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Scientific Inquiry Using WildCam Gorongosa Paper
Gorongosa National Park is a 1,570-square-mile protected area in Mozambique. Lion researcher Paola Bouley and her team use motion-detecting trail cameras to learn more about Gorongosa’s lions. Lions are not the only animal captured by these cameras. The photos provide valuable information on a variety of different animals, including helping estimate populations, behaviors, and interactions of other animals. The public has identified animals and collected data from the photos on a citizen science website called WildCam Gorongosa. The WildCam Lab is a part of WildCam Gorongosa, where you can view trail-camera data on a map, filter, and download the data to investigate scientific questions.
The process of science is iterative and adaptable. Scientific inquiry is often initiated by making observations about the natural world. Observations can inspire questions about phenomena, to gain understanding about how nature works. For scientists to answer a question, it must be testable, meaning that it could be answered by designing an experiment and/or collecting data. After identifying a testable question, the scientist may form a hypothesis, which is an explanation for the observed phenomenon based on observations and/or prior scientific knowledge, and predict the expected results of the investigation if the hypothesis is supported. The scientist can test the hypothesis through experimentation or further observation and then analyze and interpret the collected data.
In this activity, you will learn firsthand what it is like to be an ecologist studying Gorongosa’s wildlife. You will use actual trail camera data to generate a testable question, form a hypothesis and prediction, and choose and analyze the appropriate data to answer your question from the WildCam Lab. The results of your investigation may contribute to the conservation effort in Gorongosa National Park.
The above text is from the Student Handout.
Download and review the Student Handout. From the same location, download and review one of the three spreadsheet tutorials, depending upon your computer and software resources (Excel for PC, Excel for Mac, or Google Sheets). Complete the handout and construct the required spreadsheet graph. Please note that the link to the Gorongosa National Park Interactive Map provided in the Student Handout no longer works. Instead, please navigate to Wildcam Gorongosa Lab and select Explorer from three role options in boxes below the photograph.
In a Word document, discuss all parts of this lab activity. Your essay should include the answers to all the worksheet questions. Do not include the original questions. Your answers should be presented in flowing paragraph form. Be sure to include your spreadsheet graph from this activity in the paper.
Your paper should meet the following requirements:
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