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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Human Impacts and Extinction of Freshwater Snails

In this video, zoologist Ellen Strong explains the roles freshwater snails play in ecosystems, and how human activities put them at risk. 


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. This show aired May 11, 2017.

Invertebrate Zoology


National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Life Science


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


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

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

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