Daily Excursion Activities and Lessons SVN3M

A. Las Canas Community
Background Information:
This is a beach side community that use to have more fishermen. But over fishing the
reefs have caused a significant decline in the number and size of the fish catch.
Fishing in this community would be considered subsistence living. They earn enough
to feed themselves and their family but not enough to often pay for extras (clothes,
school uniforms, toothpaste - things we take for granted).
Land in the Dominican Republic is always past down from generation to generation.
Most of the families in Las Canas were related to one man and his sister and the land
has been divided up through three generations of family. The houses on the beach
side of the road are mostly foreign owned whereas the houses on the other side are
locally owned
The rivers that empty into the ocean wash a torrent of plastic waste into the ocean
and onto the beaches after a rainfall.
Questions to address in daily journal and group discussions
Sustainable Agriculure and Forestry: What is subsistence
farming? Provide some examples of how the people in the
community are subsistence farmers? Is subsistence farmining
more sustainable than commercial farming practices?
Reducing and Managing Waste: Not too long ago a common
practice in many rural communities was to burn household waste
now there is waste pick up for this community as well as many
others. How would the burning of waste affect the health of the
people living here? Do you see any efforts to recycle waste?
Conservation of Energy: The DR receives a considerable amount of
annual sunshine – why don’t you see solar panels on the roofs of the
community houses but see some on the roofs/properties of the
resorts/vacation homes?
What are two other forms of renewable energy that are plentiful in the
community of Las Canas?
Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Challenges: How will climate
change affect the community of Las Canas? What are some
solutions or precautions the community could take in order to
mitigate these effects
Please make notes addressing the above issues on the next page
Notes for Las Canas Community:
B. Beach Clean-up, Coastal Erosion
Background Information:
The beach in Las Canas is typical of most beaches around the Dominican Republic. You
will notice that although not many people live in the area, the beach contains a
significant amount of waste. This is due to the fact that there are 3 rivers that flow into
the ocean near Las Canas. When it rains, garbage is transported from upstream
communities to the ocean where a great deal of it is then washed up onto the shore.
This is not just a problem for a small country like the DR, in Canada we struggle with trash
on our beaches as well. An event called The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup aims to
address the garbage littering our beaches nationwide
Rising sea levels are a result of climate change. There is a great deal of evidence of
coastal erosion along the beach. Mangrove forests help to reduce coastal erosion by
holding the sand in place with their huge root systems.
Questions to address in daily journal and group discussions
Sustainable Agriculure and Forestry: Protecting natural forests
instead of developing land can have multiple economic benefits
for a country - how might the mangrove forest we saw today
benefit the economy of the Dominican Republic?
Reducing and Managing Waste: Describe a few waste
management stratgies that could reduce the amount of garbage
on the beach. Do you as a tourist have a responsibility to try and
reduce youe waste production while on vacation?
Human Health and the Environment: As seen in the Water Brotjhers
videos, plastics are a huge problem in the worlds oceans, lakes and
rivers. When plastics breaks down into tiny pieces fish and marine life
consume it mistaking it for food. How might this impact human
Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Challenges: rising of sea
level s are having a devestating effect on coastal communities
world wide. What are some solutions that governments can
impliment to help communities ?
Please make notes addressing the above issues on the next page
Notes for Beach Cleanup and Coastal Erosion:
• To see first hand the indications of coastal
erosion as a result of seal level rise
• To investigate the types of waste found on
a typical beach in the DR
• To understand the ecological and
economic importance of Mangrove Forests
Part A.
We are first going to walk along the beach and take note of shoreline erosion - what evidence
do you see of the shoreline eroding? (take photos to document)
Evidence of shoreline erosion:
In what ways will sea level rise affect local economies?
What will happen to all the people who live in coastal communities as sea levels continue to rise
into the future – what possible impact will this have on Canada?
Spalding M, McIvor A, Tonneijck FH, Tol S and van Eijk P (2014) Mangroves for coastal defence. Guidelines for
coastal managers & policy makers. Published by Wetlands International and The Nature Conservancy. 42 p
Part B.
In this activity you are going to participate in a beach clean up and survey, comparing what you
find on the beach in Las Canas to what is most commonly found on the beaches in Canada.
You will be assigned groups.
Before you start decide individually: (circle one)
Hypothesis: We expect to find waste items that are SIMILAR/DIFFERENT from the most
common items found on Canadian Shores.
In your group you are to collect garbage as we walk along the beach for approximately 2 km.
Because there will be a number of people picking garbage please spread yourselves out and
pick up garbage maybe every 3 steps.TRY NOT TO BE BIASED! You will have a tendency to
pick up what is large or brightly coloured. Try and take 3 steps and then pick up what is closest
to you. One person holds the bag, one person records what had been found 2 people collect
garbage. Switch jobs ½ way through.
Record what you find in the chart below. It is blank as we don’t know what we will find. Create
categories as you go and use check mark or indicator for how many of a particular item you
have found
DATA CHART to be used during collection
Combine your findings with the other groups and create a Las Canas Beach Dirty Dozen list.
Canada’s Dirty Dozen List for 2015
2015 Ranking
Cigarette Butts
Food Wrappers
Plastic Bottle Caps
Plastic Beverage Bottles
Beverage Cans
Other Plastic & Foam
Straws & Stirrers
Other Plastic Bags
Metal Bottle Caps
Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic Lids
Paper Cups & Plates
Las Canas Beach Dirty Dozen List
How are the two lists different? How are they the same? What did you find
Evening Group Activity
Each Group will be given a copy of Mangroves for coastal defence Guidelines for coastal managers &
policy makers. Groups will be assigned a section to teach to the rest of the class – this should be
taught in an interactive manner (demonstration, acting, etc)
Page #
Subject Area
2.1 Mangroves reduce
wave damage
Enviro Science
2.2 Mangroves reduce
damage from large
Enviro Science
2.3 Mangroves can help
to reduce tsunami
Enviro Science
2.4 Mangroves reduce
erosion and bind soils
Enviro Science
2.5 Mangroves may
keep up with sea level
Enviro Science
3.1 Integrating
mangroves into coastal
defence strategies
Resource Mngt
3.2 Mangroves as part
of coastal zone
Resource Mngt
3.3 Bringing the
mangroves back
Resource Mngt
Section 4. Recognising
the multiple values of
Resource Mngt
Assigned to:
C. Taino Organic Farm
Taino Farm is a permaculture inspired, agro-tourism demonstration and education center
inspiring sustainable, nutritious food, hidden away on a tropical river outside the surf town
of Cabarete, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic..
The Taino Organic farm is very cutting edge for the region,with modern aquaponics and
water management systems, vermiculture, animal husbandry practices, as well as
apiculture and aquaculture. The systems are so advanced for the Dominican Republic that
some of the country’s best Universities take field trips out to visit the farm to learn more
about it’s systems.
