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RE: Research Topics at RMNP and Exploring the Local Environment for Researc

Erin Barr, modified 8 Years ago.

Research Topics at RMNP and Exploring the Local Environment for Research ?s

Youngling Posts: 3 Join Date: 6/14/12 Recent Posts
Hi All,

A possible research question for Rocky Mountain National Park is: What are some ways that moose (as an invasive species) have impacted the local environment? It would be interesting based off of Kristen Kaczynski's willow research, to continue a study based on other ways that moose impact RMNP. Aerial photographs from the past could be utilized with other collected data and students could also collect their own data. This question may need to be tapered down to a more specific question or it would also be beneficial to let students bounce around ideas related to the overarching idea.
As farmers, my students are very connected with the importance of their local land. For the majority of my students, basing a research topic around farming is an instant hook. There is already pressure on my students to be farmers and take over the family farm that has been in the family for several generations. Even though I prepare my students for college, many feel the pressure to not continue schooling after high school. Linking the local farming environment to classroom learning is a way to show my students that they can have it both ways.

Erin Barr
Deborah West, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Research Topics at RMNP and Exploring the Local Environment for Researc

Youngling Posts: 3 Join Date: 6/21/12 Recent Posts
I suppose with the moose not being native to the area, that watching them and the impact of their population would be a really good idea. I was really surprised by the amount of traffic we encountered today as we visited the park. All the normal questions came to mind. How many animals die each year as a result of traffic? How does the runoff from automobiles/streets affect the ecology of the park? Is there a way to reduce the negative human impact on the park and it's flora/fauna.
Yet, seeing all this made me think more about the environment back home and the types of questions we could ask and seek answers to.
What is the quality of the water, soil, and air of our community?
How does this quality affect the flora/fauna?
What could be done to improve the environmental quality of our community?
What could be done to ensure that the animals we hunt/fish and kill are safe for consumption(healthy)?
Are the flora/fauna of our community healthy? sustainable for food?

Many of the students/families in our community depend on hunting and fishing to provide protein for their meals in addition to the seasonal vegetables that are grown in our community. It is really important to ensure that these are plentiful, sustainable, and healthy. Science investigations can provide the answers and test possible solutions to our community problems. Using this hook should pull the students into the discussion and encourage them to something scientific that will also improve their own quality of life.
Carol Coryea, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Research Topics at RMNP and Exploring the Local Environment for Researc

Youngling Posts: 6 Join Date: 6/18/12 Recent Posts
I would be interested in the interactions of the fungi, the willows, the sap suckers and what event may have triggered this initial imbalance in the park. If all are native, maybe the uptake of certain minerals due to drought could have kicked something off. Also, with a mild winter it would be interesting to research if overwintering habits changed to create an imbalance.