Skip to Content

Nutrient Cycles and Pollution, Lake Michigan Style


Author(s)

Cheryl A. Heinz
Department of Biology
Benedictine University
cheinz@ben.edu

Abstract

This “clicker case” introduces students to the basics of nutrient cycling using a recent example of the expansion of a refinery on Lake Michigan. The story is told through a series of news clips from Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate, WBEZ, which covers the northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana region.  The case is presented in class using a series of PowerPoint slides (~3.7MB) punctuated by questions that the students answer using electronic personal response systems, or "clickers." The case was designed for use in an upper-level introductory ecology course. It would be equally well suited in lower-level ecology courses as well as environmental science courses, and in an introductory biology course that covers nutrient cycles and/or pollution.


Objectives

  • Understand that nutrients cycle and recycle in ecosystems.
  • Give an example of human impacts on at least one nutrient cycle.
  • Identify paths through the nitrogen and carbon nutrient cycles.
  • Distinguish between nutrients that cycle locally and globally.

Keywords

Nutrient cycles; nutrient cycling; nutrients; pollution; nitrogen cycle; carbon cycle; water cycle; refinery; British Petroleum; BP Whiting; Lake Michigan; Illinois; Indiana

Topical Areas

Regulatory issues, Social issues

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Clicker, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Biology (General)  |  


Date Posted

10/11/10

Teaching Notes

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.

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.

Answer Key

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.

Comments