Measuring Biodiversity: Life in One Cubic Foot featuring Chris Meyer

Chris Meyer

Dr. Chris Meyer getting ready to recover ARMs in Moorea, French Polynesia. In his webcast, he explains ARMS and other techniques to measure biodiversity. Photo by David Liittschwager.


The April 10 webcasts about Measuring Biodiversity, featuring Chris Meyer, have ended. Links to recordings of both shows are below. If you participated in either live show on April 10, or watched an archived version of the webcast, we'd appreciate your feedback on the experience.
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11 a.m. EDT Measuring Biodiversity webcast, featuring Chris Meyer - archive

2 p.m. EDT Measuring Biodiversity webcast, featuring Chris Meyer - archive


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. 


Use the related resources below to take your students on a journey to understand how biologists study the biodiversity of Earth. Design an assessment for your class.

Lessons Printable, inquiry-based lessons that teachers prepare and facilitate in the classroom using everyday material

Excerpt from an STC Program™ unit from the Smithsonian Science Education Center: Exploration Activity on Endangered Species

Click-through Activities Online activities that students can complete independently on classroom computers or at home

Literacy Resources Reading selections to boost science literacy

Science Expert Role Models Links to inspiring science experts at the Smithsonian and beyond

  • Chris Meyer Zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History
  • Allen Collins Zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History
  • Chris Mah Invertebrate Zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History
  • Carole Baldwin Icthyologist at the National Museum of Natural History
  • Nancy Knowlton Sant Chair for Marine Science

At the National Museum of Natural History A window into what's available at the museum

Q?rius Explore Q?rius, a new way to experience the research, collections, and science at the National Museum of Natural History.


The Quantifying Biodiversity Webcast Package supports students in meeting the NGSS Performance Expectations listed below by offering a set of resources that integrate science concepts with science practice skills.

MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics

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