Ecology of Fear: Wolf vs Deer

Wolf project team

The field team in Washington: Apryle Craig (PhD student), Dr. Tom Newsome, Justin Dillinger (PhD student), Dr. Aaron Wirsing, Carolyn Shores (PhD student)

This project-based video (filmed by SymbioStudiostransports students to eastern Washington to help Dr. Aaron Wirsing (University of Washington) and his team study how the return of wolves will influence the behavior of their prey as well as the ecosystem.  The video is accessible and interesting to students of all ages.  The project is designed for use at multiple grade levels – from elementary to high school -and can be deployed to enhance learning outcomes at various locations in the science and math curriculum.  The teacher packet has suggestions on how to extend the lesson and differentiate instruction. Students will learn about ecosystems, animal behavior, the importance of predators, and how ecosystems and animals respond to environmental changes.  In this project, students are the scientists.  They develop their own hypotheses and see Aaron and the team collect data.  Then, students use these data to test their own ideas and apply what they have learned!  This method  reinforces learning and teaches the scientific process by  doing it!   The project can be completed in a single class period.  The video is below, and you can download the student worksheet here.  Please click here to request a DVD with the video and the teacher instructions with answer key.



We hope you enjoy and we welcome your feedback!


One Comment on “Ecology of Fear: Wolf vs Deer

  1. This looks great and should engage students in thinking about the concepts presented. I did not spend much time looking at the work sheet, but it appears that it could be used by students with different levels of understanding. It could be easily adapted for younger students by having the teacher lead a discussion. This should make science FUN!

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