over time. However as long as this is addressed in the lesson (i.e. ask student how the sampling methods might be limited) the idea of sampling local sources can still be useful.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The materials are all downloadable. May need internet access at some point if completing the suggested follow-ups.
  • Student worksheets and teacher keys provided.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 1

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

MS-LS2.A1:Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors.

MS-LS2.C1:Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

MS-LS2.C2:Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health

Cross Cutting Concepts: 6

Energy and Matter, Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C1.2: Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.1:Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

MS-C5.4:The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.

MS-C7.1: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.

MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.

Science and Engineering Practices: 8

Developing and Using Models, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information, Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P1.6:Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles.

MS-P2.2:Develop or modify a model— based on evidence – to match what happens if a variable or component of a system is changed.

MS-P3.2:Conduct an investigation and/or evaluate and/or revise the experimental design to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of the investigation

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P5.4:Apply mathematical concepts and/or processes (e.g., ratio, rate, percent, basic operations, simple algebra) to scientific and engineering questions and problems.

MS-P6.3:Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

MS-P7.2:Respectfully provide and receive critiques about one’s explanations, procedures, models, and questions by citing relevant evidence and posing and responding to questions that elicit pertinent elaboration and detail.

MS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.

High School

Performance Expectations: 2

HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.

HS-LS2-6: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

HS-ESS3.C1:The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.

HS-LS2.C:Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

HS-LS4.D2:Biodiversity is increased by the formation of new species (speciation) and decreased by the loss of species (extinction).

Cross Cutting Concepts: 5

Patterns, Cause and effect, Systems and System Models, Stability and Change

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.

HS-C2.4:Changes in systems may have various causes that may not have equal effects.

HS-C4.2:When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.

HS-C7.1:Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.

HS-C7.2:Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.

Science and Engineering Practices: 8

Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Developing and Using Models, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

HS-P1.6:Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the school laboratory, research facilities, or field (e.g., outdoor environment) with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on a model or theory.

HS-P2.3:Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system

HS-P3.2:Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly.

HS-P4.4:Compare and contrast various types of data sets (e.g., self-generated, archival) to examine consistency of measurements and observations.

HS-P5.2:Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.

HS-P6.2:Construct and revise an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

HS-P7.2:Evaluate the claims, evidence, and/or reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments.

HS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically).


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