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Curriculum Material

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In “Finicky Fish Finish…Last!” students use the Forever Earth vessel to explore what has happened to the Colorado River and the reasons why it is so difficult for the razorback sucker to thrive in a changed environment. Working as ichthyologists (fish biologists) at Lake Mead, students collect water quality data such as temperature, pH, and clarity -- to determine whether current habitat conditions are sufficient for survival of young razorback suckers. Students observe and identify non-native fish in Lake Mead as they learn how the razorback sucker interacts with these neighbors. Students assess whether Lake Mead is still a good habitat for razorback suckers. Using the knowledge they’ve gained, students design ideal refuges for the razorback sucker, including ideas to get the word out about this endangered native fish.

The following post-visit activities are designed to synthesize and expand the knowledge students have gained in their Forever Earth experience. Students use their knowledge to spread the word about threatened and endangered species either visually by creating a wayside exhibit or by using podcast technology.

Controlled Subject

Ecology – Study and teaching (Elementary); Introduced fishes; Rare fishes; Razorback sucker; Teaching – Aids and devices; United States – Lake Mead


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Natural Resources and Conservation | Science and Mathematics Education

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