Discussion 2 Unit 1


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Unit 1 – Discussion Board 2
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Assignment Overview
Type: Discussion Board
Unit: Ecosystem Structure and Function
Due Date: Tue, 6/5/18
Grading Type: Numeric
Points Possible: 40
Points Earned: 0
Deliverable Length: Main post: 200 words (minimum); 2 response posts: 75 words each (minimum)
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Assignment Details
Assignment Description
The Discussion Board is part of the core of online learning. The purpose of the Discussion Board is to allow you to learn through sharing ideas and experiences as they relate to course content and the Discussion Board question. Classroom discussion in an online environment requires your active participation with classmates and your instructor to create robust interaction and dialogue. Students are highly encouraged to engage on the Discussion Board early and often, as that is the primary way the university tracks class attendance and participation. Because it is not possible to engage in two-way dialogue after a conversation has ended, no posts to the DB will be accepted after the end of each unit.
At a minimum, you will be expected to complete 3 posts during the unit: 1 original response to the Discussion Board question and 2 posts responding to classmates, following these guidelines:
Your original post must be at least 200 words in length. It must reference the text or course learning materials at least once. Please note that even if the question asks for an opinion, you are still expected to support opinions with references to course materials and any other credible academic sources to support your opinions. Do not use Internet sources other than those provided in the course materials. APA format is not necessary for your Discussion Board when citing references, but you are required to acknowledge your resources: In the narrative, describe where information was obtained. For example, “As mentioned in Chapter 2 of the course textbook, prioritizing tasks is…” or “As mentioned in the intellipath lesson for Unit 2…”
Your two response posts must be at least 75 words in length. Responses should contribute to the conversation by being reflective, specific, and engaging. Quick responses (such as “I agree” or “Thank you!”) will not be counted as adequate.
Your first contribution must be posted before midnight CST (Central time) on Friday of each week. You must make 2 additional posts—on separate days between Saturday and Tuesday—before midnight CST. The original response and the peer responses can be completed in any order.
For assistance in supporting your assignment, please use your text and all course materials.
Assignment Details
Ecologists group together the living things in an ecosystem by their feeding habits. Producers use photosynthesis to make food by harnessing the energy of sunlight. Consumers eat plants and each other. All organisms produce waste that is recycled by decomposers. The interactions of these organisms create a food web.

Humans often disturb ecosystems for their own benefit, either harvesting ecosystem resources or removing unwanted pests. Examples include logging in a tropical rainforest, hunting sea otters for their fur in Monterey Bay, exterminating prairie dogs in South Dakota or eradicating wolves in Wyoming. These disruptions disturb the food web, and they can have unforeseen consequences to abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem.

Watch this video to see the change in the Yellowstone National Park with the reintroduction of wolves to the food web: Yellowstone National Park: Wolf Cascade

Recommended: Click on the following links to review materials to enhance your knowledge of ecosystems, disturbance, and recovery:
• Yellowstone Ecosystem Needs Wolves and Willows, Elk and…Beavers?
• The Urchin’s Tale, Part 1
• Soil Erosion Due to Rainforest Deforestation
• To Aid Ferrets, Vaccine Treats Planned for Prairie Dogs
Design an imaginary food web or describe a real one. Include at least 4 living organisms that interact in your ecosystem.
Answer the following questions about the food web you designed/described:
1. Explain what would happen to the other members of the food web within your ecosystem (choose a, b, or c):
a. if a top predator were removed
b. if a key producer disappeared
c. if a primary consumer were exterminated
2. Explain possible effects to the abiotic components that result from the disruption of your ecosystem.
3. How can the damage or change to your ecosystem be repaired?
In your own words, post a response to the Discussion Board, and comment on at least 2 other postings. You will be graded on both level of engagement and the quality of the contribution to the discussion.
Dybas, C. (2013, February 7). Yellowstone ecosystem needs wolves and willows, elk and…beavers? Retrieved from https://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=126853
Echolls, T. (2017, April 25). Soil erosion due to rainforest deforestation. Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/soil-erosion-due-rainforest-deforestation-23042.html
Gruver, M. (2017, March 19). To aid ferrets, vaccine treats planned for prairie dogs. Retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-aid-ferrets-vaccine-prairie-dogs.html
Low, N. (2016, November 18). The urchin’s tale, part 1. The Dish on Science. Retrieved from: http://thedishonscience.stanford.edu/posts/urchins-tale-1/
Mike Stratton. (2013, January 26). Yellowstone National Park: Wolf Cascade [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM8XefmSXyY
Grading Rubric
Assignment Criteria Proficient Descriptor Points
Quality of Initial Response Responds accurately and completely to all parts of the question prompt.
Response is logical and thoughtful and connects to key weekly concepts and readings. /16 pts.
Response to Peers Responds to a minimum of 2 peers, per the stated guidelines.
Analyzes peer responses and advances the discussion by connecting to key concepts, trends, or experiences and presents relevant viewpoints for consideration by peers. /12 pts.
References and Support Original and peer responses are supported by relevant readings and other experiences, as applicable to the needs of the question. /4 pts.
Participation Timeliness All required responses are posted by stated deadlines, providing adequate time for others to read and respond.
Responses to peer posts are distributed throughout the week. /4 pts.
Professional Writing Response is well-organized, objective, and concisely written.
Writing is clear and free of grammatical and mechanical errors.
Responses to peers demonstrate courtesy and respect for others. /4 pts.
Total /40 pts.
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