Ecology Explorer Resources for Teachers
The Ecology Explorers program puts the knowledge and expertise of ASU’s Central Arizona-Phoenix Long Term Ecological Research project into the hands of educators and students. Our teacher materials are developed in collaboration with scientists, graduate students, and other education partners. We have intentionally designed these resources to develop student skills for planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, and communicating evidence-based information.
We have developed a variety of lessons that support conceptual understandings in urban ecology and sustainability, as well as integrate with our scientific protocols and games. While our Ecology Explorer lesson plans can be delivered independently, all lessons support multiple themes. You’ll find all of our lessons below, both alphabetically by title, and grouped by various topics to inspire ideas for possible units:
- All Lesson Plans – All of our Ecology Explorers lesson plans are listed alphabetically by title.
- Birds – Ecologists study bird diversity, behavior, and distribution within an urban ecosystem…
- Arthropods – Studying arthropods can build understanding about the systems within an ecological area…
- Plants in the Environment – As plant ecologists, students will learn about the plants present in an ecosystem…
- Response to Environmental Change by Organisms – Students can see the biotic reactions of various organisms…
- Animal Behavior and Distribution – Human activities in urban environments can affect how animals…
- Describing Habitat – Survey, map, describe and think about local environments…
- Abiotic Environment – Water, rocks, soil, wind, sun, temperature and humidity are all examples of abiotic components…
- Urban Impacts – We all influence our urban ecosystem and at the same time we are influenced by ecological conditions.
- Land Use and Policy – Much of the urban growth in Phoenix Metro has taken place in the past 50 years…
- Built and Natural Environments – Think about the consequences of our changing urban landscape…
- Urban Heat Island (complete, integrated unit) – Explore both the abiotic and biotic factors involved in the Urban Heat Island Effect.
- Fundamental Ecological Science Practices – Help cultivate student’s “scientific habits of mind”
Guides to Research Protocols
The guides for the scientific activities for this web site are included here as PDF files formatted for printing. They also indicate the science standards that each activity fulfills. You can download the entire guide or the sections you need. When your class has completed an activity, considering sharing your data with ASU scientists.
Any of these scientific activities can be applied to students’ backyards as research sites.
View Complete Activity Guide
Ecology Explorers has created these presentations and interactive resources you can use in your classroom.
We regularly offer professional development workshops for educators.
Meet the Scientist Videos
Meet the scientists in the Phoenix area who are studying our unique urban ecology.
Games for Learning
These interactive games supplement your students’ ecological learning.
Presentations and graphics to support and supplement our lessons and protocols.
Learn about our Ecology Explorer classroom visitation opportunities, guided field trips, or scientific kits available for checkout.
Useful list of scientific terms.