Overview

So what does it take to become a wetlands ecologist? Discover the answers by watching this Serious Science video and reading the information below. And to take this learning adventure into your classroom, have your teacher download the free Lesson Activity at the bottom of this page so everyone can share in the fun of this inquiry based learning.

To study wetlands ecology, scientists explore the relationship of all the non-living factors (abiotic) and the living parts (biotic) of an ecosystem. By studying these relationships and how they affect each other, scientists can gain a better understanding of how all the parts of wetlands function. That makes sense, right? So for you to discover firsthand how a wetland functions, let’s put you into the role of a wetland ecologist. It’s a fun way to learn about wetlands. First, you’ll need a wetland to study. Find one close to where you live and get the permission of your parents and landowners to visit and study it.

To make your job easy and to create a clear method of study, begin by drawing an ecological pyramid similar to the one shown here. Use a large piece of poster board that will give you plenty of room to add items to the different levels. The lowest level will contain the “abiotic factors”. The next level up will contain the “producers”. And the upper four levels will contain the “consumers”. But don’t fill in any of the levels yet.

Now it’s time to go explore and begin recording what you discover. Again, let your parents know where you’re going and why. Leave your poster at home. Take a journal to write in and go to your wetland. As you walk around the edge of the wetland, record everything that you think belongs in the bottom “abiotic factors” level. These are the non-living parts of the ecosystem that help support life in the levels above it. If you get wet feet or warm from the sun, you already have two big clues.

Josh draws on whiteboard

Taking what he’s learned in the marsh, Josh draws a wetland ecological pyramid.

 

To learn the rest of this story on becoming a wetlands ecologist, just watch the video. But if you want to take this wetlands ecology stuff to a whole new lever, get your friends involved using the companion classroom Lesson Guide below.

 

wet.logoTo really get your feet wet in understanding the wetlands ecology, students and educators can learn all about the various roles of water in our lives by exploring Project WET’s Discover Water. Just follow the link and dive into all the wet learning there.

And see the Learn More option below to… well learn more!

Plus, the educational partner noted below supported the video and companion lesson content here for all of us to learn from. They also offer other learning opportunities on their website. So click on their logo to discover more!

BIA

Available Lessons

Middle School Lessons