Population Arbitration

Research the swamp ecosystem to figure out whether the schloggens, mudweavers, or other species may be in danger. Use a variety of ecology tools to determine the population sizes and predator prey relationships. Construct food webs and run ecology simulations to help the swamp-dwellers decide how to keep their ecosystem balanced and mitigate the effects of human intervention.

Standards Covered in Quest line:

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • LS4.C: Adaptation
  • LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions


  • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Crosscutting concepts:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Stability and Change

HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales. [Clarification Statement: Examples of mathematical representations include finding the average, determining trends, and using graphical comparisons of multiple sets of data.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to provided data.]

HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem. [Clarification Statement: Examples of changes in ecosystem conditions could include modest biological or physical changes, such as moderate hunting or a seasonal flood; and extreme changes, such as volcanic eruption or sea level rise.]

HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of human activities can include urbanization, building dams, and dissemination of invasive species.]

HS-LS4-6. Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.* [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on designing solutions for a proposed problem related to threatened or endangered species, or to genetic variation of organisms for multiple species.]