“The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology” – E.O. Wilson
In this phenomenal image activity, students will use Cold War spy satellite images to analyze how organisms can change and shape an agricultural landscape. Marmota, a genus of burrowing rodents, and their burrows that can be seen from space, are the focus for this case study. Students will use images and text from a research paper to understand the ecological impacts of the marmots.
While the phenomenal activity focuses on the Eurasian Bobak Marmot, students can compare and contrast this free-range Marmot to one of the more well-known species of North American Marmot – the groundhog. Ask your students, how important are each of these Marmota species as ecosystem engineers/keystone species in each of their places?