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The Rocky Mountain Locust

Extinction and the American Experience



Author:

Charles R. Bomar
Biology Department
University of Wisconsin-Stout
bomarc@uwstout.edu

Abstract:

This case explores conservation and social issues associated with the destruction of vast tracts of farmland in the Great Plains in the late 1800s caused by massive swarms of the Rocky Mountain Locust, Melanoplus spretus. The case was developed for a freshman non-majors environmental science course. Components of it could also be used in an ecology, general biology, public policy, history, or political science course.

Objectives:
  • Consider the historical impact of human activity on the American Great Plains and the Rocky Mountain Locust by early settlers.
  • Grapple with questions and issues related to the extinction of a species, including issues related to biodiversity, habitat and species restoration, and conservation.
Keywords: Extinction; Rocky Mountain Locust; Melanoplus spretus; locust swarm; locust plague; American West; Great Plains; prairie
Topical Area: Social issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues)
Language: English
Subject Headings: Environmental Engineering   Ecology   Biology (General)  
Date Posted: 08/28/03
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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