In 1990 the National Park Service commissioned the National Biological Service to study the Cabrillo National Monument intertidal zone. The purpose of the study is to measure the impact of public visitation and other human activities in the San Diego metropolitan area. The Owl Limpet (Lottia gigantea) is among the 13 key species being monitored semi-annually. Every spring and fall the scientists collect information about Owl Limpets from the Cabrillo tidepools.
Your team's job...
You are now part of scientific team. You and your teammates will research and investigate Owl Limpets much like the scientists at the Cabrillo tidepools do. You will analyze the actual data that was collected during the Cabrillo intertidal zone study. Each member of your team has a specific role:
Owl Limpet (click to enlarge)
Lead Scientist - Organize team activities and monitor completion of assignments.
Transcriber - Take notes at team meetings and in charge of the final written report.
Data Collector - Keep accurate records of all data that the team collects.
Head Researcher - Coordinate and assign research topics to team members.
Your team has four main assignments:
Research and gather information about the Owl Limpet.
Analyze circular plot data of Owl Limpets.
Draft a scientific report.
Present your findings at the scientific conference.
Your efforts will be assessed according to two evaluation rubrics:
Circular Plot Data
One way that the scientists at the Cabrillo tidepools study Owl Limpets is to count and measure them. They collect data from the exact same spot of the tidepool every six months--in spring and fall. They carefully measure the length of each Owl Limpet within a two-meter wide circular area. Below are the data from circular plot number 13 gathered over a period of six years.
Minimum Size (mm)
Maximum Size (mm)
Write a scientific report.
Your team must draft a scientific report. The report will be assessed according to a Scientific Report Rubric. Print a copy of the rubric so that your team can refer to it as you complete your report. Also, you can download a template in ClarisWorks or Word 6.0 for your team to use. The template includes content suggestions for six main areas:
Cabrillo National Monument tidepools at high tide.
Cabrillo National Monument tidepools at low tide.
What is this report about?
Why is your team writing this report?
What should readers expect to learn from it?
What is a tidepool?
Where are they located?
What type of plants and animals live there?
What makes tidepools such a unique ecosystem?
What does the moon have to do with tidepools?
Why is it important to study tidepools and tidepool species?
Give a detailed description of your team's tidepool species.
To what family classification does this species belong?
Where do they live?
What zone in the tidepool do they occupy?
How long do they live?
What do they eat?
What eats them?
How do they reproduce?
What are some interesting facts about this species?
And so on...
What is the problem?
Why are scientists conducting a study at the Cabrillo Monument tidepools?
How long has this study been occurring?
Why are scientists studying your team's tidepool species?
Why is it important to study your team's species?
Why do the scientists sample in the spring and fall?
Why do they gather information from more than one circular plot site?
And so on...
Explain how your team analyzed the data from the circular plots.
Share your important findings at the scientific conference. Assign each team member a section of your scientific report to present at the conference. Remember, how well you work together as a team will be assessed according to a Collaboration Rubric.