Environmental Decision Making


Building Pond Models

Working collaboratively in the classroom or in the field allows us to examine our own ideas and those of others more closely.

An important question to consider as we begin to learn and teach with models and simulations is: What can we learn from the construction and redesign of models?

1. Revise your model ponds to include gar as an additional fish population.

Does having two other populations of fish change the numbers of bass in the pond? Be prepared to explain your simulation results.

2. Try using the notebook feature found in EDM to record your inquiry.


Mini-poster session

Present your simulation results to the Unicoi staff. What conclusions have you reached about adding gar to support the bass population of Cold Water Lake?

Revising our pond model can help us to learn to manage real fish populations. Modeling allows us to try out different strategies and evaluate the outcomes. We can support our decisions for Cold Water Lake with our simulation results.

Using Field Data

Lake Sara is located in central Illinois and was a favorite fishing lake for bass during the 1970's.

Data on fish populations in Lake Sara was collected by a technique called electrofishing.

Look over this data carefully. What might you need to know to make a pond model from the Lake Sara data?

How does using data collected from the field raise new issues for your modeling?



Optional: Learn more about collaborative approaches in the classroom by reading Chapter 2 (pp. 28-51) on Consensus Groups: A Basic Model of Classroom Collaboration in Collaborative Learning by Kenneth A. Bruffee (1993).

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