Case Study: Loggerhead Turtles and Population Models


 This case study focuses on survivorship curves and population models by examining a case about loggerhead turtles.   The case starts off with a story about how beach visitors must follow certain rules to not disturb native turtles and nesting behavior.   Students watch a video that shows how biologists moved sea turtle nests after the BP Oil spill in 2010.   From there, students learn about reproductive strategies (R -strategists and K-strategists),  logistic growth curves, limiting factors and carrying capacity.   This study can be substituted for a traditional lecture on the topics, though instructors will need to pause and discuss certain concepts throughout the case.

Grade Level:  10-12  |  Time Required:  1.5 – 2 hours

HS-LS2-1 Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.

HS-LS2-2 Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.

HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.*