The Science of a City

1) Researchers at Arizona State University have a section of their Web site, “Chain Reaction”, devoted to urban ecology:

“What’s Urban Ecology all about? Birds moving to the suburbs… trees struggling in parking lots… drinking water that smells like dirt. These are just a few of the things that urban ecologists study. Join ASU scientists as they explore the relationships between people, animals, plants, air, and water in one of the most important environments on Earth – the city.

Learn more about urban ecology by following the links on the left-hand side of the screen of their Web site:

  • Dig in – information about urban ecology.
  • Surf and Teacher Tools – links to sites with additional information
  • Try This – ideas/instructions for experiments to do in the classroom…make a carbon dioxide detector, find out how pollution spreads, and more.

    2.) Science NetLinks presents Urban Ecosystems: Continuity and Change a set of five lessons designed to improve “understanding of environmental phenomena and events”:

    1. Cities Are Urban Ecosystems
    2. Why Are There Cities? A Historical Perspective
    3. Cities as Population Centers
    4. Metabolism of Urban Ecosystems
    5. In Defense of Cities

    3) Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute has some ideas on how to study a city as an ecosystem:

  • “Investigate your ecosystem” – provides “idea seeds” that are meant to jump start your own ideas for what you can do with students.
  • “Communicate with other scientists” – this contact information is most likely out of date as
  • “Share your science” – see what other classrooms have done in the past
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