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Orianna Carter
Associate Professor
cartero@ohio.edu
Biology Department
Ohio University Southern
When Harry Met Gabby: A Hypoxia Story

This case study addresses several concepts related to water hypoxia including physical laws governing dissolved oxygen levels and impacts to living systems during hypoxia. A survey of different factors causing reduced oxygen saturation levels on small aquatic life gives students the opportunity to develop hypotheses, pose potential experiments, and interpret data to develop a better understanding of not only the importance of water quality, but also how to answer questions using the scientific method. The case study incorporates group discussion, analysis of experimental design, and data evaluation as central activities and includes an option for laboratory experimentation to observe hypoxia effects on fresh water tank shrimp and rotifers. It is intentionally designed as a crossover between lecture and lab, including a “flipped” approach to economize on time needed for applications of the concepts. Students prepare outside of class by watching short videos (made by the author) that teach the basics of water chemistry, scientific method, and abiotic and biotic forces in the environment that influence water quality.