“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent; a part of the main”. John Donne
Biology is the study of life. Biologists are scientists who study lifeforms in all their varieties, and who do their best to use their knowledge about these lifeforms to both protect life on Earth, as well as help mankind.
Biologists study the complex systems within each lifeform. For example, consider a beetle. A biologist is looking to understand how the beetle’s body works. What makes its legs move back and forth, how does it digest its food, how does it fly, and so forth.
A geographer is not concerned so much with how the beetle’s body works, but rather with how the beetle affects the landscape of Earth as well as how the beetle and all of its fellow beetles are distributed around the Earth, and so forth.
Thus, biologists study the lifeform itself and how it works, while geographers look at how the same lifeform affects the Earth, other lifeforms, and how they are distributed throughout the biosphere.
As geographers study the many ecosystems around the world, many similarities or patterns become evident from one ecosystem to another. This allows scientists to group ecosystems into categories called biomes.
The most commonly accepted biomes that exist on the Earth are Tundra, Desert, Grassland, Tropical Rain Forest, Deciduous Forest, Chaparral, Savanna, Alpine and Coniferous Forest.
Our essential question for this unit is What can I do to affect the future? Each group will be studying one biome – an overview slide show, the problem of human impact presented as a web page and solutions to major environmental problems within each biome as a newsletter. Once we have finished we will re-examine our initial responses to the essential question.