Vision: Foster growth in our community, environment, and society with sustainable
farming. We strive to supply half of the ingredients for our farm to table restaurant in the
Extreme Hotel with our Aquaponics, Vermiculture and free range poultry systems.
Please make notes addressing the above issues on the next page
Questions to address in daily journal and group discussions
Sustainable Agriculure and Forestry: What
are some common environmental impacts
associated with farming? What options do
farmers have for managing these impacts?”
Reducing and Managing Waste: How does
organic farming reduce waste? Can some
waste be beneficial (one person's garbage...)
Human Health and the Environment: Do you ever
consider purchasing organic food? How might
organic food, like the food grown at Taino Farm be
better for people that large scale commercially
grown food?
Scientific Solutions to Contemporary
Challenges: Describe some of the sustainable
farming methods used at Taino
Notes for Taino Farm:
Explain how the following practices or systems represent sustainability
aquaponics systems
water management
vermiculture system
animal husbandry
food forests
annual gardens
tropical fruit tree collection
Vegetarian lunch
Solutions to Agriculture Zine
A 'zine' is a thematic compilation of information, art, images, maps, instructions for crafts,
recipes, poems, stories, quotes, thoughts, reflections, ideas, collages etc., put together by an
individual or group with the purpose of expressing an opinion and informing others. For our
'zine', the theme will be ‘Solving the Crisis of Agricultural Production.’ Let your prior
learning and experience at the farms inspire your work. Choose from one of the topics below.
You have been assigned a 1 page of the zine to communicate your understanding of the
issues with and solutions to agricultural production.
Enviromental Science
Resource Management
Soil Quality
Food Security
integrated pest management
Zine Rubric:
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Inquiry and
Note- 0
references = 0
All required
aspects are
present and
Most required
aspects are
present and
Some required
aspects are present
and referenced.
Few required
aspects are
present and
Zine Analysis
Issues with
agriculture and a
solution is
identified. Analysis
is thorough and
Issues with
agriculture and a
solution is
identified. Analysis
is good and well
Issues with
agriculture and a
solution is
identified. Analysis
is decent and not
well communicated.
Issues with
agriculture and a
solution is barely
identified. Analysis
is weak and not
Student Point of
View is
clear. Work is well
designed, easy to
read, creative and
Student Point of
View is
present. Work is
well designed,
somewhat creative
and engaging.
Student Point of
View is clear. Work
is not very well
designed, nor
creative or
Student Point of
View is unclear.
Work is not well
designed, nor
creative or
Work includes a
great deal of
reference to prior
Work includes a lot
of reference to
prior learning.
Work mentions
prior learning.
Work barely
mentions prior
D. Water Sampling:
Water Quality Parameters
Fecal Coliform
Human and animal wastes carried to stream systems are sources of pathogenic or diseasecausing, bacteria and viruses. The disease causing organisms are accompanied by other
common types of nonpathogenic bacteria found in animal intestines, such as fecal coliform
bacteria, enterococci bacteria, and escherichia coli, or E. coli bacteria.
Fecal coliform, enterococci, and E. coli bacteria are not usually disease-causing agents
themselves. However, high concentrations suggest the presence of disease-causing organisms.
Fecal coliform, enterococci, and E. coli bacteria are used as indicator organisms; they indicated
the probability of finding pathogenic organisms in a stream.
Hardness is frequently used as an assessment of the quality of water supplies. The hardness of
a water is governed by the content of calcium and magnesium salts (temporary hardness),
largely combined with bicarbonate and carbonate and with sulfates, chlorides, and other anions
of mineral acids (permanent hardness)
Nitrogen as Nitrate
Nitrate, or NO3-: Generally occurs in trace quantities in surface water. It is the essential nutrient
for many photosynthetic autotrophs and has been identified as the growth limit nutrient. It is only
found in small amounts in fresh domestic wastewater, but in effluent of nitrifying biological
treatment plants, nitrate may be found in concentrations up to 30 mg nitrate as nitrogen/L
Nitrate is a less serious environmental problem, it can be found in relatively high concentrations
where it is relatively nontoxic to aquatic organisms. When nitrate concentrations become
excessive, however, and other essential nutrient factors are present, eutrophication and
associated algal blooms can be become a problem (Fundamentals of Aquatic Toxicology,
Nitrogen as Nitrite
Nitrite, or NO2-: Nitrite is extremely toxic to aquatic life, however, is usually present only in trace
amounts in most natural freshwater systems because it is rapidly oxidized to nitrate. In sewage
treatment plants using nitrification process to convert ammonia to nitrate, the process may be
impeded, causing discharge of nitrite at elevated concentrations into receiving waters.
pH is an important limiting chemical factor for aquatic life. If the water in a stream is too acidic or
basic, the H+ or OH- ion activity may disrupt aquatic organisms biochemical reactions by either
harming or killing the stream organisms.
pH is expressed in a scale with ranges from 1 to 14. A solution with a pH less than 7 has more
H+ activity than OH-, and is considered acidic. A solution with a pH value greater than 7 has
more OH- activity than H+, and is considered basic. The pH scale is logarithmic, meaning that
as you go up and down the scale, the values change in factors of ten. A one-point pH change
indicates the strength of the acid or base has increased or decreased tenfold.
Streams generally have a pH values ranging between 6 and 9, depending upon the presence of
dissolved substances that come from bedrock, soils and other materials in the watershed.
Changes in pH can change the aspects of water chemistry. For example, as pH increases,
smaller amounts of ammonia are needed to reach a level that is toxic to fish. As pH decreases,
the concentration of metal may increase because higher acidity increases their ability to be
dissolved from sediments into the water
Water Temperature is a controlling factor for aquatic life: it controls the rate of metabolic
activities, reproductive activities and therefore, life cycles. If stream temperatures increase,
decrease or fluctuate too widely, metabolic activities may speed up, slow down, malfunction, or
stop altogether.
There are many factors that can influence the stream temperature. Water temperatures can
fluctuate seasonally, daily, and even hourly, especially in smaller sized streams. Spring
discharges and overhanging canopy of stream vegetation provides shade and helps buffer the
effects of temperature changes. Water temperature is also influenced by the quantity and
velocity of stream flow. The sun has much less effect in warming the waters of streams with
greater and swifter flows than of streams with smaller, slower flows.
