Your Invitation

If you'd like to help Caryn and Katie create a conversation plan for the Antillean manatees then you must first help them deterrmine what the conservation needs are of the manatees. Use the guiding questions below to help you formulate a plan as you visit our site. You will want to visit the Manatee section of the site to get started. And, be sure to read the daily highlights and review the daily data.

The Essential Question

What are the conservation needs of Antillean manatees?

The Situation

Researchers Caryn and Katie are studying the habitats and behaviors of the manatees of Belize, an endangered species, in order to determine their conservation needs. As they collect important data on the manatees and their habitat, they will be able to help the government of Belize determine the best ways to protect these creatures.

The Task

After studying the data, design a conservation plan for the government of Belize.

Guiding Questions

    1. Where are manatees found?
    2. How do manatees use the areas in which they are found?
    3. What is needed to keep these areas healthy?
    4. What human activities might impact the health of manatee areas?
    5. What natural events might impact the health of the manatee areas?
    6. How can the government of Belize meet the needs of its people while protecting the manatees?

The Process

Before the trip
  1. Research this web site thoroughly and take notes on important points about manatees and their habitats, and the country of Belize.
  2. Find out more about Belize and manatees from print resources and other Internet sources.
  3. Compare the situation of the Belizean manatees with that of the Floridian manatees.
  4. From your research, predict the answers to the guiding questions.

During the trip
  1. Visit the web site daily to examine the data uploaded by the Virtual Explorers Team.
  2. Plot manatee sightings and sea grass beds on a grid and determine the relationship between them.
  3. Create a graph that compares the biomass of sea grass in various sites to manatee populations in those sites.
  4. Develop a list of questions to help you better understand the data.
  5. Email the researchers with your questions.
  6. Compare the data with the web site questions about manatees and their habitats.

After the trip
  1. Draw some inferences about what the data indicate.
  2. Discuss or reflect upon some conservation measures that might be appropriate for the government of Belize to take.
  3. Write a conservation plan in which you pose the problem and discuss the solutions.
  4. Choose the best argument from your plan and post it to the threaded discussion board.
  5. Respond to the arguments of others on the discussion board.