available on state websites and/or the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List website
( www.iucnredlist.org) to construct a species profile for each
Once the focal species are identified, instructors should then
locate regional or statewide maps from the Maps, Imagery, and Publications webpages of the USGS website ( www.usgs.gov). Instructors
should select maps that illustrate spatial and environmental limiting
Table 1. Curricular phase, instructional goal, and student activities during the Habitat Suitability
Curricular Phase Instructional Goal Student Activity
Introduce students to freshwater ecosystems
and human reliance on freshwater ecosystems.
Become aware of freshwater ecosystems and
humans’ interaction with them, such as freshwater
usage and withdrawal rates in U.S.
Introduce students to freshwater conservation
and freshwater concerns in the U.S. and Illinois.
Become aware of freshwater conservation,
how current and past freshwater ecosystems differ
due to human activities, and what
limiting factors might define aquatic species’
habitats (e.g., connectivity, stream flow rates, water
Demonstrate to students the wealth of
information concerning endangered species and
conservation that is available through reputable
Collect publicly available data from the IL DNR,
IUCN, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to create species
profiles, which include information on habitat and
current conservation efforts.
Compel students to implicitly construct the
concept of “limiting factors.”
Gather information online and list limiting factors
for different taxa in the table in the
Compel students to apply their pre-existing
knowledge about ecology and evolution so that
it can be assessed.
Apply ecological and evolutionary knowledge to
address conservation of focal species by evaluating
species’ limiting factors and habitat requirements
to see if they could live in other habitats or areas in
Expose students to close-up encounters with
endangered or threatened species native to
Become aware of conservation efforts in their local
community; engage in conversation with zoo
personnel about species and zoo involvement in
Compel students to make scientific observations,
facilitated by a zoo field trip handout.
Document species’ behaviors from at least four
different taxa (mammal, bird, reptile, invertebrate).
Facilitate discussion with zookeepers
implementing species protection plans.
Become aware of factors that zookeepers must
consider when designing habitats in zoos,
compare selective pressures of wild vs. captive
organisms, and become aware of species
Compel students to analyze a habitat’s
suitability on factors relevant to management
Synthesize data provided from public entities such
as USGS, IL DNR, ISGS, EPA to inform decision
Compel students to choose specific areas for
protection for focal species.
Narrow down potential management areas by
eliminating and adding areas, based on species
requirements and map traits.
Compel students to recognize human
participation in freshwater ecosystems,
particularly in how we impact water quality.
Synthesize information on water quality as it relates
to habitat suitability, including anthropogenic
influences on water quality.
Compel students to engage in argument from
Present to the class students’ proposals for areas
that should be protected, based on data analysis,
respond to questions from peers and instructor.