Temperature affects the concentration of dissolved oxygen in a water body. Oxygen is more
easily dissolved in cold water
Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water. Cloudiness is caused by suspended solids
(mainly soil particles) and plankton (microscopic plants and animals) that are suspended in the
water column. Moderately low levels of turbidity may indicate a healthy, well-functioning
ecosystem, with moderate amounts of plankton present to fuel the fuel the food chain. However,
higher levels of turbidity pose several problems for stream systems. Turbidity blocks out the light
needed by submerged aquatic vegetation. It also can raise surface water temperatures above
normal because suspended particles near the surface facilitate the absorption of heat from
Suspended soil particles may carry nutrients, pesticides, and other pollutants throughout a
stream system, and they can bury eggs and benthic critters when they settle. Turbid waters may
also be low in dissolved oxygen. High turbidity may result from sediment bearing runoff, or
nutrients inputs that cause plankton blooms (1991, Streamkeeper's Field Guide: Watershed
Inventory and Stream Monitoring Methods) .
Dissolved Oxygen
Dissolved oxygen is oxygen gas molecules (O2) present in the water. Plants and animals
cannot directly use the oxygen that is part of the water molecule (H2O), instead depending on
dissolved oxygen for respiration. Oxygen enters streams from the surrounding air and as a
product of photosynthesis from aquatic plants. Consistently high levels of dissolved oxygen are
best for a healthy ecosystem.
Levels of dissolved oxygen vary depending on factors including water temperature, time of day,
season, depth, altitude, and rate of flow. Water at higher temperatures and altitudes will have
less dissolved oxygen. Dissolved oxygen reaches its peak during the day. At night, it decreases
as photosynthesis has stopped while oxygen consuming processes such as respiration,
oxidation, and respiration continue, until shortly before dawn.
Human factors that affect dissolved oxygen in streams include addition of oxygen consuming
organic wastes such as sewage, addition of nutrients, changing the flow of water, raising the
water temperature, and the addition of chemicals.
Dissolved oxygen is measured in mg/L.
0-2 mg/L: not enough oxygen to support life.
2-4 mg/L: only a few fish and aquatic insects can survive.
4-7 mg/L: good for many aquatic animals, low for cold water fish
7-11 mg/L: very good for most stream fish
1. Rank the rivers according to healthiest to most polluted.
2. Describe some of the factors that cause pollution or water degradation in the rivers
3. What recommendations would you make to the ministry of environment if they wanted to
improve the water quality of the rivers.
E. El Choco National Park
Reforestation, eco-tourism, biodiversity, community, poverty, natural resources,
In 2010 the Ministry of took over operation of the El Choco area from a private tour operator.
Here are some questions to think about for your blog: choose a minimum of 2 questions
to respond to.
How does the protection of spaces also help with the protection of species?
How important are monitoring activities and scientific studies for maintaining species
populations and protecting species at risk? What type of monitoring were they doing at
El Choco?
What are the benefits of protecting the boreal forest or coral reefs or wetlands?
What is the difference between preserving and conserving natural spaces?
Should mining or logging be allowed in national or provincial parks?
“Where are fragile environments already protected by limitations on human activity? Are
there other environments that should be recognized as fragile or under threat?
What are the organizations or agencies that, in your opinion, play the most important
role in the protection of natural and cultural spaces?
What are some of the different ways in which natural spaces can be protected? How
effective have these different kinds of protection been, and what challenges might they
face in the future?
Dominican Republic to Plant 5 Million Trees Along Border
with Haiti
SANTO DOMINGO – The Dominican Republic plans to plant 5 million trees along the border
with Haiti as part of a project to fight deforestation, environmental officials said.
The project, which will cost about 35 million pesos (some $972,200), will be carried out under an
agreement signed by the Environment Ministry and the General Border Development
Administration, or DGDF.
Pine, mahogany, mango, oak, tamarind and guayacan trees will be planted in the border
region, the Environment Ministry said.
The agreement will be implemented via the Quisqueya Verde reforestation program in
Montecristi, Dajabon and Santiago Rodriguez provinces in the northwestern part of the country,
as well as in the southwestern provinces of Elias Piña, Bahoruco, Independencia and
Natural resources “are a national security” issue because “not just forests but also transborder
waters” are at stake, Environment Minister Jaime David Fernandez Mirabal said.
“The production of charcoal is a threat to all of us, but when families join reforestation brigades
you create green jobs, on the one hand, and reduce the pressure on resources, on the other,”
Fernandez Mirabal said.
The Dominican Republic and Haiti share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, with Haiti in the
western portion.
Heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes have caused mudslides, killing thousands of
people in Haiti in recent years.
Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, is prone to devastating mudslides and
flooding because of man-made deforestation that has reduced the amount of the nation covered
by forest from 25 percent some 50 years ago to just 2 percent today, while the neighboring
Dominican Republic retains a lush tree canopy. EFE
Tree Facts
1. A balance of carbon and oxygen
A single 30-meter-tall mature tree can absorb as much as 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds) of carbon
dioxide in a year, which over it’s lifetime is approximately the same amount as would be
produced by an average car being driven 41,500 kilometers (25,787 miles). The same tree
could also produce 2,721 kilograms (5,998.78 pounds) of oxygen in a year, which is enough to
support at least two people. According to the University of Melbourne, because trees grow
faster the older they get, their capacity for photosynthesis and carbon sequestration increases
as they age.
2. Trees and wildlife
You probably knew that trees were good for wildlife, but did you know just how good? For
example, the common English Oak (Quercus robur) can support hundreds of different species,
including 284 species of insect and 324 taxa (species, sub-species, and varieties) of lichens
living directly on the tree. These in turn provide food for numerous birds and small mammals.
The acorns of oak trees (which don’t usually appear until the tree is around 40 years old) are
food for dozens of species, including wild boar (and now more commonly pigs), jays, pigeons,
pheasants, ducks, squirrels, mice, badgers, and deer.
3. Who needs a compass?
When lost, it is possible to use trees to assist you in navigation. In northern temperate climates,
moss will grow on the northern side of the tree trunk, where it is shadier. Failing that, if you find
a tree that has been cut down, you can observe the rings of the tree to discover which direction
north is. In the northern hemisphere, the rings of growth in a tree trunk are slightly thicker on the
southern side, which receives more light. The converse is true in the southern hemisphere.
4. Saving energy and money
Most people know that trees near buildings can raise property prices by an average of 14
percent in the U.K. and as much as up to 37 percent in the U.S. But trees can also have an
impact on the energy used for heating and cooling a building, reducing air conditioning costs by
as much as 30 percent and saving 20 to 50 percent on energy for heating. This is because as
well as providing shade, a large tree can also transpire as much as 378.5 liters (100 gallons) of
water into the air per day. This has a cooling effect roughly equivalent to 10 single room-sized
air conditioning units operating 20 hours a day!
5. Self-defense and communication
Trees are masters of both self-defense and communication. Scientists have found that when
attacked by insects, trees can flood their leaves with chemicals called phenolics. These noxious
compounds are distasteful to tree pests and can even impede their growth. What’s amazing is
that once a tree is attacked, it will “signal” to other nearby trees to also start their self-defense,
before they are attacked! Methods of communication include releasing chemicals into the wind
and possibly even sending chemical or electric signals through the michorizal network of roots
(a network of shared fungus fibers).
