In conducting their research, individually or in pairs, students can address the following in more detail:• First, define the problem: What is the problem you are trying to address through your solution?
What data or evidence can you provide to underscore the importance of this issue?
The author writes, “Gerardo Ceballos, a researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City, acknowledged that the study is written in usually alarming tones for an academic research paper. Ehrlich, one of the study’s authors, states: “There is only one overall solution, and that is to reduce the scale of the human enterprise.
‘It wouldn’t be ethical right now not to speak in this strong language to call attention to the severity of the problem,’ he said.”• What evidence in the article supports the claim that this is a severe problem? Do you think scientists have an ethical obligation to speak out when a problem seems so severe? Population growth and increasing consumption among the rich is driving it.”• What do you think it would look like to “reduce the scale of the human enterprise”? • What other evidence in the article supports the claim that humans are the ones driving this “global epidemic” of declines in animal populations? As a class, you can discuss: Which of these possible solutions seems the most promising?
As students present the problem and proposed solution, the panel should take notes, ask questions and make recommendations.
At the end of the presentations, ask students to engage in some process writing:• What was this process like for you? These are just three of the many vertebrate species facing possible extinction because of human activities.As a Going Further activity, we invite students to act as citizen scientists addressing the problem in their own communities.To get a sense of how scientists do this work, students can conduct their own species tallies in their backyard or nearby park, document their findings with photographs and video, and construct maps and photo galleries that summarize the results.Our lesson plan “Backyard Science: Tallying Local Species to Learn About Diversity” provides details on how to complete a species tally activity.2.A green, tree-lined valley in Yeongyang-gun, South Korea could soon be turned from a picturesque slice of nature into a scene out of a sci-fi film, complete with giant glass domes encapsulating the landscape.Despite disrupting nature in the short term, the plan is actually a national research and conservation effort, and architect and engineering firm Samoo recently unveiled its winning designs for the project, the National Research Center for Endangered Species, to be built there.Based on what you have read and discussed, and with an eye to the individual species or threat you are focusing on, what could a possible solution to the problem be?• Then, evaluate the solution: How would you know if it is working?How can you prove that changing human activity could have a positive impact?• Next, design the solution: You have read steps that people are taking to address the crisis facing particular endangered species.