Unit Two: A Serious Economics Nut

Collector: Ann V.

The second unit in the series examines the complex relationships between animals and plants in the whitebark pine community of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. In the first of five lessons, scholars mimic Clark’s Nutcracker bird, hide seeds, and then try to relocate them using their short-term memories. As a class, they then discuss and analyze results to learn about the difference between short-term and long-term memory. The second lesson details how to read tree rings and ice rings for climate change and dating purposes. Comprised of multiple games, the third lesson simulates grizzly bears planning for hibernation. Class members run around a large field, sorting and collecting food worth various points of energy. Next, scholars research human-bear conflicts charting the data on a calendar and a map, searching for patterns. They then determine what steps they could take to reduce the number of conflicts. The unit concludes with a game of guessing. Participants must use clues to determine which member of the alpine ecosystem they are. After everyone knows their identities, learners enjoy a game that challenges them to make a yarn web-based on the food web.

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