Forest cover in the Dominican Republic
It is estimated that the forest cover in the Dominican Republic was about 40,000 km2 at the start of the
twentieth century. This accounted for approximately 83% of the total land area of the country (48,380
km2). In the second, third and fourth decades of the past century, the country lost 10 to 15% of this
wooded area, preserving only about 35,000 km2. In the postwar era, deforestation accelerated, causing a
loss of 75 to 85% of the coverage it had at the start of the twentieth century. The highest rate of
destruction occurred in the decades of the sixties, seventies, and the eighties. At the end of the latter
decade there were only about 5,000 km2 of forest cover remaining in the Dominican Republic. Then, in
the nineties, this destructive process began to reverse and the forest cover began to gradually recover.
Finally, the Forestry Law (203), which was established in the late sixties, began to bear fruit. This law was
intended to stop the logging of the Dominican forest and to promote the recovery of degraded lands. In
fact, through reforestation programs, the country’s forested area was increased to around 13,000 km2 in
1998, more than double what it was in the mid-eighties, but still no more than a fraction (30%) of what it
was 100 years ago. After that period, the forested area of the Dominican Republic stabilized for a few
years, showing a balance between deforestation and reforestation. In fact, according to the Evaluation of
World Forest Resources, published by FAO in 2005, the Dominican forest cover was about 13,760 km2,
which is about 28.5% of the total land area of the country. The annual variation rate in forest area in the
country showed a reduction of forested surface of between 0 to 0.5% per year in the period between 2000
and 2005.
Principal causes of deforestation
The main cause of deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean is the conversion of forests into
extensive agricultural and farming land. Other factors that influence the loss of forests in the western
hemisphere are forest fires; industrial logging for commercial purposes; the production of charcoal and
firewood; mining, including oil and gas; the construction of dams and mega infrastructures (e.g. roads);
urbanization; coastal development; and, in areas originally covered by mangrove forests, shrimp farms.
In the Caribbean, the loss of forest caused by natural disasters which generate severe damage to trees,
soil erosion, landslides, and floods is very frequent. Every two years, hurricanes and tropical storms
ravage islands such as Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, destroying their natural forests and
forest plantations. Recently, there has been an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes and
storms in the Caribbean region, possibly caused by human-related global warming.
Today we know that deforestation increases the temperature on the face of the Earth, because as trees
are cut down, carbon stored in their trunks and branches is released into the atmosphere. It is estimated
that a tree’s composition is 50% carbon, and the amount of carbon stored in the global forest biomass is
about 283 gigatons (Gt), although this figure decreased globally by 1.1 Gt per year between 1990 and
2005. For the Dominican Republic, FAO estimates that there are 60 tons of biomass carbon per hectare,
which means a total of 82 million tons of carbon for the country. This amount of forest carbon is
distributed in a total of 64 million cubic meters of Dominican forest.
At the same time, it is estimated that deforestation worldwide is responsible for issuing between 25 and
30% of the so-called greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere, which means about 1,600
million tons of gas a year. In this sense, indiscriminate felling and burning contributes significantly to
climate change, causing the surface of our planet to warm up with all the devastating consequences that
Deforestation and forest degradation have adverse effects on the diversity and the ecology of forests,
threatening their multiple functions, including conservation of biodiversity, soil and water resources and
the supply of timber and other non-forest products, as well as the areas of recreation and carbon sinks
they provide. In short, when they lose their forest cover, lands are restricted in their ability to help
maintain the ecological balance of the planet, which negatively affects the welfare of human beings who
depend on the environmental services offered by valuable ecosystems such as tropical and temperate
Canada surpasses Brazil as global leader in deforestation
WASHINGTON – The world’s virgin forests are being lost at an increasing rate and the largest
portion of the degradation is in Canada, according to a new report.
No longer is Brazil the main villain in the struggle to stop forest destruction.
“Canada is the number one in the world for the total area of the loss of intact forest landscapes
since 2000,” Peter Lee, of Forest Watch Canada, said in an interview.
He said the main drivers are fires, logging and energy and industrial development.
“There is no political will at federal or provincial levels for conserving primary forests,” he said.
“Most logging done in Canada is still to this day done in virgin forests.”
Using satellite technology, scientists from the University of Maryland, Greenpeace, Global Forest
Watch and the World Resources Institute have tracked changes in the earth’s forest coverage. The
scientists discovered that the pace of decline is accelerating with more than 104 million hectares –
about 8.1 per cent of global undisturbed forests — lost from 2000 to 2013.
If this rate of degradation continues, “business as usual will lead to destruction of most remaining
intact forests this century,” Dr. Nigel Sizer, director of the forest program at the World Resources
Institute, said.
Computer graphics (www.globalforestwatch.org) based on satellite imagery show huge
degradation of Canada’s boreal forest from the Maritimes to Alberta with little compensatory gain.
The boreal forests of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta appear to have been hit
particularly hard by wild fires and resource exploitation.
Ecotourism Definition
The Definition:
Ecotourism is: "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990)
Principles of Ecotourism:
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means
that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following
ecotourism principles:
Minimize impact.
Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate.
How is ecotourism different from nature tourism,
sustainable tourism, responsible tourism?
Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment
and improves the well-being of local people." While "nature-based tourism" is simply
describes travel to natural places, ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism that
benefits local communities and destinations environmentally, culturally and economically.
Ecotourism represents a set of principles that have been successfully implemented in
various global communities, and are supported by extensive industry and academic
research. Ecotourism, when properly executed based on these principles, exemplifies the
benefits of socially and environmentally sound tourism development.
Like ecotourism, such terms as sustainable tourism and responsible tourism are rooted in
the concept of sustainable development, or development that "meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs"
(Bruntland Commission, 1987). With this concept in mind, sustainable tourism was defined
in the 1992 Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry as tourism that "meets the
needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for
the future."
Why is ecotourism important?
Ecotourism is a growing segment of the global tourism industry that is making significant
positive contributions to the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of
destinations and local communities around the world. Offering market-linked long-term
solutions, ecotourism provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing
bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful
planet. By increasing capacity building opportunities, ecotourism is also an effective vehicle
for empowering local communities around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve
sustainable development. Furthermore, ecotourism has provided an impetus to assist in
greening the tourism industry on many fronts.
Positive & Negative Effects of Ecotourism
Rita Kennedy USA Today
Ecotourism is an important sector of the tourist industry, and the United Nations estimates that the
sector will contribute 25 percent of the world's tourism revenues in 2012. Precise definitions vary, but
the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization defines the term broadly as "tourism and
recreation that is both nature-based and sustainable." Ecotourism emphasizes taking care of the
natural environment and often involves local people in the provision of tourist facilities, but has both
positive and negative impacts.
