Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Final Thoughts - and Final Exam

First, I want to thank all of you for making Snails 2 Whales such a great class this summer. Each of you made it easy for me to cover a lot of ground in a very short time, and all of you were willing to get outside of your "comfort zone" and try new things. Together we were able to do some interesting and productive field work in marine science.

There are just 4 questions on your final, each worth 25 points. Please email me your exams when you are done. PLEASE DON'T POST YOUR ANSWERS ON THIS BLOG!

Your tests are due by Monday morning, August 16, at sunrise.

Question 1.
Take a good look at this photograph of a dock section at the Barking Crab taken in 2008, then:

1. Using your research, the guide books, and any other trusted sources you want, identify at least 10 different species of animals and plants that appear in the picture.

2. Briefly describe how this dock section is different from the dock section you examined in 2010.

3. Formulate a hypothesis to explain the differences.

4. How would you test your hypothesis?

Question 2.
We encountered several species of live snails on our trip to Lovell's Island.

1. Identify and describe the species we found.

2. Where did these snails come from, how did they get to Lovell's, and what impact have they had on the coastal environment of New England? Be as specific and accurate as you can, using your field notes, your classmates observations and research (which you can find on this blog), and other trusted sources.

Question 3
Define "invasive" species, and give me at least 5 examples from your observations and research for this course. Of all the invasive species we encountered on the trip, which one has done the most damage to the marine environment. (Hint: Not Periwinkles!)

Question 4
There are about 20,000 humpback whales on the planet today, down from a peak of about 100,000 - though the population is up substantially from the few thousand that remained before whale conservation began.

Do you think that the humpback whale population is "sustainable"? What exactly does that mean?

Do you support or oppose the recent decision to allow the indigenous peoples of Greenland to hunt 9 humpback whales next year? If so, why? If not, why not? Would it bother you more if they killed Whisk than some other whale that you never met?

Have a great summer. I hope to see you all soon, on campus, or better yet, on Boston Harbor.

All the best,


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