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John G. Cogan
Auxiliary Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The University of Ohio
Do Grasshoppers Sweat?: A Surprising Case of Evaporative Cooling

There are many adaptive and evolutionary behaviors displayed in an organism's use of water. Although students generally have a superficial understanding of the importance of water to life (i.e., without water life cannot persist), this directed case study aims to deepen their understanding.  The storyline is centered on the research of Dr. Henry Prange using the Schistocerca nitens species of grasshopper. The case examines organisms' efficient water use in respiratory, metabolic, and homeostasis mechanisms, which in turn are possible because of water's structure and properties. A PowerPoint presentation is included that summarizes the structural, emergent, and temperature-buffering properties of water and is used to supplement the entertaining examples of cooling mechanisms introduced in the associated videos, which make the case suitable for a flipped classroom. The case study handout is in a worksheet format that features application questions and small group problem-solving discussions. This case study was written for an introductory biology course, and could be used for majors and non-majors alike.