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48x96 poster template
FIELD STUDIES IN NATURAL SYSTEMS [EARTH SCIENCE, BIOGEOLOGY & MARINE BIOLOGY OF
BELIZE]: A PORTABLE WAY TO PROMOTE HIGHER ORDER LEANING & CRITICAL THINKING
Kenneth Thomas & Marcy Yeager
Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA, 01830
IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES, ON CAMPUS
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Natural Selection & Evolution
Geology Primer
Concept Mapping Exercise: Belizean
Rainforest, Tropical Weather, Massive
Cave Systems & Coral Reefs – Make the
connections!
Coral Reef Ecology
Cave Formation
Invertebrate/Vertebrate Organisms
Rainforest Ecology
Mayan Culture
Snorkeling Mangrove Habitat
FIELD STUDY ABROAD, BELIZE
CREATE:
Group
Presentations,
Travel Journal
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EVALUATE:
Thought Questions
Student Picture
ANALYZE:
Field Observations,
Sea Creature Bingo
APPLY:
Concept Mapping, Snorkeling
Student Picture
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UNDERSTAND:
Class Discussions, Group Project Work
REMEMBER:
Readings, Geology Primer, Ecology Primer
Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
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Night Seine Study
Marine TREC (San Pedro, BZ)
 Mangroves, Tres Cocos, Pillar
Coral, Turtle Rock, Shark Ray Alley,
Hol Chan Marine Sanctuary, Night
Seine
Belize Zoo
Clarissa Falls (San Ignacio, BZ)
 Xunantunich, Caracol, ATM
Student Presentations
Sea Creature Bingo
Thought Questions
Journal Writing & Submission (post field
study)
Making Geophysical Connections
at the Mayan Ruins of Caracol
Investigation of a Hard Pan
Coral Community
ABSTRACT
vs.
Pillar Coral
Staghorn Coral
“The hard coral species known as Pillar Coral is what
gave the location its name … and is a pseudonocturnal species, … these corals dictate the habitat by
creating a coral reef most active during the day, as
opposed to most other species.”
Tarah M.
Students in this course were tasked to develop a Belizean ‘concept map’ and made connections
between the rainforest, tropical weather, massive cave systems & near shore coral reefs. They built a
knowledge base via study of coral reef ecology, cave formation, invertebrate & vertebrate organism
investigation, and rainforest ecology. Students self-selected groups and developed a project to
complete stateside, which they later presented while in Belize. Field study was subsequently
conducted in residence at Belize Marine Teaching and Research Center (San Pedro, BZ) and
included an inland portion in San Ignacio, BZ. Students were exposed to various types of coral
communities, as driven by local oceanic forces. They compared biophysical habitats both in and out
of environmentally protected areas, and examined diurnal, pseudo-nocturnal, and nocturnal
communities. Students recorded their field experience in travel journals, written as ‘musings of a
young scientist explaining theory being seen in the field,’ which contained responses to thought
questions based upon the day’s activities. They developed a final product suitable for their academic
portfolio that they produced in traditional and non-traditional formats such as Glogster.
Observation of limestone formation
in Belizean cave systems, connecting
geological and marine processes

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