- Teaching Notes
- Answer Key
Dolphin Deaths: A Case Study in Environmental Toxicology
Briana M. Peele
John S. Peters
This case study examines a variety of biological factors that may have been involved in the 2013 dolphin "unusual mortality event" (UME) on the East Coast of the United States. The story follows a news reporter and four different scientists who are preparing their notes for speaking at a public hearing about the dolphin die-off event. After reading the story, students assume the roles of these scientists and use the jigsaw method to gather, analyze, and share information. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental toxicology, this case study exposes students to four main topics: ecology of ecosystems, endocrine system/chemical messaging, immune system function, and virus biology. The case also emphasizes the importance of considering an issue from multiple viewpoints since even scientists can sometimes be biased to their field of interest when proposing explanatory hypotheses. This case was originally designed for an undergraduate introductory biology or environmental science course. With some adaptation it may also be suitable for an advanced high school biology class.
|Keywords:||Biomagnification; bioaccumulation; viruses; pollution; endocrine disruption; immune system; environmental toxicology; dolphins|
|Topical Area:||Policy issues, Science and the media|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division|
|Type/Method:||Dilemma/Decision, Jig-Saw, Public Hearing|
|Subject Headings:||Biology (General) Ecology Environmental Science Physiology Microbiology Marine Science / Oceanography Toxicology|
|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.|
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.
Download Teaching Notes
Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.
Get Answer Key