Dr. Mark A. Farmer
farmer at EMLAB.ZOO.UGA.EDU
Thu Dec 1 08:56:15 EST 1994
This message is being passed on for O. Roger Anderson
"ora at ldeo.columbia.ed"
As one of the initiatives we have identified this year, the Society
of Protozoologists in collaboration with the National Science
Teachers Association will publish a book co-edited by O.R. Anderson
and Marvin Druger titled: Concepts and Experiments in
Protozoology: A Practical Guide for the Classroom. NSTA will
print and distribute the book for us. this volume is intended to
help teachers use hands-on experiences with protozoa to encourage
students to construct interpretations of major concepts in biology.
Protozoa provide convenient and often easily manipulated living
organisms to explore experimentally the meanings of major biology
concepts. We have identified six possible categories of laboratory
1. Behavior and Motility
2. Feeding and Nutrition
3. Physiology and General Metabolism
5. Ecology and Population Biology
6. Genetics and Evolution
7. Diversity and Abundance
Each laboratory activity should be designed to explore some major
biological concept or principle. The overall emphasis will be on
the adaptation of organisms to their environments as a fundamental
feature of all life. If you have recommendations for appropriate
experiments or laboratory demonstrations using protozoa, we invite
you to submit a brief description of the laboratory experience. We
are particularly interested in new, creative laboratory
experiences, although standard ones for protozoology that may not
be familiar to teachers would also be appropriate.
The description should include the following:
1. Title of the laboratory experiment, the major concept(s) in
biology illustrated by the laboratory experience, and a general
statement of the biological significance of the experience as a
rationale for the experience. That is, how does the concept
illustrated relate to other major biological ideas, or to what
extent is the experience useful as a way of gathering information
in biological research.
2. Objectives of the experience. A brief statement of the purpose
of the laboratory experience.
3. Materials and equipment required.
4. A brief outline of the procedures for the laboratory
experiment. This need be only a brief outline at this point. We
will ask you for a more complete description if we can incorporate
your proposed chapter in our book.
5. Supplementary information to the teacher that may be useful in
implementing the experience such as pitfalls to avoid, possible
linkages to other laboratory experiences typically used in
secondary school and/or college teaching, etc.
At this point we request only a basic outline as above, perhaps one
to three pages. We will be in communication with you in the near
future when we have reached a decision on what contributions can
eventually be incorporated into the book. On the whole, we
anticipate that the final contribution will be no more than 5 or 6
pages single-spaced. Therefore, we hope that this will not be an
unreasonable burden and will also make a very helpful contribution
to enhancing biological education, especially at the pre-college
level. Please send your outline to: O.R. Anderson, Biological
laboratories, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia
University, Palisades, NY 10964
Please try to submit your outline by January 31, 1995. We
appreciate your cooperation in this unique endeavor between two
major Societies to improve science learning. thank you for your
consideration of this request. A sample outline is attached for
BRIEF SAMPLE OUTLINE OF A PROPOSED LABORATORY EXPERIENCE
Tittle: Ecological succession
Rationale: The concept of succession is a major idea in
ecology and applies to the time-dependent processes of changes in
community structure occurring in a wide variety of habitats
including wide ranging aquatic and terrestrial environments. To
enhance the development of the concept by direct experience and
illustrate the dynamics of changes in populations with time,
protozoa provide a convenient tool for classroom applications.
this experience is readily adapted to a wide variety of classroom
locations including urban settings.
Objective: To illustrate the concept of succession in an
aquatic community and to examine some of the variables that may
account for differences among varying habitats.
1. Compound light microscope with at least 40X objective.
2. Gallon size glass jars (two or more).
3. Pond water or aged tap water.
4. Soil or pond water with sediment as a source of protozoa.
5. Hay, dried wheat, leaves, or other source of organic matter as
6. Droppers with rubber bulbs.
1. Fill each of 2 gallon jars about 3/4 full with pond water or
aged tap water.
2. Add about a tablespoon of good quality soil from a park or
other area with vegetation to each of the gallon jars.
3. In one of the jars add some organic matter such as hay, dried
wheat, or other dry organic matter as a source of nutrients.
4. Place each of the jars under fluorescent illumination or on a
window sill where they will remain cool and receive indirect
sunlight (a north window is often suitable).
5. At regular intervals over a period of two weeks, sample the
water at different levels in the jar and describe the kinds of
protozoa and photosynthetic organisms present.
6. Tabulate the data showing how the kinds of organisms change
7. Examine the data from the two jars and determine if there are
differences in the kinds of organisms observed and their changes
with time in relation to the presence or absence of organic matter.
Information for the teacher: This experience can be modified
to include the effects of pollutants on the kinds of protista
observed and their composition over time. the findings from this
experience can be generalized to other ecosystems such as
successions in oceanic environments, and plant and animal
successions on land.
More information about the Protista