What’s the Problem with Trawling?
Commercial trawling has a devastating effect on biodiversity in areas where it has been used. Large commercial trawlers have been historically decimating both marine environments and significantly decreasing stock levels to a level at which they are unable to recuperate. The impact on communities sitting on the seafloor, known as benthic communities is devastating, the primary culprit being drag trawlers with beams of up to 12 meters, and several beams often deployed at the same time. This lesson looks at the effect of commercial trawling on both fish stocks and benthic community biodiversity. Students will understand relative sizes and impacts of large-scale fishing operations, and devise a plan to reduce the impacts of trawling. Students perform percentage calculations and analyze graphs.
Virtual Field Trip: Aquaponics 101 with Mr. Jim Trogdon and Mr. Paul Brentlinger
Join EarthEcho International and 2017 EarthEcho Expeditions Fellow, Mr. Jim Trogdon, and Mr. Paul Brentlinger, CEO of CropKing Inc as we learn all about aquaponics.
In this curricular guide, middle school students learn about an alternative farming technique that addresses water use in agricultural farming, the environmental impacts of fish farms, and urban development and population growth. This guide promotes 21st-century skills by engaging students in the history of aquaponics through various texts; improving their communication skills by explaining how an aquaponics system works; and engineering your own classroom aquaponics unit through an interactive design challenge!
Water by Design: Aquaponics 101
In Southern California, about 80% of the freshwater supply is used for farming. Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau meet with executive chef and farmer Adam Navidi from Future Foods Farms in Brea, CA. Chef Adam uses an innovative farming design called aquaponics to grow lettuce, vegetables, and even fish with less water than the average family uses at home on a daily basis.
Increasing Food Production with Precision Agriculture
Participating in this hands-on lesson, students in grades 6-8 will lead each other through the integration and application of a real-life situation. This lesson provides a PowerPoint and worksheets to help students understand precision agriculture and its use of geographic information systems to help farmers use a sustainable growing method. Students will then integrate their knowledge and skills to create their own mini irrigation system.
Scientist Profile: Kevin Lutz
Kevin Lutz is an Agriculture Conservation Technician and Assistant Agriculture Program Manager with the Lancaster County Conservation District. This scientist works with farmers to protect their land and the associated local waterways. He can be found doing everything from checking the construction of a manure storage facility on a dairy farm to walking fields and developing a conservation plan on a hog farm to comparing water quality reading in local streams. Sometimes he can even be found selling trees at the Conservation District’s annual tree sale! The variety in his job keeps it exciting, while the end result keeps it rewarding.
Into the Dead Zone: What Happens When We Eat?
Agricultural runoff contributes almost half of the nutrients that feed the Chesapeake Bay dead zone. Join Philippe Cousteau and the EarthEcho Expeditions team as they learn about life on a dairy farm in Lancaster, PA.