Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Survival Skills—Response of Organisms to Climate Change

A classroom/laboratory activity to analyze the distribution of beetle, mammal, and plant species (for datasets from North America) in the past (based on fossil records), determine whether the same species exist today, and compare the past and present geographic ranges and ecosystems of these species.

Students will create maps, analyze data, and interpret their findings to learn how organisms have survived climate change since this last glacial maximum (LGM). Students will determine ecoregion changes over the past 20,000 years and the resulting geographic range shifts for some species.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How does climate change affect ecoregions?
  2. Describe the geographic range shift of the beetle species that lived in eastern Iowa during the last glacial maximum (based on the data provided in the activity).

About the Tool

Tool Name Beetles, Mammals, and Plants: Is Climate Driving Range Shifts Since the Last Glacial Maximum
Discipline Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Biodiversity, Animal Diversity, Evolution and Behavior, Species and Speciation, Ecology, Populations, Zoogeography
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location North America
Language English
Developed by Christian George (High Point University), Jessie Rock (North Dakota State University), Allan Ashworth, North Dakota State University)
Hosted at Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Access Online
Computer Skills Intermediate