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Ruth Ann Greuling

Office of the Provost
Northern New Mexico College
The Case of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker: The Scientific Process and How it Relates to Everyday Life

Based on the disputed rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in April 2005, this interrupted case study tells the story of a fictional character, "Brad Murky," a student and research assistant who must decide whether the current evidence is sufficient for him to accept the bird's existence. Brad and his sister debate the issue through a series of emails leaving him to wonder whether the press conference to announce the rediscovery of the bird was scheduled in haste. Designed for an introductory biology course, this case would also work well in an ecology, environmental science, environmental public policy, ornithology, or science and society course.