Natural Environments
Ecotourism generates money from natural environments by encouraging tourists to visit and, during
their stay, pay for items like entrance fees, concessions and licenses, according to Frances E. Vieta
of the United Nations. Re-casting the environment as a way for local communities to look after
themselves therefore encourages them to take care of it. Yet the influx of ecotourists can also
degrade the natural environment the tourists have come to see. Letting tourists loose in a delicate
ecosystem can lead to pollution and impact on the environment in unforeseen ways -- one study in a
Costa Rican national park found that wild monkeys turned into garbage feeders, becoming familiar
with the presence of ecotourists and eating the food and rubbish left behind.
Proponents argue that, by involving local people in accommodating tourists and acting as guides,
ecotourism aids development. In Uganda, for example, hundreds of locals supplement their income
by working as rangers or field staff in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In many cases, local
communities work as partners with ecotourism organizations rather than just as participants.
However, ecotourism can also limit development prospects for local communities. Jim Butcher of
Canterbury Christ Church University in England believes that ecotourism's focus on preserving
"nature" damages local people's ability to develop sustainably and lift themselves out of poverty. The
environment is effectively prioritized above the needs of local people.
Financial Benefits
Only $5 of every $10 spent by tourists in the developing world stays there, according to The United
Nations Environment Programme. The involvement of local people in ecotourism allows its
proponents to contend that it helps prevent this "leakage" of tourist income out of the host country
through international hotel chains and tour operators. Other researchers have pointed to the ability of
these same chains and operators to label themselves as ecotourism-friendly by undertaking very
minor changes, a process known as "greenwashing." A large hotel using biodegradable cleaning
products and recycling some of its waste can get the same "green" credentials as a small jungle
Cultural Impact
Ecotourism can have a cultural impact on local communities. Ecotourists are often partially
motivated by the chance to experience local culture, which can have a positive and affirming effect
on that culture. Involving local people in decision-making not only tends to make them more positive
about tourism, but also empowers them as a community. However, negative effects also exist, such
as the transformation of traditional cultural symbols into commodities to sell to visitors, the disruption
of the pre-existing relationships between local people and higher incidences of crime.
F. Chocal Organic Chocolate Cooperative:
Today we will see in action - the entire Cradle to Grave process (that is if you eat a piece of the
delicious chocolate! We will be traveling approximately 1 hour South West to Chocal Organic
Chocolate Growers Co-operative which is run by 30 local women and co-managed by a nonprofit organization called Fundelosa.
While there think about the following (and always ask many questions!)
Environmental Science:
 why is this farm considered to be an organic farm - what evidence of this did you see?
 what waste is produced as the cacao plant goes from tree to your mouth?
 Describe the waste management strategy for the organic waste that is produced at each
step in the chocolate making process
Environmental Resource Management:
 There are many non-profit organizations that operate the Dominican Republic, how can
NGOs help preserve natural spaces and improve the lives of citizens - how can they
 how are cooperatives different from other agricultural operations? who benefits from
these relationships?
 How can NGOs (non-governmental organizations) play a part in managing resources?
 In what ways is this cooperative good for families? Good for the women who are working
 Would you consider this type of business environmentally sustainable (refer to the
 Why would the Dominican Government spend money on small local business ventures?
How is this in the national interest?
USAID contributes to improve quality of organic cacao
ALTAMIRA, Puerto Plata.- The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
through its Rural Economic Diversification Project, concluded an initiative aimed at improving
the production and quality of the organic cacao in the community Altamira, in northern Puerto
Plata province.
The project to bolster and diversify the Altamira Basin Chocolate Processor (CHOCAL), at a
cost of RD$6.7 million and a USAID contribution of RD$2.5 million, has also facilitated support
for women of Altamira organized to identify market niches that will allow them to be more
In this manner chocolate production, headed by community women of low income, will
guarantee the quality of the organic cacao it processes while diversifying production and local
and international marketing.
“Additionally the community will be able to obtain benefits since the chocolate factory will be
able to motor agro and ecotourism actions,” said Duty Greene, USAID Economic Policies
Thanks to the support of USAID Project technicians, 30 women organized in CHOCAL were
trained in better production, management and marketing practices, and acquired machinery to
process organic cacao more efficiently.
The Chocolate Making Process:
G. Jonny’s Honey
Apiculture, small businesses, vulnerable communities, poverty, waste management,
subsistence farming
Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which the farmers focus on growing
enough food to feed themselves and their families. The output is mostly for local requirements
with little or no surplus for trade. Jonny grows or has access to numerous fruit trees including
avocado, mango, banana, and breadfruit to name a few. You will have an opportunity to visit a
small countryside community where issues such as inequity, climate change vulnerabilities,
poverty, waste reduction, subsistence farming, and apiculture will be explored. Best of all you
will get to taste honeycomb collected straight from the hive!
Think about:
The community was hard hit by the huge rains this winter, in what ways to natural
disasters affect resource management efforts?
How could flood prevention efforts improve the health of people/communities
How might pesticide use affect Johnny’s honey production?
How important is subsistence farming in impoverished areas? Should this be taught in
Background Articles
Global honey prices spur local beekeeping boom
Santo Domingo.- Honey prices in international markets have sparked a boom for good beekeeping in the
country, said Martin Canals, of the Dominican Agricultural and Forestry Research Institute (IDIAF) and the
Dominican Apicultural Network.
Canals, a honey researcher and producer, on Sunday said the problem that affected market production
around six years ago has been already surmounted, for which the country is exporting honey steadily.
“What we now have is a big market interested in Dominican honey, but we have to produce it with safety
and quality," the expert said interviewed on Tending the Garden, on CERTV.
He said honey exports head to the United States and not the European Union because the latter requires
that the country to have a national waste and pollutants plan, in addition all honey extraction activity
certified by the competent authority, in this case the Agriculture Ministry’s Livestock and Food Safety
First direct evidence of impact of pesticide on bee pollination
18 November 2015
Apple trees pollinated by bumblebees exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides contained 36 per cent fewer
seeds than those pollinated by unexposed bees.
The results are the first to show that neonicotinoids impair the insects’ ability to pollinate plants.
Previous studies have found that the controversial pesticides can affect bees and bumblebees, but
haven’t measured whether it disrupts their ability to pollinate plants.
About 30 per cent of agricultural crops depend on pollination by insects or other animals, with an
estimated global value to farmers of $360 billion a year.
“Our work highlights the importance of pollination services, and including that in the debate about whether
to ban or restrict neonicotinoids is very important,” says Dara Stanley of Royal Holloway, University of
Pollen decline
Stanley and her colleagues exposed colonies of bumblebees to nectar that either contained a type of
neonicotinoid known as thiamethoxam at levels typically found in nectar and pollen from treated crops
and contaminated wild flowers. The bees exposed to neonicotinoids collected less pollen from apple trees
and visited apple flowers less frequently than the other group.
