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ERIC Number: EJ1163739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
A Field-Based Biomimicry Exercise Helps Students Discover Connections among Biodiversity, Form and Function, and Species Conservation during Earth's Sixth Extinction
Soja, Constance M.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v62 n4 p679-690 Nov 2014
In a first-year seminar on mass extinctions, a field-based, paleontology-focused exercise promotes active learning about Earth's biodiversity, form and function, and the biomimicry potential of ancient and modern life. Students study Devonian fossils at a local quarry and gain foundational experience in describing anatomy and relating form to biological function. Another goal is to give students a firsthand opportunity to evaluate the fossil record and what it reveals about past mass extinction episodes on our planet. Students who complete this exercise acquire the basic tools for developing and testing hypotheses. They become more skilled at making observations and inferences about familiar species that live in modern environments and about the strange and marvelous creatures that inhabited Earth's lost worlds. Finally, students gain valuable insights into how bioinspired designs can solve human problems in a sustainable way, elevating their appreciation for the value of species conservation as the Sixth Extinction gains traction.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A