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Liz Hadly Tracks the Impact of Climate Change in Yellowstone


This video highlights specific climate change-related phenomena that are threatening the flora and fauna of Yellowstone National Park.

Video length is 7:28 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Energy Literacy

Ecosystems are affected by changes in the availability of energy and matter.
Other materials addressing:
3.5 Ecosystems are affected by availability of energy..

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

  • Could be used in biology or environmental science to introduce the concept of how small changes in the environment can have profound effects on an ecosystem and food webs.

About the Science

  • Hadley and biologist Sean Carroll discuss the different ways in which climate change is impacting Yellowstone National Park's ecosystems. Examples include pine bark beetles and drought.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The 7-minute video nicely illustrates some of the ecological linkages between different species in Yellowstone; it entirely attributes the beetle infestation of whitebark pine, and the drying of ponds and associated declines in amphibians, to climate change, but does not consider the other stressors co-occuring with climate change; the video provides a very broad-brush look at complex issues, supporting the narration's simple thesis that Yellowstone is vulnerable to influences coming from outside the park.

About the Pedagogy

  • A very coherent, clear explanation of how different species in a food web are affected by changes in climate.
  • Accompanying worksheet (PDF) for students is available to complete as they watch the video
  • Comments from expert scientist: The associated "Student Worksheet" asks 15 questions that address concepts and facts introduced in the video. The questions span an overly broad range of grade-level appropriateness and complexity, from very simple to very challenging. Some questions are simply not realistic for non-experts to try to grapple with, let alone answer, in the absence of substantive supplemental resources.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

MS-ESS3.C1:Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things.

MS-LS2.A2:In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction.

MS-LS2.A4:Similarly, predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared.

MS-LS2.B1:Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.

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-LS4.D1:Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

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

HS-LS2.C2:Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.

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