This behaviour resulted in a reduction in the number of seeds found in the apples, an important indicator
of the extent of pollination.
For several years, debate has raged about the size of the effect neonicotinoids have on bees. A
temporary moratorium on their use on certain crops pollinated directly by bees – such as oilseed rape – is
in place in Europe while the European Food Safety Authority undertakes a review of all the evidence.
In the US, a court ruling in September overturned the US Environmental Protection Agency’s earlier
approval of a newer type of neonicotinoid.
“With apples, we consumers don’t care if it has fewer pips, but it’s very important for apple growers as
there is evidence linking the number of seeds with apple quality,” says Stanley. And if neonicotinoids are
disrupting pollination of apples, they are likely to also be disrupting pollination of many other crops,
including strawberries, raspberries, oilseed rape, field beans and peas, as well as wild flowering plants.
Artificial conditions
“The obvious conclusion is that farmers using these chemicals could potentially experience reduced crop
yields, as could their neighbours who may not be using the chemicals,” says Dave Goulson of the
University of Sussex, UK. “There may also be knock-on effects for pollination of wild flowers growing on
or near farms.”
Syngenta, a company that manufactures thiamethoxam, says the design for the experiment, with bee
colonies only allowed to forage for an hour a day and apple trees placed in experimental tunnels, didn’t
represent real-life conditions.
This means the results are not conclusive, says Peter Campbell of Syngenta. “They are premature and
only representative of a single experiment conducted under artificial conditions both for the apple trees
being pollinated and the method of exposing the bumblebees,” he says.
Another paper published this week by French researchers found that while neonicotinoid pesticides harm
individual honeybees, whole colonies were able to recover in the wild.
Mickael Henry of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Avignon and his team found
that honeybees foraging around treated crops die off at a faster rate than normal – but colonies were able
to make up by boosting the number of worker bees in the hive.
Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature16167; Royal Society journal Proceedings B; DOI:
Neonicotinoids (sometimes shortened to neonics /ˈniːoʊnɪks/) are a class of neuro-active insecticides
chemically similar to nicotine. In the 1980s Shell and in the 1990s Bayer started work on their
development. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram,
nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world.
Compared to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides neonicotinoids cause less toxicity in birds and
mammals than insects. Some breakdown products are also toxic to insects.
In the late 1990s neonicotinoids came under increasing scrutiny over their environmental impact.
Neonicotinoid use was linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee
colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations. In 2013, the
European Union and a few non EU countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids.
Neat Facts About Bees
There are three kinds of bees in a hive: Queen, Worker and Drone.
Only the Queen in the hive lays eggs. She communicates with her hive with her own special
scent called pheromones. The queen will lay around 1,500 eggs per day.
The worker bees are all female and they do all the work for the hive. Workers perform the
following tasks inside the hive as a House Bee: Cleaning, feeding the baby bees, feeding and
taking care of the queen, packing pollen and nectar into cells, capping cells, building and
repairing honeycombs, fanning to cool the hive and guarding the hive.
Workers perform the following tasks outside the hive as Field Bees: Gathering nectar and
pollen from flowers, collecting water and a sticky substance called propolis.
Bees have two stomachs - one stomach for eating and the other special stomach is for storing
nectar collected from flowers or water so that they can carry it back to their hive.
The male bees in the hive are called drones. Their job in the hive is to find a queen to mate
with. Male bees fly out and meet in special drone congregation areas where they hope to meet
a queen. Male drone bees don't have a stinger.
If a worker bee uses her stinger, she will die.
Bees are classified as insects and they have six legs.
Bees have five eyes - two compound eyes and three tiny ocelli eyes.
Bees go through four stages of development: Egg, Larvae, Pupae and Adult Bee.
The bees use their honeycomb cells to raise their babies in, and to store nectar, honey, pollen
and water.
Nectar is a sweet watery substance that the bees gather. After they process the nectar in their
stomach they regurgitate it into the honeycomb cells. Then they fan with their wings to
remove excess moisture. The final result is honey.
Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that humans can eat.
Honey has natural preservatives and bacteria can't grow in it.
Honey was found in the tombs in Egypt and it was still edible! Bees have been here around 30
million years.
A honeybee can fly 24 km in an hour at a speed of 15 mph. Its wings beat 200 times per
second or 12,000 beats per minute.
Bees have straw-like tongues called a proboscis so they can suck up liquids and also
mandibles so they can chew.
Bees carry pollen on their hind legs called a pollen basket. Pollen is a source of protein for the
hive and is needed to feed to the baby bees to help them grow.
A beehive in summer can have as many as 50,000 to 80,000 bees. A bee must collect nectar
from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey. It requires 556 worker bees to gather
a pound of honey. Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.
The average worker bee makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
Bees have 2 pairs of wings. The wings have tiny teeth so they can lock together when the bee
is flying.
Bees communicate through chemical scents called pheromones and through special bee
Every 3rd mouthful of food is produced by bees pollinating crops. Flowering plants rely on
bees for pollination so that they can produce fruit and seeds. Without bees pollinating these
plants, there would not be very many fruits or vegetables to eat.
A single beehive can make more than 100 pounds (45 kg) of extra honey. The beekeeper only
harvests the extra honey made by the bees.
The average life of a honey bee during the working season is about three to six weeks. There
are five products that come from the hive: Honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
Beeswax is produced by the bees. Bees have special glands on their stomach that secrete the
wax into little wax pockets on their stomach. The bee takes the wax and chews it with her
mandibles and shapes it to make honeycomb.
Propolis is a sticky substance that bees collect from the buds of trees. Bees use propolis to
weatherproof their hive against drafts or in spots where rain might leak in.
People have discovered the anti-bacterial properties of propolis for use in the medical field.
Royal Jelly is a milky substance produced in a special gland in the worker bee's head. For her
whole life the Queen is fed Royal Jelly by the workers.
Honey comes in different colours and flavours. The flower where the nectar was gathered from
determines the flavour and colour of the honey.
F. Cable Car and Mountain Isabel de Torres
Teleferico Isabel de Torres
Questions: CGR4M:Choose three of the following questions to focus your blog on:
1. What are some of the different ways in which natural spaces can be protected?
“How effective have these different kinds of protection been, and what challenges might they
face in the future?”
2. How does the protection of spaces also help with the protection of species?
3. What are the benefits of protecting the boreal forest or rainforests or wetlands?
4. What is the difference between preserving and conserving natural spaces?
5. Should mining or logging be allowed in national or provincial parks?
6. What are the organizations or agencies that, in your opinion, play the most important role in
the protection of natural and cultural spaces?
