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Shauneen Giudice

"Hi, I'm Shauneen Giudice. I'm the seventh grade science teacher at Delmar Middle and Senior High School in Delmar, Delaware.

Have you ever wondered what kind of impact you make on the planet Earth? That's one of the questions we explore in my science classes, and now that I have a chance to explore it in person — you're invited to join me!

An ecosystem involves the relationship of living organisms with each other and with their physical environment, which means that every living thing can have an affect on other living things around them. In fact, we are all part of an ecosystem. Can you think of an ecosystem in your own home, yard, or school? What is the physical environment like in these places? What types of plants and animals live there? Ecosystems can become endangered for many reasons. One example might be a climate changes, like a drought that lasts for a long time, or if a new predator threatens the amount of food available for other animals. Human activity also affects these systems. In many places, people are cutting down forests for agriculture, wood, and other uses. The removal of the trees destroys important animal habitats, can lead to soil erosion, effect the water in the streams and wetlands, and even have an effect on global climate systems.

In this project, we are going to look at two specific ecosystems, a tropical dry forest in Mexico and a lowland, tropical rain forest in Costa Rica.

I'll be part of the Earthwatch research team in Costa Rica, where we will look at how caterpillars have adapted to their environment in order to survive. After hearing so much about tropical rain forests, I'm anxious to actually see one for myself and to work with scientists who are studying the plants and animals out in the field. One of the most exciting things will be getting to climb up into the canopy to collect caterpillars and to help with the experiments to find out what they eat and how they defend themselves from predators. At the end of our expedition, you'll get a chance to interview me about my experiences in Costa Rica, and I will answer all your questions.

The other project takes place in the tropical dry forest of Mexico. You will meet biologist Dr. Carlos López González and Earthwatch team members as they track wild cats and other mammals to learn how these animals interact and what they need to survive.

Are you ready to get started? Your mission for this project is to learn about endangered ecosystems, wild cats and caterpillars, learn about Earthwatch's work in the field, and do your own research. Click on the link below to accept your mission and get started!"    


If you accept your mission, your next step is to visit field sites.