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Posts Tagged ‘ecosystems’

Sand is always moving. The beaches you might visit everyday are not perminent features. The shape and size of beaches change everyday on a small scale and somtimes drastically over a longer period of time. The changes occur becasue of various reasons but its always because of the sand moving.

In our Oceanography class we looked at different sand samples from around the United States under microscopes and noticed the many differences. Some of the differences are visable to the naked eye and some require the use of a microscope. Here is the list of traits we observed:

  • Color
  • Magnetite
  • Size
  • Texture
  • Wentworth Scale
  • Sorting
  • Composition

A few days after doing our observations we went on a field trip to our local beach. We looked at the sand closely but it did not look any different than the sand we were used to. Although the sand varys greatly around the world, it usually doesnt look very different when the beaches are close to each other. The drastic changes can only seen if one compares sand from different areas across the world. Here is a few examples of the diversity found in beach sand colors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Rosa_Island,_California

http://www.letsgo-hawaii.com/beaches/punaluu.html

source:

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/ASK/beacherosion.html

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On Friday, D period class went outside to discuss the world’s biomes. I really liked going outside. It helped me visualize how our area would be different in different biomes. I liked the brochures idea, although as a result from School Loop dying and a power outage, many students did not have them in. That was a pity because I felt like we could have talked about biomes more/stayed outside longer. I noted the similarities and differences the alpine and tundra biomes had. They are both cold, have high winds, and had snow in the winter but less or not at all in the summer. The alpine was all over the globe, while the tundra was mostly in the Arctic Circle region. I really liked how the class was structured on Friday.

Jacques L.

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On Tuesday morning our class took a walk around the nature filled fields of Pentucket. I was surprised at the amount of wildlife that was hidden in the pond, fields, streams, etc. One of the first things we observed was the fish in the pond. I had no idea there was anything living in the pond, but there were actually many fish, frogs, and even a turtle! The fish were hard to see because the water was murky, and the frogs were very elusive. The turtle was camouflaged by the surrounding mud. There were also many plants surrounding the pond such as cattails and skunk cabbage. The plants are considered producers and primary consumers such as the turtle eat them. Secondary consumers like an eagle would eat the turtle. Each organism provides energy for the animal that eats it. If one element of an ecosystem was removed, then the rest of the ecosystem wouldn’t be able to function. For example, if you removed the plants or producers from an environment, then the primary consumers would suffer causing the rest of the food chain to crumble. Organisms depend on each other for energy, for nutrients, for shelter, and in order to make an ecosystem complete. 

-Calleigh L.

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Gifford Woods State Park, 34 Gifford Woods, Killington, Vt.

 

It’s not easy nowadays to find an open stretch of land untapped by humans in some fashion, even the rolling Appalachians of New England were once completely shaven for the lumber industry in early America. One thing you will find, however, is that nature has the fascinating ability to recover itself in the long run. Even if given bare rock and air you can find, that after thousands of years, the most complex and amazingly colorful ecosystems forming, and with every cycle, every life, every death,  the ecosystem evolves, changes, ever so slightly.  Most of this really hit me one time when I was hiking on a trail close to Rutland, Vermont going up a shallow-incline mountain [to which I can’t place a name]. My father and I were talking about how the forest used to be when he was young as me. He talked about how the trees that he had seen when he was my age seemed just a little smaller than they were that day we went up to Vermont. He talked about how in the 1800s almost the entire range of the Appalachian mountains, apart from a handful of old growth trees in secluded areas, was torn down for lumber. Looking around, I found it fascinating that after such a thing, so much nature, so many living things could survive out of such decimation. It shows plainly the strength of nature itself. Millions of years have adapted organisms to suit the sometimes hostile environment of the world, and the not-so-old trees I saw that ay demonstrated that perfectly. Each bird, carrying seeds from miles around, aids in the survival of the forest. Each little worm in the soil leaving in its wake healthy, usable soil. This correlation between the hundreds of different organisms in the universe is an almost flawless system, an extensive masterpiece, a work of art that has taken hundreds and millions of years to create, and is still not nearly finished. 

Presentation~
Deven McKee 

Video provided by~
mms://video.wr.usgs.gov/movies/the_southern_appalachians.wmv

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