Questions: SVN3M: Choose two of the following questions to focus your blog on:
1. Puerto Plata is the largest city on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Motos are
the most popular form of cheap public transportation but they are terrible polluters,
releasing carbon monoxide, sulfur and nitrogen compounds as well as contribute to
ground level ozone. How does this National Park assist in the health and well being of
the population in Puerto Plata?
2. How would this mountain be different if there was only one or two species of trees?
3. If a new government came to power and allowed logging on the mountain, what potential
dangers would the population below face?
4. If you wanted to make sure humans were not having a negative impact on the Botanical
Gardens what types of monitoring would you do?
The Garden:
The garden is home to several species of birds, such as Cigua Palmera, Guaraguao,
Nightingale, Carrao, Dove, Hummingbird, Zumbador, and other beautiful birds that inhabit the
mountain. There are 594 species of plants identified and according to late studies they belong to
approximately 90 different families of plants.
The forest has become such a scenario then privileged place where nature and culture are
intertwined, harmonizing and complementing each other.
Hiking up and down in the rainforest lush vegetation you might encounter the rare green lizard
(Anolis baleatus), Dominican Parrot (Amazona ventralis), Geckos, Tree Frogs, Turkey Vultures
(Aura Tinosa), Wild Orchids and more. Will you be able to spot them?
The History:
In 1970 in the mountain “Isabel de Torres”, at the top of the fortress, “El Cristo Redentor”, a Christ the
Redeemer statue, was inducted with a vision of a greater tourist attraction.
The Teleférico is located in the city in the mountain Isabel de Torres, it circulates continuously, it features
three cables on both sides, it has two cable cars, two stations and one cable support tower.
In 1973 the “Jardín Botánico”, Botanical Garden, was built along with surrounding gardens and fountains.
The installation of the Teleférico, which was built as a tourist attraction, has positively affected the city of
Puerto Plata and the country as a whole, as it is the only cable car ride in the Caribbean, and has been
visited by tourists from all continents of the world.
The dome, recognized as the base on which the Christ the Redeemer statue rests on the mountain Isabel
de Torres, is a true symbol of strength, which was the precise purpose of its construction: a fortress of air
defense for some and a Pillbox for others. Built by Trujillo to protect the city from possible foreign
invasions. But, unfortunately, the dome resulted in being inoperative. Due to climate circumstances that
prevail in this environment, notably the degree of cloudiness and fog, it did not allow for neither visibility
nor constant vigilance.
The Architect Cristian Martínez was he who then came up with the idea to install a cable car in order to
ascend to the summit of the mountain, and in 1972 the then President, Dr.Balaguer, gave the order to
begin construction. One year later the Italian firm Ceretti e Tanfani commenced the installation of the
Teleférico of Puerto Plata and concluded labour in 1974.
After six months of trial-runs, on July 19, 1975, the Teleférico opened its doors to the public, and that
same year it was officially inaugurated by ceremony.
And in 1973 the Engineer Benjamin Paewonsky was given the task of converting the entire summit of the
mountain into a botanical garden.
The Importance of National Parks
In the modern, overpopulated world the need for dedicated space for wildlife is increasingly important.
National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and protected spaces for nature help conserve the natural world and
benefit us all in many ways. Whether a National Park is giving someone space to walk and exercise, or a
wildlife sanctuary is promoting conservation, these places play an important role in society. Here we look
at some of the benefits:
What is a National Park?
A National Park is a natural space that is dedicated for the purposes of conservation, recreation, and
protection. Different countries have their own national parks and the designation of national parks across
the globe depends on each individual country’s system and judgment. But most national parks have
similar aims – to conserve wild nature in order to protect it for the future as well as allow people the
chance to enjoy it. National parks are often a symbol of national pride. Most national parks are open to
the public and provide opportunities for recreation, camping, and walking. Most national parks have an
outstanding level of natural beauty, whether the beauty comes from mountains, lakes, rivers or plains.
The first national park was established in the United States in 1872 – Yellowstone National Park.
Mackinac Island in the US was established in 1875 and the third national park created in the world was
the Royal National Park in Australia.
1885 was when Banff National Park was established as Canada's first National Park. Originally this
park was called Banff Hot Springs Reserve and later the Rocky Mountains National Park.
What is a Wildlife Sanctuary?
Animal sanctuaries exist for many specific reasons, but the overriding reason is to help protect animals
and safeguard their lives. Animal sanctuaries give new homes to abandoned animals and animals
rescued from dangerous conditions, help to protect animals from illegal activities, and serve as places
where endangered animals breed and are therefore protected. Animals in animal sanctuaries cannot be
responsibly returned to their natural habitats as they are not fit enough for the wild, or their habitat has
been destroyed. A sanctuary is a haven, a place where animals can be protected.
What are the Benefits of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries?
1. National Parks Help Protect Wildlife
Unfortunately many animal species today face extinction, mainly because their natural habitats are being
steadily destroyed. National parks safeguard these habitats, and provide a safe space for wildlife to breed
and survive. Without national parks certain animal species are at greater risk of becoming extinct – a
landscape needs to be protected in order to provide habitat for wildlife. Animal sanctuaries give a specific
place where animals are kept in captivity in order to preserve the species.
National Parks Help Protect Landscapes
Animals are not the only things that are at risk of disappearing. Landforms like mountains, rainforests,
gorges and dunes are at risk of disappearing if they are not protected from the actions of humans and
also the natural action of the environment. Many landforms are at risk from pollution, and when they are
controlled under national park status they have a better chance of survival. Landforms in national parks
are protected from development, destruction, and pollution.
Parks and Sanctuaries Preserve History
Historical structures built on national park land are preserved in order to give us a better idea of how
people lived in the past, and how their cultures worked. There are many different structures that can be
preserved which allow people to learn from the past and continue building for the future.
Helping Preserve Cultures and Tribes
In many national parks around the world people live generally apart from main civilization, and their
culture and members are largely protected thanks to the status of the national park. By setting up
protected areas, tribes and indigenous peoples who would otherwise struggle in the face of development
are protected from these actions. National parks not only protect animals and wildlife, they can also
sometimes protect people too.
Giving People the Chance for Healthy Activity
National parks and to some extent wildlife sanctuaries also exist to provide members of the public with
the space for healthy exercise and recreation in the open air. It is important to conserve places where the
natural environment is intact, so that people can slow down, enjoy nature, and get some exercise by
walking, running, or riding bikes. Many national parks in North America have established trail systems
that offer extensive routes for exploration on foot. People benefit from cleaner air to breathe and the
chance to relax and combat the stress of busy lives.
The Amber Museum
Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since
Neolithic times.Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a
variety of decorative objects. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk
medicine, and as jewelry.
