Holly sat in the shade and watched her parents talking. Shecouldn’t hear everything that they said but she knew what they were talking about. In all the years that she had lived on the farm, she had never seen them so worried. She turned to look at the fields that surrounded the house. Holly felt sad as she saw the large areaswhere the crops were damaged or dead. She knew that her parents were discussing what they could do about the insect that was damaging the crops. Holly’s parents had bought the farm when she was five years old. Now that she was in middle school, it seemed that she had lived on the farm all her life. Jumping to her feet, Holly moved towards her parents to join in the discussion.
Solving a Problem
A pesticide would be sprayed on the plants and the soil. The pesticide is very effective at killing any beetles that it touches. It is also poisonous to many other insects and some small animals. The effectiveness of the pesticide decreases rapidly over time. The insecticide would have to be reapplied frequently over a two-month period. List the advantages and disadvantages of this solution:
Holly, her parents, and her two younger brothers would move to a new location several hundred miles away. This would involve selling the farm and leaving her school and friends behind. It is uncertain if the farm could be sold for enough money to buy another farm in the new location. If not, then Holly’s parents would have to find different jobs. List the advantages and disadvantages of this solution.
Toads will be used to control the beetles. The toads eat many types of small organisms, such as frogs, lizards, snakes, mice, snails, and insects. They have been used successfully to control insect pests in several other countries. The toads are not native to the area. Thirty toads will be brought to the farm and released in the fields. List the advantages and disadvantages of this solution:
All of the fields would be burned. This would kill all of the crops but would also kill the insects, including the grubs that live in the soil. The fields would be left bare for one year. Workers would be hired to monitor the fields and trap and remove any of the beetles that were found there. After one year, the crops would be replanted. Workers would continue to monitor the fields for the beetles until the crops could be harvested later in the year. List the advantages and disadvantages of this solution:
As you have seen, people obtain resources and services from ecosystems. When decisions are made that impact ecosystems, there can be consequences for the environment. It can also affect people and the communities in which they live and work. In this activity you will play the role of managers of connected environmental areas. In your groups you will make decisions about changes to the area. You will keep track of the consequences of those decisions. Your goal is to manage your area so that it is in a better condition at the end of the game than it was at the beginning.
Stability and Change
1) As a group, decide who will manage each of the 4 areas on the map- Lake, Forest, River and Gulf. 2) On the handout, circle the area you will manage. 3) Chose a player to begin and have that plater take a card from the Round 1 event card stack. 4) Discuss the information on the card and as a group make a decision. 5) In the row labeled "Round 1, Turn 1" write down the new number of points in each column after adding or subtracting points based on the decision you took in step 4. 6) Repeat steps 4-5 by having a different player take a Round 1 event card. Be sure to add or subtract points in each column each time. 7)Once all cards are completed, repeat with cards for round 2 and round 3.