Population Growth: Let’s catch some goslins!

Population Growth
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Population Growth Virtual Lab Simulation

Welcome to science camp on Astakos IV, a newly discovered exoplanet! In this simulation, you will meet exciting creatures, learn about their population structure, and help devise a conservation plan.

Meet the goslins!

Near the science camp there is a lake where scientists have built a pontoon, a water filtering system, and some paths. Five years after their arrival here, the goslin population seems to be decreasing in numbers. Nearby, there is another more pristine lake, where goslins also live. The population here, it seems, has remained stable. Dr. One, your lab assistant, and Sophie, the chief ecologist, have been collecting data for the past four years, and now you get to help them collect data for year five! You will get to see and explore the goslins up close on the holotable and in the field. You will also get to watch a movie about how they lay their precious pods upwards onto the safety of the branches of zenroses! Before going to the field, you will learn about the goslin lifecycle and see some data that has already been collected. This data will help you to make a prediction about what the best conservation strategy for the species may be. Is it best to invest more in protecting the pods or the fertile adults?

Gotta catch them all!

As the evening approaches, you will find yourself in a canoe in the pristine lake, trying to find some goslins. They can be quite elusive sometimes! After deciding on the correct capturing technique and marking tool, you will work together with Dr. One to capture and mark young goslins. As well as this, you will recapture marked adults in order to collect more data for the current year.

Use your data to create a plan

Back in the lab, you will analyze the data, see if your initial prediction was correct, and come up with a conservation strategy that minimizes human impact and preserves the goslin populations on Astakos IV!

Get Started Now

Help ecologists devise a conservation strategy that will protect the goslin population on a newly discovered exoplanet, Astakos IV.

Techniques In Lab

  • Capture and marking
  • Mark-recapture

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Assess the population structure using data from mark-recapture to estimate the average age of death and fecundity
  • Predict the growth of a population using a mathematical model

Screenshots of Population Growth Virtual Lab Simulation

Collaborators

Dr. Michael Angilletta

School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University

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