Paleontological significance
Amber is a unique preservational mode, preserving otherwise unfossilizable parts of organisms; as
such it is helpful in the reconstruction of ecosystems as well as organisms; the chemical composition
of the resin, however, is of limited utility in reconstructing the phylogenetic affinity of the resin
Amber sometimes contains animals or plant matter that became caught in the resin as it was
secreted. Insects, spiders and even their webs, annelids, frogs, crustaceans, bacteria and amoebae,
marine microfossils, wood, flowers and fruit, hair, feathers and other small organisms have been
recovered in ambers dating to 130 million years ago.
In August 2012, two mites preserved in amber were determined to be the oldest animals ever to
have been found in the substance; the mites are 230 million years old and were discovered in northeastern Italy.
Once in a lifetime find': Dinosaur tail discovered trapped in amber
By Katie Hunt, CNN
Updated 10:26 AM ET, Fri December 9, 2016
(CNN)The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an
unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.
Xing Lida, a Chinese paleontologist found the specimen, the size of a dried apricot, at an amber
market in northern Myanmar near the Chinese border. The remarkable piece was destined to
end up as a curiosity or piece of jewelry, with Burmese traders believing a plant fragment was
trapped inside.
"I realized that the content was a vertebrate, probably theropod, rather than any plant," Xing told
"I was not sure that (the trader) really understood how important this specimen was, but he did
not raise the price."
Once in a lifetime find
The findings, which shed fresh light on how dinosaurs looked, are published in the December
issue of Current Biology. Ryan McKellar, a paleontologist at the Royal Saskatchwan Museum in
Canada and co-author of the paper, says he was blown away when Xing first showed him the
piece of amber.
"It's a once in a lifetime find. The finest details are visible and in three dimensions."
Fragments of dinosaur-era bird wings have been found preserved in amber before but this is the
first time part of a mummified dinosaur skeleton has been discovered, McKellar said.
The tail section belongs to a young coelurosaurian -- from the same group of dinosaurs as the
predatory velociraptors and the tyrannosaurus.
The sparrow-sized creature could have danced in the palm of your hand. The amber, which
weighs 6.5 grams, contains bone fragments and feathers, adding to mounting fossil evidence
that many dinosaurs sported primitive plumage rather than scales.
National Park Assignment CGR4M
Imagine that you are the Minister of Natural Resources for the province of Puerto Plata and you
have been given your budget for 2018. There is only enough money to support one of the two
national parks that we will visit on this trip - El Choco National Park and Mt. Isabel National
Park. During our two visits make notes of each of the following aspects of the park and at the
end, you decide which park will continue to get government funding based on your evaluation of
its ability to protect the natural resources of the country. Make point form notes as we tour the
areas - each point will be checked (12 points) and the paragraph description will be evaluated
using the following rubric (8 points):
Origin and Purpose of the Park: identify the history of the park, who
founded it and what the land was used for prior to the creation of the park.
Speculate what the area would be if it was not protected.
Uses of the Park: What activities are available within the park? Who has
access and who is most likely to use the space and for what purpose? Who
would most likely visit the park?
Environmental Benefits of the Park: what species or natural features are
protected by the boundaries of the park?
What types of ecosystems are protected and how ‘natural’ are they?
El Choco
Mount Isabel
National Park
Human Benefits of the Park: whose land, water and air are protected by
the park? Whose lives and livelihoods benefit from the park?
Community Involvement:
How are local Dominicans involved in the park? Are there opportunities
available for environmental education? For generating income? For who?
What are other considerations not listed that might influence your opinion?
Analysis - Which National Park will continue to receive their funding:
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2
Level 1
Makes a clear and concise
argument for funding one
park only.
High degree of
degree of
Moderate degree
of effectiveness
Limited degree
of effectiveness
Uses sufficient (at least 2
each ) relevant, specific
facts from each park to
backup the opinion.
High degree of
degree of
Moderate degree
of effectiveness
Limited degree
of effectiveness
Soil Testing:
Soil pH:
Measuring Soil pH
Soil pH provides various clues about soil properties and is easily determined. The
most accurate method of determining soil pH is by a pH meter. A second method
which is simple and easy but less accurate then using a pH meter, consists of using
certain indicators or dyes.
pH Affects Nutrients, Minerals and Growth
The effect of soil pH is great on the solubility of minerals or nutrients. Fourteen of the
seventeen essential plant nutrients are obtained from the soil. Before a nutrient can
be used by plants it must be dissolved in the soil solution. Most minerals and
nutrients are more soluble or available in acid soils than in neutral or slightly alkaline
Phosphorus is never readily soluble in the soil but is most available in soil with a pH
range centered around 6.5. Extremely and strongly acid soils (pH 4.0-5.0) can have
high concentrations of soluble aluminum, iron and manganese which may be toxic to
the growth of some plants. A pH range of approximately 6 to 7 promotes the most
ready availability of plant nutrients.
But some plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, white potatoes and
conifer trees, tolerate strong acid soils and grow well. Also, some plants do well only
in slightly acid to moderately alkaline soils. However, a slightly alkaline (pH 7.4-7.8)
or higher pH soil can cause a problem with the availability of iron to pin oak and a
few other trees in Central New York causing chlorosis of the leaves which will put the
tree under stress leading to tree decline and eventual mortality.
The soil pH can also influence plant growth by its effect on activity of beneficial
microorganisms Bacteria that decompose soil organic matter are hindered in strong
acid soils. This prevents organic matter from breaking down, resulting in an
accumulation of organic matter and the tie up of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, that
are held in the organic matter.
Changes in Soil pH
Soils tend to become acidic as a result of: (1) rainwater leaching away basic ions
(calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium); (2) carbon dioxide from decomposing
organic matter and root respiration dissolving in soil water to form a weak organic
acid; (3) formation of strong organic and inorganic acids, such as nitric and sulfuric
acid, from decaying organic matter and oxidation of ammonium and sulfur fertilizers.
Strongly acid soils are usually the result of the action of these strong organic and
inorganic acids.
Lime is usually added to acid soils to increase soil pH. The addition of lime not only
replaces hydrogen ions and raises soil pH, thereby eliminating most major problems
associated with acid soils but it also provides two nutrients, calcium and magnesium
to the soil. Lime also makes phosphorus that is added to the soil more available for
plant growth and increases the availability of nitrogen by hastening the
decomposition of organic matter. Liming materials are relatively inexpensive,
comparatively mild to handle and leave no objectionable residues in the soil.
Text prepared by Donald Bickelhaupt, Instructional Support Specialist, Department of Forest and Natural
Resources Management. Illustration by Robert Schmedicke.
Soil Test
Sample Location
Nitrogen (N)
Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
1. Summarize the results comparing the soil from the vermicompost to untreated
2. What are the benefits of using compost and especially vermicompost compared
with manufactured fertilizers?
3. What are the limits of using compost and especially vermicompost compared with
manufactured fertilizers?
4. In what circumstances would you recommend permaculture type of farming
ing, financial services, textile manufacturing, and tourism.