WEBCAST: Human Impacts and Extinction of Freshwater Snails

Ellen Strong wearing a flourescent vest and hardhat, crouched in a stream habitat with a sampling jar.

Zoologist Dr. Ellen Strong wearing protective gear to sample snails from a stream near a nickel mine. Photo by Philippe Bouchet, Paris Museum.

LIVE WEBCAST: May 11, 2017, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT

Smithsonian Science How: Human Impacts and Extinction of Freshwater Snails

Featuring Zoologist Ellen Strong

Meet Dr. Ellen Strong, a zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Learn about the risks faced by snail populations in rapidly-changing freshwater ecosystems. Consider the ecological impacts of human activities such as damming and mining, which supply people with resources. Follow Ellen to freshwater streams around the U.S. as she studies vulnerable snail populations. See how Ellen discovers new species as she races to catalogue the biodiversity of freshwater snails, even as some species are faced with extinction. Register 

How do you participate in the webcast program?

1. REGISTER for the webcast

   2. WATCH the live webcast

      3. Get TEACHING RESOURCES for the webcast

         4. Design an ASSESSMENT for your students

            5. Take the webcast SURVEY

               6. Consult the webcast TECH GUIDE (PDF)


The Freshwater Snail webcast package supports students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations by offering a set of resources that integrate science concepts with science practice skills.

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems
  • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem
  • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations
  • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services

MS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

  • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems