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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Island Biodiversity - Tracking Human Influences

In this video, archaeologist Dr. Torben Rick talks about the impacts early inhabitants of North America had on island and coastal ecosystems.


Meet Dr. Torben Rick, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Join him in analyzing archaeological evidence of human life on islands. Look back over thousands of years of influence of humans on the West Coast (Channel Islands) and East Coast (Chesapeake Bay). See how changing environmental conditions interacted with human lifestyles to shape the biodiversity of the islands. Follow Torrey as he uses radiocarbon-dating of bones, DNA analysis, and other techniques to tackle elusive questions such as how foxes arrived in the Channel Islands. Find out how archaeological information can help manage island ecosystems today. This show aired November 6, 2014.



National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science
Earth and Human Activity
  • Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
Life Science
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.


People, Places, and Environments

  • The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world
  • During their studies, learners develop an understanding of spatial perspectives, and examine changes in the relationship between peoples, places and environments

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

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