The Blue Crab of North Carolina provides information on the fishery and population trends, life history and current research on the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) in North Carolina. There are also interactive computer simulations that demonstrate how weather patterns and wind-forcing influence population fluctuations of the blue crab, an interactive, mutliple-choice quiz to test your knowledge, a series of three lesson plans for teachers, web-based links to other sources of information on the blue crab, and a forum for the presentation and discussion of ideas on the blue crab. Funding for the development of this web-page was provided by the National Science Foundation and NC Sea Grant.
Bringing research into the classroom opens the door for students to see what new science is doing. It allows students and teachers to learn new information and develop their own questions. Building bridges between university scientists and public school students and teachers is an essential ingredient in today’s inquiry-based science education.
Ecological Synergism explores the concept of ecological synergism. Consider this:
Disturbances, like diseases, hurricanes, fires, and earthquakes, all occur naturally. They play an integral role in ecosystem development and evolution of all living organisms. Some of these natural disturbances occur frequently, while others happen only periodically. Natural disturbances can also take place on a local scale, as well as impact the entire world. In each case, the earth and its inhabitants respond and adapt in order to survive.
But what happens when these natural ecological disturbances are compounded by each other and by human activities? How has the synergistic effects of the individual events impacted the ecosystem and its inhabitants? Which factors are responsible, and how is that determined?