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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Measuring Biodiversity - Life in One Cubic Foot

In this video, marine biologist Dr. Chris Meyer explains the techniques he uses to measure biodiversity.


Dr. Christopher Meyer is a marine biologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Join him in peering into the diversity of life on coral reefs in Moorea and Indonesia. Consider why you would want to find and catalog all the species in an ecosystem and what it tells you about that ecosystem's resilience to change. Contemplate the importance of monitoring biodiversity in ecosystems around the world. See how techniques used by Chris can be used by students to measure biodiversity in their own neighborhoods. This show aired April 10, 2014.

Marine Biology


National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Life Science


Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-LS2-1Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-2Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • 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.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

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